I have never been really involved in horror movies and rarely ever saw any of them during their initial release so I apologize if I call out some staple of horror cinema that I found dull. There are definitely parts of Don’t Breathe that I found entertaining but for the most part you may be better off enjoying the trailer at home for. For every interesting twist in the movie, there are five ridiculous jump scares to remind you that you are supposed to be scared of the film and not care what’s happening.
I would like to start on a positive note and that is the performance of Stephen Lang as the blind man. From the trailer I was thinking he was some sort of daredevil-esque assassin who can pinpoint everything based on sound. In fact, the character was very realistic reacting to false noises as well as productive ones. He was a brutal killer but he was far from perfect failing to catch the burglars at several turns and even getting the tables turned him over and over. It may have been the complete waste that was the rest of the cast but I thought he did a great job.
Speaking of the rest of the cast, there was no indication about who the audience should care about. They make it clear that Rocky (Jane Levy) has a horrible life but she turns out to be a very greedy person in the end. Alex (Dylan Minnette) starts off as the moral choice who you are hoping will be Rocky’s conscious but quickly becomes just a plot point, and Money (Daniel Zovatto), Rocky’s terrible boyfriend, is someone I actively hoped would die. The Blind Man turned out to be a violent psychopath in the end but none of these people were any better. In fact, it seemed like a bunch of extra details had to be added to the Blind Man’s story just to make sure you thought of him as evil, without these extra bits he was truly just a man violently defending his home from armed intruders.
Overall this movie was a toss up for me. For the beginning of the robbery I was genuinely on the edge of my seat but once the movie made it over the halfway point I really didn’t care what happened. Be it the clumsy way they showed you Rocky’s home life or the over-the-top facets of the Blind Man’s life I just felt like there was no natural thrills, just manufactured conflicts over and over. I think if you’re a fan of thrillers you might find this wholly entertaining but for everyone else I would just wait for the next big ghost movie to come along.