Alright, let’s get serious. Don’t Breathe came out August 26th and was much lauded by critics for being a good addition to the topsy turvy world of horror cinema. I have to say, simply being an observer of the genre that I’m really enjoying the turn that seems to be being taken within the genre. A lot more risks are being taken, new avenues being trod, and I’m feeling amongst the horror community and my peer reviewers this sense of relief.
For a long time, I felt pandered to within horror and horror writing. I still do. American Horror Story, James Wan, The Walking Dead and most Hollywood horrors seem to be rife with terrible ideas, stupid concepts, and ignorant storytelling that treads far too safely to be of any interest beyond a cursory, “let’s get drunk and sneak beers into the theatre and see this film because we have nothing else to do on a Friday”, which pretty accurately sums up a lot of my horror film watching as of late.
I very much get that not everything in the arsenal is going to be life altering film, fully get that, but at some point we all have to realize when we are having producers/directors/writers piss on our faces and tell us it’s rain. It ain’t rain.
So. Unpopular opinion time here. I liked the Evil Dead remake. No, it didn’t have Bruce Campbell’s bloated ass in it. No, the main character was NOT a male. I felt that it managed to be interesting both visually and emotionally and stay “true” to the source material. It was a fun romp for me, and so perhaps this may bias my writing slightly towards Don’t Breathe because the Evil Dead remake was directed by the same dude as Don’t Breathe: Fede Alvarez. I liked his adaptation of From Dusk Til Dawn, it looked good. I’m interested to see what else he has coming down the line because he doesn’t seem to be afraid to get bloody and that’s pretty important. Oh and the leading lady in this film, Jane Levy also starred as Evil Dead’s Mia. Perhaps Fede and Jane can have the Tim Burton/Johnny Depp love affair we all want.
Anyways, Don’t Breathe.
Basic plotline is your average home invasion trope. A group of three kids – token female and her gangster thug boyfriend, and the friendzoned nice guy whose dad happens to own a security company of which the kids use to gain entry into local area homes in order to rob them and sell the stolen goods for pocket money.
Did I mention the kids live in Detroit?
Yep. They sure do. So the kids roam around and engage in petty larceny and the female gang member Rocky dreams of leaving behind her childhood home, where her drug addicted mother can’t shamble together enough change to buy a pizza and is giving BJ’s to a dude with a swastika tattooed on his hands. Her little sister Diddy is something of the catalyst for Rocky to dream up doing the “big dirty”, the big final con job in order to get together enough money to get the fuck out of dodge.
We see the kids robbing a rich home and afterwards selling the stolen items but being jilted on the price paid. A tip from a local scumlord leads the kids to target the busted up home of an Army veteran whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver and who was paid off by the family of said drunk. The army veteran was blinded in combat and the gangsters think that this will be an easy target.
The black gangster thug dude in this, who is the ring leader and also the “bad boy” that Rocky seems to lust after for some reason, is known only as Money. Yeah. Imagine that during a job interview.
Anyways, they roll up to the Blind Man’s house after dark and encounter his big ass rottweiler which they drug. Since all the doors are locked they have the tiny little girl squeeze her way inside and disarm the home security system with a remote stolen from the friendzoned dudes Dad’s study… you know since he runs a security company and all.
Rocky lets Wingus and Dingus inside the house and they proceed to beep around and look for stuff to steal. Since buddy inside is blind as fuck, his house is kind of wreck but really the inside just matches the outside so fuck it.
Money man finds the room in which the blind dude is sleeping and uses some busted as concoction to try to drug him and they find a locked door to the basement, believing the loot to be inside. Since fuck it seems to be the theme of Detroit, they blow the lock off the door and wake up the blind dude, not considering that years of combat would have probably primed him for sleeping through weapon fire.
Also.. an army veteran.. really?
First off, dick move.
Second off, uh.. did anyone notice the fucking GUNS on that blind dude? Apparently being blinded in combat has not prevented him from hitting the gym, pumping iron and finding the creatine powder in the cupboard because he’s fucking JACKED and tanned. Money man could have noticed that when he found the dude sleeping and maybe had a moment of.. yeah let’s GTFO because this shit is fucky.
So like all plans that crash and burn and wind up in the shithouse, the blind dude wakes up and tears downstairs and confronts the home invaders and wrestles with, and immediately disarms Money and kills him with his own gun in roughly.. oh? fifteen seconds? Rocky stays quiet and watches as the blind dude locks up his house and begins trying to dispose of Money’s body.
