Friday, September 2, 2016

Movie review - Don't Breathe (R) - By Stephen Signor

Run time: 1hr-28min. Rated R

Finally, a horror-suspense film I can really sink my teeth into! True to its title, take the advice. Set in a not so acceptable neighborhood of Detroit, three miscreants elect to rob a house occupied by a wealthy but blind war veteran. This decision is fueled by Rocky (Jane Levy). A young woman wanting to provide a better life for her and her little sister, she agrees to be a part of the robbery researched and set up by boyfriend Money (Daniel Zovatto). To round out the trio is the reluctant mutual friend of both, Alex (Dylan Minnette). This decision, although well planned becomes their worst nightmare!

As they become discovered the plot unfolds it becomes evident there is no immediate clear means of escape. Trapped and terrified is only the beginning.

Stephen Lang (2009s Avatar) delivers an equal menacing performance as the blind man who’s name, according to Director Alvarez, is Norman Nordstrom. But there is more than meets the eye to this character. He has a secret and when that is accidently discovered the plot thickens, but not before their presence in his house is discovered. A game of cat and mouse ensues and this is where the movie shines. 

What truly elevate this motion picture above others are the elements, or sometimes lack thereof, used to accentuate the situation. Director/screenwriter/producer Fede Alvarez (Evil Dead 2013) takes viewers to another level of suspense with the excellent and very effective use of shadow and light.
To further emphasize Nordstrom’s blindness there are many instances of silence and when used, the background sound is well placed at key moments. Co-writer Rodo Sayagues (Evil Dead 2013) adds just the right touch to particular scenes in the form of disturbing shock effect. For an hour and a half Jane Levy (Evil Dead 2013), Dylan Minnette (Goosebumps 2015) and Daniel Zovatto (Fear the Waling Dead 2015) will leave audiences on the edge of their seats. Even the blind man’s beloved pet Rottweiler and protector will raise the hair on your arms. In the end, Nordstrom will have you drawing a line. Do I hate him or feel sorry? 

With an estimated budget of $10 million, it is money well spent and so was the price of admission.

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