This weekend sees the release of a horror film known as Don't Breathe. Directed by Fede Alvarez, this film tells the story of three teenager who decide to break into the home of a blind man so they can steal his money and become rich. However, the trio picked the wrong house to rob as the blind man is far more deadlier than he appears. Horror movies are a dime and a dozen as every year features a handful of them. More often then not, it can be difficult for films in this genre to differentiate from each other as they feature many similarities such as concepts and scare tactics. However, every now and then one film comes a long and stands out from the rest and Don't Breathe is one of those movies. The film is not necessarily a game changer but here are several reasons why Don't Breathe is a different kind of horror film and is perhaps a must see for moviegoers and horror fans a like.
Effective Jump Scares
Jump Scares are perhaps the most common types of scare tactics that a horror film can use and it makes sense as to why so many movies in the genre use it. With the right atmosphere, jump scares can be useful by keeping moviegoers on the edge of their seats. However, if a horror film uses this tactic too much, jump scares can become predictable and not to mention, annoying. This is not the case for Don't Breathe. Thanks to its tone and cinematography the jump scares for the movie are effective. True, the movie's startling moments could be predictable, but the jump scares were still effective as they added to the film's intensity. It may not change the concepts behind the method, but Don't Breathe manages uses its jump scares to the best of their abilities; which only helped to make the movie a nonstop thrill ride.
A Different Home Invasion Film
In the realm of horror (as well as thriller) there is a subgenre of films known as home invasion movies. These movies often pertain to unwelcome (and often crazy) visitors breaking into a home and terrorizing the residents. In my opinion I think that Don't Breathe does fit into this category of films, but it is a little different from your standard home invasion flick. Rather than having the house resident being terrorized, it is the invaders who are the victims. The movie brings a breath of fresh air to this type of films by giving the home invasion concept a new perspective. While it is true for the home inhabitants to defend themselves in these kind of films, it is not often for the home owner to turns out to be the villain.
The Blind Man Brings A New Perspective to Horror Villains
In the film the three teens are hunted down by a crazed blind man. The performance from Stephen Lang is impressive as he plays a frightening antagonist. However, what really makes this killer stand out from other horror villain is the fact that he is blind. In these kinds of films (and most horror movies for that matter) the villain is always has an edge on the heroes by having some kind strength or power. However, Fede Alvarez wanted to try something different by giving the killer a handicap, and this was certainly an effective direction. By making the killer blind, it puts the character on an even playing field with the victims which help to make the Blind Man more complex. While some may think that having a blind killer would take away from the character's effectiveness, truthfully this disadvantage only made the Blind Man that more effective when it came to being a horror villain.
This day and age moviegoers are used to seeing horror films that dive into the world of the supernatural, and it has certainly been proven effective with films such as The Conjuring and Insidious. Yet sometimes a horror film dealing in realism can be just as terrifying as the likes of haunting and possessions. While it is unlikely for anyone to be stuck in a home with a blind killer there is still a sense of realism to Don't Breathe to point where the film's horror does feel believable. With so many horror movie dealing with supernatural concepts it was refreshing to see a movie like Don't Breathe deal with something a little more real. Because of this the movie was not only able to be tense, but it gave Don't Breathe the edge it needed to stand out from the rest.
With so many horror movies haunting the silver screen every year, it is refreshing to see a movie like Don't Breathe added into the mix. While film does not necessarily change how the game it still does justice to the concept of horror movies by creating a dynamic experience. If there is anything this film can teach moviegoers and horror fans it would be that sometimes a frightening experience just needs to center on a simplistic concept.