Thursday, September 15, 2016

Don't Breathe [2016]

MPAA (R)  CNS/USCCB (L) (3 Stars)  AVClub (B+)  Fr. Dennis (2 Stars)

IMDb listing
CNS/USCCB (J. Mulderig) review
Los Angeles Times (J. Tang) review (B. Tallerico) review
AVClub (A.A. Dowd) review  

Don't Breathe [2016] (directed and screenplay cowritten by Fede Alvarez along with Rodo Sayagues) is a rather nihilistic indie thriller in which _no one_ comes out particularly good.

Three random and not particularly bright / good Midwestern teens to early year olds - Rocky (played by Jane Levy), her nominal alpha-male boyfriend Money (played by Daniel Zovatto) and their perhaps more sensible (or just weaker) beta-male friend Alex (played by Daniel Minnette) -- are on a two-bit home burglary spree through the Rust Belt with only a vague goal of _eventually_ "making it to California." 

Well they get word of a particularly juicy target: a blind Vet (played by Stephan Lang) who recently had come into some serious money (a million dollars) for the wrongful death of his beloved daughter.  Since he was blind, he had demanded the sum in cash, which he presumably kept somewhere in his house (on a street of rundown abandoned homes somewhere in Detroit).  If they came in there, who'd know? Who'd care?  Heck the man was blind?  They could do the robbery _in daylight_ while he was there.  What could possibly go wrong?

Well, true, the man was blind, but he was also some sort of a special forces vet.  The house, which he knew _intimately_ was small.  And he had a trusty and vicious pit-bull of a guard-dog. Finally it turns out that as a Vet, he was not only blind, but had some rather significant psychological "issues ..."

So by midway through the film, not only did the original "plan" (in as much as there was one) of the three rather stupid "teenagers without a clue" go _really, really wrong_ in a hurry, it turned out that the Vet was not exactly "a good guy" either.

Who to root for in a story like this?  And even more to the point _why_?  There's actually even a rather oddly expressed "religious message" to the story.  The by then blood covered old blind man (who had already killed two of the teenagers who had broken into his home and was methodically hunting for the third, who he's spared but now wanted "to keep" for another, rather insane, purpose...) declares: "When one stops believing in God, all things become possible."  

Wow.  Sigh.  Yuck.  What a future to look forward to ...

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