I think it’s fair to say I have never walked out of a cinema and thought: “Wow. Turkey basters should be used in films more often”, but that’s exactly what happened after Don’t Breathe. 

Director Fede Álvarez’s take on a home invasion gone wrong is less Panic Room and more Intruders style. When three small-time thieves from Detroit take advantage of their easy access to houses looped up with certain alarm systems, they find themselves trapped inside what is supposed to be their last ever job.

Alex, whose father works for a security company, is able to steal house keys and security codes from his office and the group use tip offs from fellow thief and scumbag ‘Money’ to spot the best houses.

Rocky goes along to each robbery, desperate to steal enough to get her and little sister Diddy away from their abusive mother and onto a better life. Out of all the characters, Rocky is definitely the star player who you’ll find yourself rooting for.

When Money hears about a blind war veteran sitting on $300,000, a settlement from a woman who killed his daughter in a car crash, he can’t help himself.

Using Alex’s knowledge of his security system the trio stake out the blind man and discover he lives in an entirely desolate street, albeit with one aggressive rottweiler.

Returning that night the group sedate the dog and break in for what seems like an easy job.

Things take a turn for the worse as the blind man’s heightened hearing catches them unaware and a battle of nerve and wits begins.

With plenty of jumps and twists along the way (I refer again to the turkey baster) this is definitely a rare gem in the scores of home invasion films.

Featuring Stephen Lang (Avatar, Public Enemies) as the blind man, Jane Levy (Shameless) as Rocky and Dylan Minnette (Prisoners) as Alex, the film manages to keep you wondering what – or who – is hiding on top of a creaky floorboard around the next corner.

Definitely more thriller than horror the film will keep you glued to your screen but, sadly, you’ll have no problem drifting off to sleep after watching it and a bit more blood would have gone down a treat.

At 88 minutes long there’s plenty of cat and mouse to keep you hooked but not a great deal of actual contact. All too frequently one shot of a gun or a swing of a crowbar sees someone knocked out, only to jump up again five minutes later.

Had the film been a tad longer it would’ve given ample opportunity to hone in on the background of the blind man and explore some of his darker, spunkier, tendencies…

Don’t Breathe is fantastically played out and, while maybe not one for horror fanatics, the suspense will have you sitting on the edge of your seat throughout.

While clearly left open for a sequel, a follow up would definitely be worth keeping an eye out for.

Movie Review: Don't Breathe
4.0Overall Score
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