Don’t Breathe (2016)

Are you afraid of the dark? Because he’s not.

I’ve been trying to watch horror films more often as of late, both because I need to stop being afraid and because we’re having a scarenaissance (just made that up). I heard a lot of good things about this film, and I figured it was worth the risk.

It was. So worth it. Don’t Breathe revolves around a trio of teenagers who break into the house of a blind veteran (Stephen Lang, Avatar). He won a settlement after the accidental death of his daughter and the group wants to snatch it. What they don’t know is that the old man knows every inch of his house and that he will stop at nothing to protect the cash.

This film is the type of terrifying that’s based firmly in reality, the kind that’s more thrilling than anything. The scares come from the man’s thorough knowledge of his home, the way that he can cut you off when he knows exactly where you’re going. They come from setups that you don’t notice until they’ve paid off. And the ride is truly relentless, offering tense moment after tense moment until the picture’s final seconds.

As far as horror films go, this one is genuinely excellent. In fact, my only real criticism of the film is that it’s so exhaustive in its thrills that it wears you out. The aesthetic and direction show a mastery of cinema, and I do not for a second regret seeing it. You can simply have too much of a good thing.

3 Green

Don’t Breathe is in theaters now.

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