Okay, stay with me here: remember that scene in Arrested Development where Tobias breaks into Maggie Lizer’s apartment to steal some documents, because obviously robbing a blind person should be a piece of cake, only to have her beat the crap out of him in the end?
Hilarious stuff, right? (Seriously, if you haven’t binge-watched Arrested Development yet, what are you waiting for?)
Now substitute three teenagers for the amazing closeted never-nude that is Tobias Fünke, and an actual blind old war veteran for the cunning lawyer Maggie Lizer, and that’s pretty much the plot of Don’t Breathe…except terrifying instead of funny.
Sound good? That’s because it is.
The plot starts out pretty straight forward: three amateur B&E artists decide to break into a blind man’s home and rob him. He’s a war veteran, blinded by a grenade, who got a pretty chunk of insurance money when his daughter died, and lives in an otherwise deserted neighborhood in Detroit. The kids – especially Rocky, the female robber – desperately want to leave town, and this will be their big payout.
So off they go, and one of them – Rocky’s boyfriend Money (ugh these names. I know) – brings a gun. The job looks easy, but what they weren’t counting on was the fact that this old blind guy is nowhere near as helpless as they assumed. In fact, he’s an all-out badass. A pretty paranoid badass, judging from his security system.
And he has his own little secret to boot.
What follows is a game of cat and mouse, where the home invasion angle gets turned on its head and the ‘victim’ starts terrorizing the perpetrators. It’s refreshing, because the lines are blurred right away and there are times throughout the movie where you’re not even sure who to root for.
The jump scares and flat-out horror scenes are pretty effective, although there are several points in the story where you just have to wonder what kind of superhuman blind man could pull this whole thing off.
I don’t want to spoil it too much here, so suffice to say that the whole movie is a damn thrilling ride. Although it encompasses enough the genre clichés, its unique villain and handful of little twists definitely keep things interesting right to the very end.
If a fun horror film is what you’re after, I’d definitely recommend Don’t Breathe.