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:

Fun Size (2012) Review

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Fun Size (2012) (aka Half Pint)

Directed by Josh Schwartz

Victoria Justice
Jane Levy
Thomas Mann
Chelsea Handler
Thomas McDonell
Osric Chau
Johnny Knoxville

Running time: 86 minutes

Plot Synopsis:
Wren is made to babysit her little brother on Halloween, ruining her plans to go to a Halloween party. When he goes missing while trick-or-treating, Wren and her friends must find him before her mom finds out.

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My Opinion:

Wasn’t quite sure what to expect with this one. It has a very low IMDB rating (5.3), which it doesn’t really deserve. I looked into this a bit & apparently a lot of the hatred comes from angry parents as this is a Nickelodeon movie & it’s a bit too racy for their liking. Okay, fine – I can see that. But I don’t have some pre-teen kid so I don’t care about that. I’ll review this based only on what I thought of it myself. Hell, the Disney Channel gave us all Miley Cyrus – I’d let a kid watch Fun Size every day for the rest of his/her life before I’d let them see two seconds of Miley Cyrus doing whatever that is she does now. Chill, parents. I saw movies far racier than Fun Size when I was a pre-teen.

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Basically, Fun Size is like a really wholesome version of Project X (which I wasn’t crazy about as that was a bad Weird Science rip-off – review HERE). I actually had a bit of fun with Fun Size. If you go into it knowing it’s the Nickelodeon version of a classic “teen movie” but aimed at a younger age than my beloved John Hughes teen movies, you might find you enjoy it as a lazy weekend afternoon sort of movie. Or at Halloweentime as it’s set at Halloween.

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The main girl (above) is cute & sweet and a perfectly fine role model for any pre-teen girls watching. She has decent storylines going on with a boy she likes and of course another boy who likes her, her messed-up mother, her crazy (and really funny) little brother, and her father who has died before this film takes place (with something revealed about him at the end which I quite liked). Her best friend is a bit of a Miley, though. But, hey – we all had a slut friend in school! Here she is, dressed as a slutty cat looking for some action at the Halloween party. She was the most annoying character:

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The brother is nuts & doesn’t speak & is funny as hell – he provides us with the most entertaining bits of the film, probably. I found some of the humor actually not too bad for a modern pre-teen (and Nickelodeon!) type of film – I think those who made this may have another very funny movie in them without the restrictions that were probably placed on them to not go TOO far with any slightly naughty humor. Yes, that big chicken does hump the car like was shown in the trailer if you’ve seen it:

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Lol. Saucy! So immature. But kind of funny.

The story is predictable as hell but… Who cares? What movie isn’t, especially ones for this age group? Chelsea Handler as the mother is, believe it or not, right for this role. She can be annoying as hell and was awful in This Means War but this role was perfect for her (and she’s even likeable by the end). The romance(s)? So predictable! Who cares? It’s a bit of fun. It’s a movie for pre-teens who like to see big chickens humping cars.

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A perfectly fine little “teen” comedy aimed more at the pre-teen crowd than actual teenagers. It’s a little confused as to what it wants to be: slightly racy teen comedy or wholesome Nickelodeon film. But it’s just a bit of fun and really not deserving of all the hatred it received from parents who thought it stepped over the line with its ever-so-slightly racy humor. These parents should maybe take a step back & think about the movies THEY watched when they were 11/12. Fun Size is far more tame than the teen films of my youth. And the little brother cracked me up!

My Rating: 6.5/10

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