Fede Alvarez follows up has splattertastic Evil Dead with one of the most tense films you’ll see this year with Don’t Breathe.
Starring Jane Levy, Dylan Minnette, Stephen Lang, and Daniel Zovatto, Don’t Breathe follows three thieves looking for a big score after being tipped off about a house that contains a fortune that could change their lives. Morally complicating matters is a blind former soldier lives in the house, who since his daughter was killed has become a recluse. The trio of Rocky (Levy), Alex (Minette), and Money (Zovatto) target the house thinking it will be an easy task, but the blind man (Lang) won’t go down without a fight protecting his property by any means necessary.
Not only does Don’t Breathe have an incredibly creative premise, it does what many films with interesting ideas fail to do and perfectly executes it’s plan. After a short introduction to each of the thieves and their motives, we are thrust into the attempted robbery. From the get go the thieves are confronted with heavy security, locks and bars on every door and window, and a giant dog protecting the entrance. When they gain access to the house the robbery becomes even more complicated as they struggle to find the money, and the blind man wakes.
As the unique game of cat and mouse engages, dialogue between characters is replaced with creaking floorboards, hushed breathing, and desperate attempts to escape. Whether the thieves are tip toeing around the house to avoid detection or in full flight from being pursued, the tension is relentlessly palpable and keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout. Alvarez, who solidifies his position as a young director to watch out for, has done a stunning job in executing such a captivating experience with fluidly swift direction that provides jolts and anxiety in equal measure. No opportunity is left behind either thanks to crafty editing, and opportune sound direction. Throw in some solid performances from the entire cast and you have a great concoction of film making.
If you’re looking for a pulsating exercise in tension then Don’t Breathe is your to watch this year.