Director: Fede Alvarez
Cast: Jane Levy, Dylan Minnette, Stephen Lang
Release Date: November 29, 2016
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 9.5/10
Disc Rating: 8/10
From the twisted minds behind Evil Dead comes a new terrifying experience. Three young thieves (Jane Levy, Dylan Minnette, Daniel Zovatto) fight for their lives after breaking into the home of a blind man (Stephen Lang) who has a dark side.
The tense thriller ‘Don’t Breathe’ tells the story of three troubled teens stuck in rural Detroit and desperate to find a way out by any means necessary. Stealing keys from one of their father’s with security access, then breaking into random homes and subsequently staging random break-ins to cover their tracks, the trio can’t possibly resist when uncovering a potentially huge score that could mean their ticket out. As the trio attempt to quietly invade the home of a blinded war veteran and steal his large settlement apparently stored within, they promptly find the tables turned as their victim turns out to be far more capable than they had anticipated. Sealing off all potential exits and hunting them down one by one, the three soon find themselves desperately hunting for any possible way out as their supposedly simple robbery turns far more terrifying than they could have ever imagined.
Directed by Fede Alvarez (Evil Dead) who also co-wrote the film with regular collaborator Rodo Sayagues (co-writer of ‘Evil Dead’), Alvarez does an outstanding job at the helm of ‘Don’t Breathe’ delivering a phenomenal thriller and an exceptional sophomore effort as director that again clearly shows what a talented and capable filmmaker Alvarez indeed is, and a name genre fans would be wise to keep an eye on. The film also benefits a great deal from the solid performances by each of the limited cast members including Stephen Lang (Avatar), Jane Levy (Evil Dead), Dylan Minnette (Goosebumps), and Daniel Zovatto (It Follows) who are all constantly on point, particularly Lang who easily steals the show with his mesmerizing portrayal of the blind man.
‘Don’t Breathe’ is a truly masterful piece of filmmaking that weaves a wildly suspenseful, terrifying and largely unexpected tale that will have you gripping the armrest until its conclusion. Quickly getting into the thick of things and only continually picking up speed thereafter, it’s a nerve racking and beautifully shot thriller that breathes new life into the home invasion subgenre. Featuring a cleverly constructed and notably bass heavy score that perfectly accentuates the terror, along with slowly twisting shots of the eerie home that is as much a key player in the film as the other characters, it manages to flawlessly capture the sense of panic within, and should have no trouble pulling the viewer in and keeping you enthralled in tension. With no shortage of twists and turns along the way to constantly keep the viewer on edge and unable to anticipate just what may follow as the situation only continues to appear bleaker. Beautifully guided by director Fede Alvarez w and further complimented by solid performances from the minimal cast, particularly Stephen Lang who delivers a truly outstanding performance as the blind man, ‘Don’t Breathe’ is an unsettling, intense, wonderfully twisted and truly clever horror thriller. It’s definitely one of the very best genre films of the year and one horror fans won’t dare to miss out.
Overall, ‘Don’t Breathe’ is a fantastic horror thriller (and overall film) that delivers plenty of tension, insanity and clever twists and turns that escalate the film from merely a solid horror flick to something truly unique that won’t soon be forgotten. Brimming with gorgeous and eerie imagery and nary relenting on the tension throughout its course, it’s easily one of the most impressive genre films of the year and a remarkable sophomore effort from Fede Alvarez who continues to prove himself an incredibly talented filmmaker. I can’t possibly urge genre fans and anyone who enjoys a well crafted and executed thriller strongly enough to check out ‘Don’t Breathe’ if you haven’t yet had the pleasure, chances are you’ll be absolutely thrilled that you decided to.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Don’t Breathe’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.40:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks magnificent as a whole and provides a sharp, clean and detailed presentation from start to finish with no noticeable faults of any kind to be found within. It holds up impressively even during the numerous darkly lit sequences in the film, never causing anything occurring on screen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is another top notch high definition video presentation from Sony that should easily please the masses.
The Blu-ray release features a lossless 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This lossless multichannel soundtrack delivers a clean, crisp and hard hitting audio presentation throughout. It frequently utilizes all five available channels in order to fully immerse the viewer within the film’s outstanding score (which itself also provides the subwoofer an ample workout in many instances), while also taking advantage of the surround channels in order to send painfully sharp creaks and other creepy auditory elements throughout the various speakers. Overall, this is a fantastic 5.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack that adds another level of tension to the overall viewing experience and shouldn’t disappoint.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Don’t Breathe’ includes a number of fun and informative extras. Included on the release is an ‘Audio Commentary with Director/Co-Writer Fede Alvarez, Co-Writer Rodo Sayagues and Actor Stephen Lang’, in addition to a collection of ‘Deleted Scenes’ from the film with optional commentary by Fede Alvarez (running approximately 15 minutes in length altogether). We are also treated to a number of brief behind the scenes Featurettes that explore different aspects of bringing the film to life and include interviews/comments with the cast and crew, behind the scenes footage, and more. The included Featurettes are: ‘No Escape’ (running approximately 3 minutes), ‘Man in the Dark’ (approximately 3 minutes), ‘Meet the Cast’ (4 minutes), ‘Creating the Creepy House’ (4 minutes), and ‘The Sounds of Horror’ (2 minutes).
*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-Ray and resized. They additionally will suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on this Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.
Film Rating: 9.5/10
Disc Rating: 8/10
‘Don’t Breathe’ Arrives on Blu-ray & DVD November 29, 2016 & Now Available on Digital from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
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