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Don’t Breathe

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Blind man’s bluff – ★★★½

“Don’t Breathe” is director Fede Alvarez’ follow-up to his 2013 Evil Dead reboot. The film is a back-to-basics horror film with the pretty simple premise of three friends getting trapped inside a blind man’s house after a failed burglary attempt. Little do they know he’s a bereaved army veteran who has a few tricks up his sleeve…

Stephen Lang will be known to audiences as a army-man character actor, best known to most for playing Colonel Quaritch in 2009’s Avatar. He’s rather brilliant here as the blind man calling the shots. Going up against him are Rocky (Jane Levy), Money (Daniel Zovatto) and Alex (Daniel Zovatto – recognisable as Jack Shepherd’s whinging son from the TV series “LOST”), each with their reasons

The film works best when the man’s blindness and enhanced other senses are played up and, coupled with the series of traps and tricks he’s got locked away, makes it a very unique take on the old story of a haunted house. Alvarez plays up on people’s subtle fear of people with visual impairments as the even playing field of “if you can see me, I can see you” is now gone. Allowing for some fun when Lang’s character (credited in the script as “the blind man” knocks off the power so puts everyone on an even keel.

There are a few unnecessary hints of the torture porn horror movement that was so prevalent a few years ago (a turkey baster rape scene?!), but, those missteps aside, Alvarez and his screenwriting partner Rodo Sayagues have done a great job at throwing the audience into a tense and dramatic little film.

Released in Ireland on 9th September 2016

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Nigel

Nigel loves stupid films almost as much as he likes clever films. He'll watch anything but is usually drawn to documentaries, North American independent films, Irish cinema and gung-ho, balls-to-the-walls Hollywood blockbusters. Here's what he's been watching.