Dec 032016
 

Don’t Breathe had an interesting premise which to me got stretched too far to the point I got a bit annoyed. That said, the cast isn’t bad and not surprisingly Stephen Lang is creepy as all hell and all in all, it’s at least worthy of a rental.

 

 

Don’t Breathe
(2016)

Genre(s): Suspense/Thriller, Horror
Sony | R – 88 min. – $34.98 | November 29, 2016

Date Published: 12/03/2016 | Author: The Movieman

 


MOVIE INFO:
Directed by:
Fede Alvarez
Writer(s): Fede Alvarez & Rodo Savagues (written by)
Cast: Jane Levy, Dylan Minnette, Daniel Zovatto, Stephen Lang
DISC INFO:
Features:
Commentary, Featurettes, Deleted Scenes
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 1
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.40
Subtitles: English SDH, English, Spanish
Disc Size: 26.8 GB
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A, B, C

 


THE MOVIE — 3.25/5


Note: This review contains some SPOILERS so reader beware.

Sometimes the simplest premises are the best. And sometimes those premises become all too contrived, such is the case with Don’t Breathe, a breakout hit raking in over $150 million worldwide on a $9.9 million budget. Not bad. Unfortunately, as good as the trailers made it out to be, I found plot was a bit stretched even with its short 88 minute running time.

The plot revolves around three friends — Rocky (JANE LEVY), Alex (DYLAN MINNETTE) and Money (DANIEL ZOVATTO) — who are, basically, career criminals, breaking into homes protected by Alex’s father’s security company and he uses keys to gain entry where upon, after disabling the alarm, they take whatever they want, so long as it’s under $10,000 as to avoid a charge of grand larceny if caught. Their robberies are for one reason: to escape the hellhole known as Detroit, especially Rocky who has a young daughter and a filthy human being of a mother, with plans to move out west to California.

After their latest loot didn’t garner them much cash, Money gets a tip that there’s a home amongst abandoned homes, where the guy, a blinded Iraq War veteran (STEPHEN LANG), has a six-figure stash following the settlement for the death of his daughter. But as they soon would learn, there is more to The Blind Man (as Lang is credited).

Upon breaking into his home, they scour all over the place looking for his money while he sleeps upstairs. However, he’s soon awaken, in spite of Money’s attempts to gas him to sleep, and they must run for their lives when he boards up the home removing any escape following The Blind Man shooting and killing Money. The two remaining survivors manage to make their way into the basement where they come upon a shocking discovery: the Blind Man has a young woman chained and gagged: it’s the girl who killed his daughter. And not only does this pair have to contend with a locked-up house and demented blind man, but his killer Rottweiler as well.

Don’t Breathe receives quite the critical reception (certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes) and audience admiration and although I do appreciation the straight-forward thriller aspects, and there are plenty of tense scenes, I had a hard time buying some of the situations and it appears the writers had an interesting premise but struggled to get it to feature length and placing these characters in more and more ridiculous situations, heck the geek of the bunch apparently is the heir apparent to Jason Voorhees given the amount of punishment inflicted but his clock keeps ticking.

On the positive side, the acting isn’t bad. Stephen Lang always puts in 110% and makes for a formidable protagonist turned antagonist and Jane Levy serves well as the resilient heroine of the bunch, a trait that made her so likeable in the Evil Dead reboot. The other two fellas, Dylan Minnette and Daniel Zovatto are fine and fill the roles well enough.

The film was co-written and directed by Fede Alvarez in his follow-up from the aforementioned Evil Dead reboot and he certainly can create a creepy-ass atmosphere and early on it was effective, including a unique darkness black and white sequence as the Blind Man turns the tables on the would-be thieves. But as I said, the screenplay really stretches this premise a bit too far to the point where I became a tad annoyed rather than scared. Still, the ending is shocking and as with most horror, it’s left open-ended for the inevitable and eventual sequel.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES – 2.25/5


This release comes with a slip cover and inside a code for the Digital HD copy.

Audio Commentary — Producer/Co-Writer/Director Fede Alvarez, Co-Writer Rodo Sayagues and Star Stephen Lang. The trio provides a low key but informative track covering a variety of subjects from the house set and characters.

No Escape (2:56; HD) looks at the design and lighting of the house.

Man in the Dark (3:17; HD) centers on Lang’s character, The Blind Man.

Meet the Cast (4:04; HD) introduces us to the three thieves and depraved blind man.

Creating the Creepy House (3:51; HD) delves a bit more on the maze of this house with some behind-the-scenes footage and building it on a stage.

The Sounds of Horror (1:49; HD) looks at the music score and the composer’s usage of different instruments.

All told, there’s only about 16-minutes worth of material and most of it is comprised of canned interview sound-bites and footage from the movie.

Deleted Scenes (15:17; HD) has 8 scenes that didn’t make the cut and includes an optional commentary by Alvarez.

TrailersEdge of Winter, Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV, The Shallows, Money Monster, When the Bough Breaks, The Bronze

 


VIDEO – 4.5/5


Sony locks and straps in Don’t Breath onto Blu-ray presented in its original theatrical 2.40 widescreen aspect ratio and a 1080p high-definition transfer. It’s not bad looking with sharp and well defined detail, black levels look stark but still retains features (like the night-time like sequence) and it’s clean, free of artifacts (which sometimes can be seen in darker shots), aliasing or other flaws. It’s not the prettiest video but shows well even on the smaller screen.

AUDIO – 4.5/5


The film includes an LFE aggressive DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track and while one of the newer versions (DTS: X or Atmos) would’ve been nice, the movie sounds fantastic. Dialogue was generally crisp and clear and when it comes to the quieter scenes, you are placed from the POV of the main characters anticipating each creek in the floor.

 


OVERALL – 3.0/5


Overall, Don’t Breathe had an interesting premise which to me got stretched too far to the point I got a bit annoyed. That said, the cast isn’t bad and not surprisingly Stephen Lang is creepy as all hell and Jane Levy is setting up to be a beautiful horror icon, though this is more thriller-centric than horror but still. I’d say this is worth a rental and I might even revisit it in the future. As for the Blu-ray, the video and audio transfers were both well done and there’s an OK selection of features.

 

 

 

 

Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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