Don't Breathe (2016)
September 4, 2016 7:31 PM - Subscribe

A group of friends break into the house of a wealthy blind man, thinking they'll get away with the perfect heist. They're wrong.

From Wikipedia:
[Director] Fede Alvarez noted that making the film was, in some ways, a reaction to his debut film Evil Dead, specifically the criticisms that the film had too much blood, focused too much on shocking the audience, and was a remake. In contrast, Alvarez decided to make Don't Breathe, an original story that contained less blood and focused more on suspense over shocking audiences. He wanted to avoid making a film dealing with the supernatural, as he felt that was too trendy. Choosing to make the antagonist blind was a result of deliberately taking abilities away from him; Alvarez explained, "Sometimes you naturally give them powers and make them more menacing than a normal person, so we thought what if we do the other way around and take his eyes out and make him a blind person."
Rotten Tomatoes
posted by Halloween Jack (7 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Ooh, I think I want to see this. It's showing at the KC Drafthouse. Hmm.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 8:40 PM on September 4, 2016

I found it very suspenseful. Visually, some nice low-light effects.

Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert are producers.
posted by larrybob at 2:32 PM on September 6, 2016

Needs fewer endings, but OK. It's certainly enjoyable, but I'd pretty much recommend that anyone who thinks this looks good check out Green Room first, as that strikes me as a more accomplished execution of a similar scenario.

I was honestly kind of surprised that director Fede Alvarez didn't go for some diversity in casting. I mean, I like Alvarez fave Jane Levy fine but she doesn't bring anything special to this and, given that Detroit is about 83% African-American, it was a great opportunity to cast a non-Caucasian actress in the lead role. Could be a breakout role for the right person. Maybe they were wary of casting a black woman as a criminal because they feared charges of racism, I dunno. (More likely they were worried white people would think it was an "urban" flick and stay away.) But Levy's boyfriend Daniel Zovatto is Costa Rican and kinda gets (spoiler!) the short end of the script because he's a violent hothead, so I found that to be a bit problematic in terms of racial typecasting.

Speaking of problematic, I was thinking a dirty T-shirt and a turkey baster filled with mayonnaise might pass muster as a Halloween costume this year, but I'd hate to have to explain it to someone.
posted by Mothlight at 7:50 PM on September 10, 2016

I really enjoyed Green Room.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 8:10 PM on September 10, 2016 [2 favorites]

I saw this over the weekend with my 15-year-old daughter, having done what I usually consider adequate due diligence on avoiding things that are inappropriate for her (she's OK with bad language and most violence, does not want anything to do with explicit sex). But I think we were both unprepared for the baster scene, and she had to cover her eyes. The MPAA box ("Rated R for terror, violence, disturbing content, and language including sexual references") really doesn't do it justice. I guess the baster scene falls under the heading of "disturbing content", but that seems like a pretty mild description.

That said, once it was all over, we both agreed we'd enjoyed the film, even though some of the characters' actions were pretty stupid. But that's a major trope of the genre, right?
posted by ubiquity at 10:49 AM on September 19, 2016

"That said, once it was all over, we both agreed we'd enjoyed the film, even though some of the characters' actions were pretty stupid. But that's a major trope of the genre, right?"

That scene where the girl and the guy are in the room, hiding from thedog, and they can't get out because of the bars on the windows. And the guy has the girl climb into the vent while he keeps the dog at bay and then the dog attacks him and he... falls through the window that seconds before had bars on them. Gah. Movie! Consistency!
posted by I-baLL at 11:01 AM on September 19, 2016

Rather enjoyed this, especially - as has been pointed out - as a Fede Alvarez exercise/counterpoint to his Evil Dead remake.

I felt that smell was under-used, although used as a plot point early and an awesome plot point late. I can suspend belief and suppose that The Blind Man has partial olfactory damage from, say, improvised chemical weapons - in addition to partial hearing damage (and on top of total vision loss). Immediate post-firearms discharge aural capability strains credulity, though.

Yep, stupid characters gonna stupid. And keep on stupiding. But very clever plotting.

Kind of bothered about the highly inconsistent wounds/bruising and the inconsistent passage of time. But no biggie.

... and its gets all kinds of creepy AF after the midway mark.


> it was a great opportunity to cast a non-Caucasian actress in the lead role

Would have potentially complicated the plot a great deal, so I don't have strong complaints about the casting diversity. But I'm fully onboard about too many endings.


> some nice low-light effects.

Absolutely. I really liked the high contrast thing - and is a practical example of how dawn is quantified by the ability to distinguish between two threads that are identical except that one is black and one is white. Not exactly, but the ability to distinguish most colours depends on cone cells of the retina which are less sensitive than rod cells. In low light, only the rod cells are activated (or the rod cells only weakly activated).

Bit disappointed that *everything* wasn't much darker immediately after muzzle flashes before slowly returning to ambient.
posted by porpoise at 10:27 PM on February 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

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