Don’t Breathe (2016) Review

Don’t Breathe (2016)

Directed by Fede Alvarez

Starring: Jane Levy, Dylan Minnette, Daniel Zovatto, Stephen Lang

Plot Synopsis: (via IMDB)
Hoping to walk away with a massive fortune, a trio of thieves break into the house of a blind man who isn’t as helpless as he seems.

My Opinion:

I saw this a couple of weeks ago but figured I might as well save reviewing it for my October Horror Month. I had no intention of going to it based on the trailer but then it got a pretty high IMDB rating (for a horror – horror ratings are never too high). I need to stop looking at IMDB user ratings because the users seem to be more & more out of touch as the years go by. I’m making this sound like it was horrible now… It wasn’t. It was just “okay”. It’s the type of horror movie that I’ll remember very little of years from now except for one “shock scene” clearly meant to gross us all out. I saw this with a completely silent audience until that one bit, which got a big “ew” and a bit of a laugh. Gross. But at least it has one memorable part! I guess.

This movie suffers from one of my biggest horror movie pet peeves: Hateful characters. If you’ve seen the trailer & know the story, it seems like we’re meant to be on the side of the young criminals who break into the blind man’s home to rob him. Clearly he isn’t just some helpless old blind man after all but come ON – we need someone to root for in these films. Both the young criminals & the blind man are horrible people. Dylan Minnette was the least hateful of the main characters but, really, he’s still a criminal like the other two. Okay, the only character you really care about is the girl’s younger sister (the reason the girl, actress Jane Levy, is robbing people – to get her & her sister out of a terrible home situation). So that’s sort of a reason, I guess, to be on the side of a thief. But couldn’t they then make Levy’s character more likable as well?

Besides the decent reviews, I also decided to go to this as it was an interesting enough idea. Criminal teens find they have to defend themselves in a darkened home against a blind man who, unlike them, doesn’t need the lights on to defend himself. But that doesn’t really happen – there’s only a small part of the film in which they’re plunged into darkness. What’s the point, then? They clearly have the advantage of sight – it’s not that believable that this old man would so completely be able to hurt them. There’s a bit of him “using his senses” in creative ways but… Well, no – there’s not even much of that. This movie made me appreciate the Mike Flanagan film Hush, about a deaf woman terrorized in her home, SO much more. It was far more creative & the woman was a strong character who you were 100% rooting for. By the way, I’ll hopefully be reviewing Hush along with three other Mike Flanagan films at the end of this month…

I also realize that most horror movies are ridiculous so I do my best to suspend disbelief while watching them but there were way too many gaping plot holes to ignore in this one (and I’m not one to normally nitpick on this). The hubby loves to point these things out, though, so I got many comments coming from him during this one. The biggest problem for me was probably that THESE ARE THE WORST BURGLARS EVER. No way would these idiots have gotten away with all these robberies. They leave a huge trail with the first robbery we witness then again with the blind man’s home. I’m no expert on thievery but I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t Google info about my target & his home or text my fellow thieves from within his home ABOUT the burglary I’m in the middle of. Plus I think the link between these burglaries had something to do with Dylan Minnette’s character’s dad working at the security company these homes use? Surely cops would make this connection pretty quickly?!? Ack.


I didn’t totally hate this movie when walking out of it afterwards & I even thought it might be okay at first (when I thought we’d get to better know & like at least Levy’s & Minnette’s characters). A lot of the time I find that I like a movie slightly more after watching it & then thinking about it for a while (like when I reviewed Dario Argento’s Phenomena yesterday). Don’t Breathe is one of those rare occasions where the opposite is true – the more thought about it, the more I didn’t like it. If ridiculous plots & annoying characters don’t bother you and you’re curious about the one gross-out scene, go ahead & give this movie a go. Just be aware that a better title for this movie would have been Don’t Think.

My Rating: 5/10

**Thanks to the hubby (who was, I think, as disappointed with this movie as I was) for sending me a link to a fun website where you can vote on the main reasons why Don’t Breathe is “wildly overrated”. I’ve voted for a few myself but every single reason listed is accurate (don’t click the link if you want to stay spoiler-free, though). Vote on why this movie is overrated here:

26 thoughts on “Don’t Breathe (2016) Review

  1. I really liked this one. I don’t normally go for home invasion flicks. I 100% agree with you about IMDB’s ratings. They’re almost always pretty high, I blame the fans of the actors that just rate everything 10/10 when they star in it automatically.

    • I’m glad you enjoyed this one. : ) I really did want to like it a lot more! Very true about rating on actors, I think. And I also think, with lesser known films, people involved in making the movie vote them up/add fake reviews. So I try to not take those ratings TOO seriously. : )

  2. Damn. I was really looking forward to this as it got so good reviews at Rotten Tomatoes. Good thing is that now it doesn’t matter that I will miss it at cinemas. 🙂

  3. I really enjoyed this one. You are also more into horror than I am so that might be part of it. As a thriller this was good, more so than a horror. I feel it has been mismarketed a little which might have given you different expectations.

    • I’m glad you liked this! : ) It seems that more people agree with you than with me. Lol. I think it’s just my age – I find myself disagreeing with younger people more & more. I’m just out of touch! ; ) I don’t really love horror – I just like the very very rare ones that are really good (things like The Shining or Dawn of the Dead). But, otherwise, it’s definitely not my favorite genre. : )

  4. Hm, I hadn’t paid this any attention whatsoever before and it sounds like I shouldn’t change that! But then I was the same with, for example, You’re Next until one day I watched it, so who knows?

    • Well, I clearly didn’t like this one myself but most everyone seems to disagree with me, so….. Maybe you’d like it! ; ) I have to say I didn’t like You’re Next very much. I may have even preferred this to that one. Maybe.

  5. 😦 I dug the crap out of this one!

    I do agree the characters aren’t likable though. Minette is kinda empathetic but yeah he’s still a burglar. I thought that was one thing that distinguished Don’t Breathe; I saw the characters as flawed young kids who were victimized by a city and an economic collapse that basically imprisoned them in a shit situation. That they were resorting to crime to get a better life for themselves was a damning indictment of where this country is right now.

    But yeah ill also admit this film had its issues, too. They can’t all be winners! 😉

    • Hehe. Sorry, Tom! I like how you’ve made the film sound all deep, though… ; ) lol. I did feel sorry for the girl somewhat (mainly her younger sister). But I wish they’d made me like her so I would care more what would happen to her.

    • Yeah…. I’d love to know your thoughts on it, though! I honestly don’t know if you’d love or hate it. Mainly, I was just disappointed. But it’s not the worst movie ever as far as this genre goes. : )

  6. I’ve been debating about this. I really get annoyed with movies where you can’t like or related to anyone in the film. It fells like a waste of time and money and emotional energy when the movie is finally over. If I watch it, I’ll wait for it to end up on Netflix.

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