The home invasion thrillers have been done to death and Don’t Breathe is no exception. It’s getting great buzz from audiences and critics and while it does have some entertaining value it’s unfortunately bogged down by endless horror clichés, subpar acting and a complete rip-off off movies like Panic Room, Cujo and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
The story follows three robbers (wannabe, I might add) who attempt to steal money from a house that is lived by an old, blind man that seems innocent at first but ends up being more dangerous that they could have possibly imagined.
This movie is rather competently directed. It’s well shot and there are some tension filled scenes throughout. The beginning however is downright terrible. The first twenty minutes of this film is just bland, boring and uninteresting and it offers barely any character development to our protagonists. The movie does pick up when they enter the house but before then it was almost unbearable. The plot is a complete rip-off of Panic Room, almost to the letter. There are three robbers that want to steal money from a house that is in a safe and must now face off with the owner of the house. The characters are also extremely unlikeable and the performances are very middle of the road mediocre, with the exception of Stephen Lang, which steals every scene he is in and is creepy and menacing and you feel like he could kill you instantly without any remorse.
After seeing Dylan Minette in Prisoners, Goosebumps and now this, he has not yet impressed me as an actor. He seems like the poor man’s version of Logan Lerman who is by far the superior actor. Dylan Minette is fine in this film, but has not convinced me that he can carry a film yet. Daniel Zovatto was truly horrible in this film and he looked like he belonged in a B horror movie like a Grindhouse feature. He was truly awful and he was the dumbest of the robbers, who pees on the floor (which leaves DNA all over the house for the police to find) and makes so much noise he can awaken a neighbour that sleeps five houses away. Jane Levy, who is the main protagonist, never impressed me once. She was trying to hard in most scenes and it never felt like it was a natural performance. This is her first big film so she can still win me over, but I wasn’t wowed by performance.
Overall, Don’t Breathe has an extremely paper thin premise and is filled with subpar acting (with the exception of Stephen Lang) horror clichés and cheap thrills.