Don’t Breathe (2016) A Tense Thriller That Leaves You Gasping

by | Aug 22, 2023 | Film Reviews | 0 comments

Don’t Breathe (2016) A Tense Thriller That Leaves You Gasping

Release date: 25 December 2019 (USA)
Director: Fede Álvarez
Budget: 9,9 million USD
Box office: 157.8 million USD

In the realm of suspenseful horror-thrillers, “Don’t Breathe” stands out as a nail-biting rollercoaster of tension and unexpected twists. Directed by Fede Álvarez, this 2016 film has garnered a mix of enthusiastic praise and critical analysis from both moviegoers and critics alike. As a film and movie blogger, I’m diving into the depths of “Don’t Breathe,” dissecting its storyline, shedding light on filming trivia, exploring the cast’s performances, and evaluating its box office reception.


Don't Breathe (2016) A Tense Thriller That Leaves You Gasping | Movie Review


The Storyline: A Thrill Ride of Darkness and Intrigue

“Don’t Breathe” crafts a fresh take on the home invasion subgenre. Instead of the usual formula where the invaders are the antagonists, the film flips the script. Set in a desolate Detroit neighbourhood, the story revolves around a trio of young thieves – Rocky (Jane Levy), Alex (Dylan Minnette), and Money (Daniel Zovatto) – who target the home of a seemingly vulnerable blind man (Stephen Lang) rumoured to be sitting on a fortune. As the thieves break into the man’s house, they soon discover that their victim is far more dangerous and resourceful than they could have ever imagined. The film’s tension is palpable from the start, as the characters’ struggles to evade the blind man’s relentless pursuit intensify into a pulse-pounding game of cat and mouse.


Don't Breathe (2016) A Tense Thriller That Leaves You Gasping | Movie Review


Facts About Filming and the Cast: A Glimpse Behind the Scenes

Behind the camera, director Fede Álvarez masterfully weaves the elements of suspense and surprise. The use of tight, confined spaces within the house adds to the film’s claustrophobic atmosphere, enhancing the feeling of entrapment for both the characters and the audience. The seamless camera work and creative use of sound contribute to the film’s ability to keep viewers on the edge of their seats.

The cast’s performances shine, particularly Stephen Lang’s portrayal of the blind man. Lang’s chilling presence and physicality turn him into an unlikely but captivating antagonist. His character’s relentless pursuit of the intruders is simultaneously terrifying and mesmerizing. Jane Levy’s portrayal of Rocky also deserves praise; her character’s desperation and determination are palpable, making the audience empathize with her difficult choices.


Don't Breathe (2016) A Tense Thriller That Leaves You Gasping | Movie Review


Reception at the Box Office: A Silent Hit

“Don’t Breathe” struck a chord with audiences upon its release, becoming a surprise hit at the box office. With a production budget of around $9.9 million, the film managed to rake in over $157 million worldwide, making it a financial success that exceeded expectations. The film’s ability to generate such impressive returns on a modest budget speaks volumes about its appeal and the skillful execution of its suspenseful premise.


Don't Breathe (2016) A Tense Thriller That Leaves You Gasping | Movie Review


Balancing Act: Addressing Criticisms

While “Don’t Breathe” received praise for its tense atmosphere, innovative premise, and impressive performances, it didn’t escape some valid criticisms. A notable point of contention was the portrayal of the blind man’s character. Some critics argued that the film exploited his disability for shock value, potentially perpetuating harmful stereotypes. This debate prompted discussions about the ethical considerations of using disability as a plot device in horror movies.

Another point raised by critics was the film’s character development. While the tense pacing is one of its strengths, it left some viewers wanting more depth from the characters. The thieves’ motivations, in particular, could have been explored in greater detail, allowing for a more nuanced connection with the audience.


Don't Breathe (2016) A Tense Thriller That Leaves You Gasping | Movie Review


Final Verdict: A Must-Watch Thriller

In conclusion, “Don’t Breathe” delivers a nerve-wracking cinematic experience that pushes the boundaries of suspense and terror. Fede Álvarez’s directorial finesse, coupled with the outstanding performances of the cast, propels the film into the upper echelons of the thriller genre. While the film does have its fair share of detractors, its gripping storyline, innovative concept, and box office success make it a standout entry in the world of horror-thrillers.

As a film and movie blogger, I’m awarding “Don’t Breathe” a solid 7 and a half out of 10. It’s a film that demands to be seen for its ability to grip your attention and keep you guessing until the very last breath.


My Rating: 7½/10
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