(US/Hungary - 2016)
Directed by Fede Alvarez. Written by Fede Alvarez and Rodo Sayagues. Cast: Stephen Lang, Jane Levy, Dylan Minnette, Daniel Zovatto, Emma Bercovici, Franciska Torocsik, Christian Zagia, Katia Bokor, Sergej Onopko. (R, 88 mins)
Director Fede Alvarez made his mark on the horror scene with his surprisingly well-received and better-than-expected 2013 remake of EVIL DEAD. Once again teaming with co-writer Rodo Sayagues and producer/original EVIL DEAD mastermind Sam Raimi, Alvarez is back with the home invasion-thriller-with-a-twist DON'T BREATHE. In an almost apocalyptic Detroit (some exteriors were done in the Motor City, but the bulk of the film was shot in Hungary), Rocky (Jane Levy, outstanding in EVIL DEAD '13) is fed up with her abusive, white trash mom (Katia Bokor) and wants nothing more than to take her little sister (Emma Bercovici) and run off to California. Rocky's been stashing money away by breaking into houses with her dirtbag boyfriend Money (Daniel Zovatto, from IT FOLLOWS) and their nice-guy friend Alex (Dylan Minnette). Alex's dad manages a home security company, so that gives them easy (a little too easy--why wouldn't his dad have all the keys and alarm codes to his clients' homes at the office instead of at his own home?). Money gets word of an inner-city neighborhood completely abandoned except for one house. In that house is a recluse who's supposedly sitting on six figures he got in a settlement from a rich family whose teenage daughter accidentally ran over his own daughter. Casing the house and observing the owner (Stephen Lang) outside, the trio of nitwits are surprised to see that he's blind, the result of a bomb blast during his military days in Iraq. They manage to get in the house in the dead of night but they're no match for the fighting and weaponry skills of The Blind Man, who can take easily take them on despite his lack of sight. He starts by killing Money and isn't aware of Rocky and Alex until his enhanced sense of smell leads him to their shoes, which they took off and left in the kitchen. Fleeing the Blind Man and his vicious watchdog, Rocky and Alex end up in the basement, where they stumble on an entirely unexpected house of horrors.