Sunday, 14 August 2016

MIFF REVIEW: DON'T BREATHE




9/10

Three young criminals break into the house of a blind man to steal his insurance settlement. The job seems piece of cake, but the disabled owner of the house is not as helpless (or as innocent) as it might appear. When the tables are turned, our criminals realise they have bitten off more than they could chew. Would they be able to leave the house of the blind man alive?

Fede Alvarez, the man behind critically acclaimed remake of Evil Dead writes and directs DON’T BREATHE, a Hitchcockian thriller where suspense prevails over gore. Casting Jane Levy as his leading lady, he puts a twist on a typical “Beauty versus Monster” tale, where no one is purely good or bad. Prepare your loyalty to be tested, as the reasons behind the actions of the villain here are easy to relate to.

The cinematography is stylish, seems to be inspired by David Fincher’s PANIC ROM. And just like in PANIC ROOM every part of the house plays it’s role in the action. Jane Levi is a an unlikable "final girl", with some of her decisions being rather questionable, one thing is clear though – she does not deserve to die.

Stephen Lang, a theatrical actor at heart, known to the wider world by the Avatar movie, gives us a very human psychopath. The logic behind his crimes is so perfect you can relate. It is a consistent and energetic performance that should deserve an applause.

The gore in DON’T BREATHE is turned right down, so do not expect anything like it was in EVIL DEAD. What transpires here is Alvarez’s composition of the scenes and his ability to create a set piece, after a set piece, making the audience wonder what’s next.

DON’T BREATHE is a violent movie, but the sort of a film you can take you mom to. A mom who likes thrillers that is. It is focused, short and perfectly paced. The minimalistic soundtrack by Roque Banos, gives us a score that mostly compliments the movie’s sound effects and tension building and fits the movie perfectly.

What makes DON’T BREATHE stand out is also it’s fault. The absence of the real villain here robs you of a catharsis, but hey, at least it’s a thriller that makes you think. In the world overloaded with thrillers DON’T BREATHE is a breath of fresh air every moviegoer would love to take.



QUICK FACTS

The mother of Fedez Alvarez described his project as “Wait Until Dark” with the character of Audrey Hepburn as a killer.

Fede Alvarez had not seen Wait Until Dark prior to writing the screenplay.


Steven Lang, who plays the villain, will appear in all forthcoming AVATAR movies.

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