- August 26th, 2016
- 1 Hour 28 Minute Runtime
As the opening to the 2016 Bruce Campbell’s Horror Film Fest a nearly sold out Rosemont, IL theater was treated to the Chicago premiere of Don’t Breathe, a film coming from director Fede Alvarez hot off the success of his Evil Dead reboot. Thankfully just like Evil Dead Fede knocked it out of the park with Don’t Breathe.
Don’t Breathe follows a simple concept, three people break into a house that they know is owned by a blind old war vet who supposedly is sitting on a huge sum of money. The plan is simple, go in, get the money, and get out. Once they are in however it quickly sprawls out of control and they discover the house and the man inside aren’t who they think.
Now one thing that really makes this story so impressive is that while it’s simple enough the intensity of the situations they get into inside that house drive the film forward. For 90% of this taking place inside one house the film never feels like it’s trapped inside a small place. Once the film really gets going it just doesn’t give in. With unrelenting intensity, suspense, and thrills Don’t Breathe really gets you in and takes you for a ride. Just as you think you know what will happen the film throws a huge twist at you never letting you fully know what is going to happen. It ignores the common tropes films like this would give instead giving you a fresh new taste.
One must give a huge amount of credit to the three stars of the film who single handedly carry Don’t Breathe. Stephen Lang as the unnamed Blind Man, a person who can easily be seen as the victim at times while a brutal villain other times. What is truly amazing though for him is that even at his darkest times you find yourself slightly emphasizing with him for what he had to go through in life that lead him to the predicament he is currently finding himself in. Meanwhile Jane Levy and Dylan Minnette play the roles of thieves who are simply stealing to try to provide for a better life for themselves and loved ones. They have no intent on hurting and even go as far to keep limits (though for criminal reasons). Jane Levy once again (after her leading role in Evil Dead) proves that she has the potential and skills to the be one of / if not the new leading lady in horror while Dylan Minnette proves he can carry his own weight.
Unrelated to the film prior to the screening Bruce Campbell did come out and give a opening ceremony speech along with introducing director Fede Alvarez. After the film a Q&A session was held with Film Festival member Josh Goldbloom along with director Fede Alvarez and lead actor Stephen Lang. They discussed making the film along with their favorite moments, the other actors in the film and more of Fede’s work and thoughts.
Overall Don’t Breathe is the fresh new take the horror genre needed and since this film is getting a wide national release I truly hope it does well and gives studios the incentive to put more money in horror directors hands to create some great new films. Fede along with the cast of this deserve high praise for not only releasing what will be one of the best horror films of the year but one of the years best overall. Don’t Breathe is a must see.
Score : 9/10
Film reviewed as part of Bruce Campbell’s Horror Film Fest with passes provided by Wizard World and Bruce Campbell’s Horror Film Fest.