Film Review: Don’t Breathe

by Evan Brown

Rated MA15+. Starring Stephen Lang, Jane Levy, Dylan Minnette. Directed by Fede Alvarez.

Ever thought about robbing a blind guy? It’s the perfect crime… Yeah me neither. But that’s what these ghetto kids from Detroit decide to do in Fede Alvarez latest thriller/horror film Don’t Breathe. Unofficially titled this generation’s Silence of the Lambs, Don’t Breathe has horror fans waiting with high expectations…and you know what? It delivers.

Set in the slums of Detroit, three thieves decide to rob a blind guy’s house in the middle of the night.  Little do they know that this blind guy is one crazy ex-Afghanistan veteran with a short fuse.  When the heist goes belly up (and it always does in these films) the thieves find themselves running/crawling/fleeing in the dark through the house (and it’s ridiculously huge basement) trying to escape the wrath of an enraged blind man. True to horror film form, we see our main characters run down what seems like an endless rabbit hole trying to find a way out and on their spine-tingling attempt to escape they discover secrets that should remain locked in the basement. Although the blind man doesn’t get many lines, the ones he shares offer deep insight into his psyche.

“There is nothing a man cannot do once he admits there is no God…”

What a bone-chilling statement. The villain believes that he has found freedom without God and is therefore capable of doing anything. This is the exact opposite of what the Christian perspective of freedom is. When Christians talk about freedom it isn’t freedom to do anything or everything.  It is freedom that is found in Christ. In Acts 13:38-39 Paul tells us: “…my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Through him everyone who believes is set free from every sin…”  Christians are free from the bondage of sin and are called to live a life worthy of the gospel of Christ.

Don’t Breathe doesn’t rely on gore or shock value to raise the scare-meter that seems to be trending amongst horror flicks these days, what it does use is creative camera work, classic horror techniques and believable characters. Alvarez pays homage to some of the greatest horror movies ever created using familiar techniques and settings that are guaranteed to raise the hairs on the back of your neck.

The Verdict: This horror flick is a breath of fresh air in a market saturated with movies failing to miss their mark. Is Don’t Breathe this generation’s Silence of the Lambs? I’m not so sure, but you best watch this film during daylight hours. 3.5/5

Don’t Breathe releases in cinemas worldwide later this week.

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