An undeniably expert exercise in goosing the gears of the central nervous system's fight and/or flight mechanism--an experience of artificial urgency for which our lizard brain's appetite seems all but insatiable. While I don't particularly look forward to it happening, I imagine that this is one area where cinema, for many, will be supplanted soon enough by VR. A new golden age for nausea and heart attacks awaits.
Possible spoilers ahead. Truly disappointing. I was hoping for a Night of the Living Dead-like ending, but Alvarez completely dropped the ball. The metaphorical potential - Detroit as a symbol is a blinded, vengeful, greedy America - has been squandered. The now common Martyrs'-twist has become such a cliché... The equally predictable "girl power narrative" is a cop-out. The American horror genre is asphyctic.
A blind, muscle-bound Stephen Lang listening intently in the dark has to be one of the most terrifying movie monsters since the shark in "Jaws." How appropriate, then, that director Fede Alvarez seems to be channeling vintage Spielberg with a free-roaming camera and dynamic setpieces full of unexpected complications and reversals. In a year of underwhelming blockbusters, "Don't Breathe" is a popcorn movie done right.
Alvarez follows up his surprisingly solid remake of 'The Evil Dead' with this tense, if minimalist plotted, thriller. The film with its theme of greed, deceit and determination reveals the rotting corpse of the American dream quite vividly. Jane Levy is dynamite here as is Stephen Lang who with barely any dialogue emits a fair amount of horror. Well shot and edited and the film overcomes its own contrivances.
All artifice, no craft. A gifted visual director can give you fireworks, but after the bangs, there's nothing but emptiness. It's because of films like these that I cherish more and more the work of James Wan.
Provided stupefying amount of pleasure. Please note as an addendum to this: I am not a well person. Often w/ straight-on genre rig-ups we are expected to excuse lots of lame minutiae, contrivance, and thin-as-sin characters. Consider all essentially excused. Thank me for holding back from spoiling something delicious. Oh for Christ's sake, you know if you like this sort of thing or not. Tremendous on technical front.
A merciless, nasty thriller that shuts you up just when you were about to open your mouth and say home-invasion thrillers are played out. After an okay remake of Evil Dead, Fede Alvarez asserts himself as worthy of being placed alongside Adam Wingard and Ti West as one of horror's most promising voices. And at the center of the unlikable characters is a devilish performance by Stephen Lang.