“Don’t Breathe” (2016)


Imagine suspense classic  Wait Until Dark turned upside down so that the invaders are the victims. Add a 21st century Grindhouse sensibility and some genuinely sinuous camerawork, tight direction, and subtly effective art direction and sound design and you have this nasty little piece of work. Not a classic, but the tensest movie I’ve seen all year.  Maybe last year, too.  “Don’t Breathe” flat out works.   A trio of housebreakers (notably a terrific and game Jane Levy) leverages knowledge of security alarms to pull of low-rent robberies, and accidentally find out about a major score, 300k hidden in the house of a blind Iraqi vet (a terrific Stephen Lang). Lets just say that they get more than they bargained for, and that breaking in is easier than breaking out.  Don’t watch the trailer.  Unless you have a phobic response to confined spaces or Rottweilers (oops, did I say that out loud) this R-rated suspenser delivers the goods with less blood than you might expect (given the  writer-director, Fede Alvarez’s last project, the  Evil Dead remake (2013).  But trust me, its not for the faint of heart, has twists and turns galore, and at least one scene that will have you jumping and screaming “I can’t BELIEVE they did that!”  Yeah, they did that.  And I loved it.   An “A”.


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