Preface: I dislike modern horror movies. That's not to say that the older horror flicks are better and that modern flicks suck. I, personally, hate the direction the genre has taken. Most rely too heavily on jump scares (Paranormal Activity anyone?) or disgusting gore fests (Saw, Hostel, 2013's Evil Dead?). Where is the suspense of Alien (Sci-Fi horror still counts!) or the quirkiness of Wes Craven's (RIP) films. I may be completely wrong in my assessment but many mainstream entries lack that "horror" element and reek of laziness.
Don't Breathe was most excellent. By playing on one of our (read: my) scariest nightmares of being alone in my house during a home invasion, the plot immediately sets the mood without much setup. The plot is simple -- break into a blind man's house and steal his money -- yet it turns into one of the most warped movies you'll see (this year).
Three friends -- Rocky (Jane Levy), Money (Daniel Zovatto) and Alex (Dylan Minnette) want to escape their deadbeat lives in Detroit for the bright lights of California. Rocky's arc is a common one -- a druggie who wants to leave her shit parent for greater pastures and a better life. The only problem? Money.
Rocky's boyfriend, Money (who has no background story or arc -- you know what that means) convinces the other two to rob an old blind veteran with a small fortune (from a legal settlement) stashed somewhere in his house. (FYI: The character's name is The Blind Man. Stupid yet terrifying eh?) And thus the story begins.
What follows is a cat and mouse chase between the three youngsters and the dude from Avatar (Stephen Lang). The blind man proves to be more than capable of defending himself despite his disability and the thieves find themselves trapped.
Yet despite its predictability and simplistic plot, the film keeps you fully engrossed in its twisted plot. While you feel sympathy for the young thieves, they are breaking into a guy's house to rob him of his money (that he received after his daughter was run over and killed) -- so the blind vet has every reason to defend himself.... that is until you realize the gruesome truth. (I will never look at a turkey baster the same way... ew ew ew).
However: two thirds in, the film enters the realm of disbelief. (e.g. the girl falls from a high distance, lands on her neck and she's perfectly A-OKAY -- sorry but nah, there's no way). At this point, I just want it to end: Stephen Lang is terrifying in his role. He barely speaks throughout the movie and yet I'm at awe of the man and his ability. Say hello to your new Cable friends.