Find Me At Screen Rant

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Don't Breathe



Don't Breathe is a cautionary tale for anyone who wants to break into Daredevil's house and rob him blind. Er, blinder. Well, maybe Daredevil wouldn't go on a murderous rampage against home invaders, but his crazy old blind ninja teacher Stick would. I digress. In the tidy, effective Don't Breathe, Dylan Minnette, Jane Levy, and Daniel Zovatto dream of a sun-kissed life in California far away from crappy, rundown Detroit. Thus, they break into homes and steal shit. They're like millennial Robin Hoods -- robbing from the rich to give to themselves, since they're poor. Zovatto gets a line from his fence about an easy mark: a blind old ex-soldier (Stephen Lang) living alone in an abandoned neighborhood. His daughter was killed by a rich girl (rich people! Damn rich people!) and he was paid off a million dollars to not press charges. The old Blind Man keeps the money somewhere in his dilapidated old house, they think. With that kernel of info to go on, Minnette, Levy, and Zovatto go breaking and entering.

For cat burglars, Levy, Minnette and Zovatto are awfully loud. The old man is blind, not deaf; in fact it stands to reason his hearing would be even better than a sighted person's. And yet, the three hoods make little effort to not cause a ruckus smashing windows and stomping around the creepy house, even before Zovatto thinks he gassed the sleeping Blind Man. However, they didn't reckon the old dude to be like a blind Terminator. Lang is a relentless, remorseless killing machine who knows his ramshackle abode far better than the kids do, and he has a dog that's an equally relentless, remorseless killing machine. Trapped in the house and desperate to escape, Levy and Minnette still manage to score a cool million bucks in cash from the Blind Man's safe, yet they ignore a couple of prime opportunities to just blow past the Blind Man and make a break for it. They use their cell phones liberally early on, but then somehow forget they even have cell phones with flashlights when the Blind Man turns off the lights and chases them. 

Instead Levy and Minnette plunge themselves into the house's enormous, labyrinthine basement, sub-basement, and crawl spaces where they learn the Blind Man harbors a terrifying secret. One so twisted and heinous that Don't Breathe does a wild turnabout and literally tells the audience it's okay after all that these kids are robbing this old Blind Guy, because he's a total sicko. Minnette is the brains of the operation and Levy turns out to have the heart and resourcefulness of a true survivor, but neither is a match for the Blind Man's WWE fighting style. (It is kind of satisfying to see the Blind Man pop Minnette in the kisser over and over. Poom! Poom! Poom!) We also learn that even though he's blind, the old man can slice the nether region of a woman's pants open with a pair of scissors with lickety split ease and precision; most dudes with sight have trouble unhooking a girl's bra. Don't Breathe manages to succeed in asking the audience to root for terrible people to survive against an even more terrible person, but its greatest achievement is ruining Thanksgiving for years to come. Millions of people who watch Don't Breathe will likely be unable to see a turkey baster and not be grossed out ever again.