Earlier this year, a superb horror flick named Hush hit Netflix. You may have seen it already. If not, you should fix that — it's a way-above-average survival horror which smartly uses the compact setting of a remote house in the woods to mine some serious tension. Most importantly, its heroine is not your classic horror idiot. The more unlikely it becomes that she might survive her stalker hell, the more you root for her.
Hush may be one of the year's best horror movies, but it now faces some very real competition from another home invasion flick due to hit theaters in August. Don't Breathe, directed by Fede Alvarez (Evil Dead, From Dusk till Dawn), has a similar concept but looks potentially far more terrifying in execution. Check out the trailer below.
In Don't Breathe, Rocky (Jane Levy), her friend Alex and boyfriend Money (guessing that's not his birth name) concoct a plan to rob the home of an elderly blind man living in a dilapidated Detroit neighborhood. If that makes the blind man sound instantly sympathetic by default, you might change your perspective once he turns the tables on the trio (who soon become a duo — no spoilers, it's right there in the trailer) by demonstrating the extremities of his survival skills.
That gives the movie an inherently different sheen to Hush, which commands us to root for its deaf heroine when her stalker hell begins, without ever turning her into the villain by eliciting any sympathy for the killer at her door. Still, the theme of somebody at a clear physical disadvantage having to do battle with a home invader is something both films have in common.
According to ScreenRant, Director Alvarez sought to maximize the tension of Don't Breathe by constructing an elaborate set through which the trio of robbers and the old man move like players in a game of strategy, each new setting (and the weapons available to the gang therein) presenting its own unique challenges and tipping the scales in one direction or the other. That's the kind of clever touch that distinguishes a movie like this from the field in a very crowded genre.
The biggest obstacle Don't Breathe faces lies in making a trio of criminals truly likeable. Hush worked because its protagonist Maddie (Katie Siegel, who also wrote the screenplay) was both innocent and immediately sympathetic. It might take a little more work to make Rocky and her two sidekicks so easy to root for. And while Hush took its time building slow tension, it seems Don't Breathe may have a few more jump scares in its arsenal.
Both movies are up against Blake Lively's excellent breakout hit The Shallows in the best survival horror of 2016 stakes, and while home invasions are fun, they can't match the thrills of seeing a woman stranded on a rock at sea with a hungry shark circling and practically no resources to hand — but whether you prefer the action on dry land or not, fans of this sub-genre of horror are spoiled for choice right now.
Don't Breathe hits theaters August 26. The Shallows is still in theaters, while Hush can be streamed on Netflix — check out the trailer below. Source: ScreenRant.com.