Don’t hold your breath for ‘Don’t Breathe’

Don't hold your breath for 'Don't Breathe'


With Halloween right around the corner, my best friend and I decided there was nothing better to do than to scroll through Netflix and try to scout out a horror movie we both hadn’t seen yet. That’s how my eyes ended up witnessing the mediocre 2016 film ‘Don’t Breathe.’ While Mariana was engaged and entertained for the hour and 28 minutes, I found myself rolling my eyes around the two-minute mark.

‘Don’t Breathe’ centers around Rocky (Jane Levy), Alex (Dylan Minnette), and Money (Daniel Zovatto), three teenagers from Detroit, who steal money from their wealthy neighbors in order to secure a better life for Rocky. They specifically target homeowners who protect their house using Alex’s father’s security company.

One day, they hear that a person known as the Blind Man (Stephen Lang) received a sum of money after the death of his daughter. Assuming that he would be an easy target, the trio invades the Blind Man’s home, only to find themselves trapped inside, and their victim not nearly as helpless as they once suspected.

There were some parts of the film I liked. The plot was very unique; Jane Levy and Dylan Minnette’s characters were very relatable, as was the theme of wanting a better life; and there was a major plot twist in between the middle and the end of the film that I wasn’t expecting!

However, the execution of ‘Don’t Breathe’ as a whole was so poor, and there are several specific elements that I just couldn’t overlook.

First off, the acting was very sub-par. While I enjoyed how the characters were written, the actors performances of them did not live up. I was very surprised at how well Dylan Minnette performed as Clay in ‘13 Reasons Why,’ considering his performance in this film. His character, Alex, had a one-sided crush on Rocky. While this is a very relatable factor in today’s society, his line reading and facial expressions made it feel like he didn’t even like her.

The actors who played the trio were also bad at faking scared or showing emotion at all. Every time the Blind Man or his dog would appear and “scare” them, their screams felt forced. The crying scenes were also just as unbelievably poor. I really wanted to connect with the characters on a deeper level, but the acting just got in the way.

Also, there were several issues with the plot. The first one being that it is predictable, not matter how creative it is. Besides one plot twist, I correctly predicted everything that was going to happen in this film, including who would remain alive by the end of the film. The plot is also kind of unrealistic. As much fun as it was to watch the Blind Man put some teenagers in their places, that would have been harder for him to do in reality. For example, his character always knew the teens exact locations. They shot the film in the dark to try and help the viewers picture his blindness, however I don’t think that worked to the filmmaker’s advantages. Instead the viewer gets 88-miniutes of actors running around in darkness.

Finally, this film is NOT SCARY. I was not scared once during the entire 88-minute run. I won’t spoil the film, but the plot twist does not even involve anything related to horror, but instead a ‘Human Centipede’ level gross out scene that earned this film its R-rating.

Overall, this film is enjoyable on surface level. However, if you are looking for a scary film, or a horror film with more depth this Halloween season, then I would recommend ‘Get Out’, ‘Child’s Play’, or ‘IT’. Critics were impressed with the simplicity of ‘Don’t Breathe’, but simplicity just isn’t for everyone. I know several people who really enjoyed the movie, but as the Blind Man says to the trio in this film, this review is just so you can “see what I see”.  Rating- Three out of Five Stars