DON’T BREATHE

— by Jeff Schultz

Tense and violent, but don’t expect the kind of hide-your-eyes scary where your heart is racing and you’re gasping for air. None of the bloodshed in this cat and mice drama has the glorious kick of a Tarantino or Sam Raimi (who executive produced). In fact, the killings and what-you-think-are-killings step away at the last moment from the kind of gutting shockers they should be. But then, it’s not a slasher movie, it’s a thriller, and decent enough; but to borrow a joke from “Saturday Night Live”, I liked it better the last time, when it was called 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE. It’s based on a specious premise: a blind man living in the lone house of an abandoned neighborhood wasteland in Detroit keeps a well-publicized $300,000 at home instead of depositing it in a bank. But whatever. That’s what brings the would-be robbers to his door, and much credit to the filmmakers for jumping right in, with very little set-up. But enough to tip you off that there’s going to be a treacly ending… which fortunately has a satisfying twist. (Sequel title: DON’T TAKE ANOTHER BREATH). Definite nods to makeup for making Stephen Lang even more fearsome than he already is, to the camerawork for its gliding shots (reminiscent of PANIC ROOM), and the terrific sound design.

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