The blind dude stumbles into the closet where she is hiding and opens up a safe to check on his stash of dolla bills and Rocky memorizes the safe number and promptly empties it.. even though, you know, her friend is dead on the floor. Remember, the theme of this movie is “fuck it”.
Alex who, following Money’s subsequent deposit into the land of the deadies, is now out of the friendzone, tries to help Rocky. The two try to plot their way out of the home, electing to enter the basement, remembering that the storm cellar door existed when they had initially arrived to the home. Upon stumbling into the basement they previously thought would be full of 14k gold gangster bikes and designer watches, they find a restrained and gagged woman who shows them a newspaper clipping that says that “Cindy”, the drunk driver who killed Blind Dude’s daughter got off because she was rich. Turns out the blind crazy army vet who is jacked as hell also had no problems finding and kidnapping this rich broad and restraining her in his home. I wonder if he had to train his seeing eye dog Rottweiler for this purpose. Could you imagine walking in on some of those dog training sessions? That’s dog whisperer to the extreme.
Anyways, wingus and dingus decide to unlock this broad and let her out and the now trio make their way for the storm cellar. The blind dude surprises them at the door and shoots wildly into the night and blows away Cindy. When he realizes who he has shot, he bellows in distraught rage and knocks out the power in the basement after locking them inside. Fuckery and night vision cameras ensue as the two idiots try to navigate the darkness of the cluttered basement. Alex and the blind man beat the shit out of each other and Rocky ends up knocking the blind dude out and they make for the upstairs exit. More fuckery happens and Rocky ends up captured by the blind man and restrained in the same position as Cindy.
Some exposition reveals that the restrained Cindy was carrying the blind dude’s kid. In his twisted mind he believed that she would have to give him a new child to replace the one that she killed. He says he did not rape her and pulls out a jar of his bby gravy and loads it into a turkey baster and preps to artifically inseminate Rocky after he tears the crotch out of her leggings.
I saw this film with Rigby and we were both screaming and holding hands because holy fucking shit.. what a concept. God damn it. The absolute sick factor of it all was fucking revolting.
Alex awakens from his coma or whatever and rolls out to rescue Rocky/ensure his exit from the friendzone and knocks the blind dude around long enough for them to restrain him and Rocky to jam his own baby gravy down his throat, which was pretty rad. Ladies, if you’ve ever snowballed your man, you know that the reaction is roughly the same.
Well the pair make another run for the exit, electing to not call the police since they want to keep the money. Ah greed. It trumps everything.
As they do, the blind man rolls out and shoots Alex fatally, and him bleeding out on the floor gives Rocky the strength to run. She makes her exit onto the Detroit streets and the blind dude sends his dog after her. She hides in a car to evade the Rotty but the blind dude follows her and beats her ass and drags her back to his house.
A stroke of genius elects Rocky to set off the home security alarm and this disorients the blind dude who relies on his hearing. She beats his ass and chucks him into the basement and gets the fuck out of there. 30 seconds later, we see police rolling up to answer the distress alarm, which is really the most unbelievable part of the movie. In Detroit? Yeah. No. No distress alarm is answered that quickly, come on.
Rocky is shown in the airport making her way for departures with her sister and the news story about the blind dude tells a twisted tale of how he defended his home from robbers, and he is still alive. Apparently another ending exists where he shows up at the departure terminal, which is just dumb so I’m glad they went for the ending they did go for.
I mean yeah, both of her friends died and she was almost turkey basted by Stephen Lang’s sick ass cum, but hey what about the friends we made along the way. Yeesh.
So, overall, I liked the film. There was definitely rough edges at some points of it where things didn’t make sense, or suspending disbelief was really stretched.. like for example how the fuck he got that girl down into his house?
Did he have a gym membership? Did he go to Gold’s gym? So many questions.
Obviously, I would have preferred the down ending where Rocky ended up being a brood mare in the basement, but I get why it had to end how it did. The film did keep me guessing in that way and it was stressful in very much the same manner that Hush was stressful, and like I said in my piece about Hush, I liked the venture into new territory as far as abilities/disabilities went.
Anywho, if you can, check it out.
And remember, if the blind dude you’re debating on robbing looks jacked and tanned GTFO, stay away from turkey basters and always STAY SPOOKY.