A breathtaking film: “Don’t Breathe” is a great flick in a great year for horror

Don’t Breathe is a great flick in a great year for horror, writes James Bickford. (Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

This summer has been good for horror movies–scary good. Great films have been coming out in the genre left and right, with “The Conjuring 2,” “Lights Out” and now “Don’t Breathe.”

“Don’t Breathe” stars Jane Levy, Dylan Minnette, Daniel Zovatto, Stephen Lang and is directed by Fede Alvarez. It’s the story of three teens, Rocky, Money and Alex, who break into a blind man’s house to steal $300,000. What they don’t know is that the blind man is protecting a dangerous secret.

Right off the bat, “Don’t Breathe” catches you with interesting characters, however it manages to engage you by getting right into the plot. The majority of the movie is set in the house of the blind man. Alvarez showcases his expertise in the horror genre from the very beginning through the ways in which he sets the stage when the teens enter the house. He moves the camera up through the floors showcasing important props and locations that will come into play late in the movie, foreshadowing the likes of which could be found in a Shakespeare play.

Alvarez also creates what is truly a scary movie. “Don’t Breathe” is exhilarating at every turn, so much so that at times I even felt myself not breathing, which is due in no small part to the excellent sound mixing and contrast of loud and quiet inside this movie.

Where “Don’t Breathe” could falter for some is in the third act there is a twist that some may become a little too disturbed by. I felt it rode the line close. Not as close as “Saw,” but still pretty close. The twists in this movie are excellent and even that twist you do not see coming.

Alvarez, through excellent film making, creates a terrifying, unpredictable and scarily believable story in “Don’t Breathe”, and it is definitely not something you want to miss in theaters.

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