20160910

A film review: 'Don't Breathe' or Stick: Origins.

Origin: United States · Language: English
Director: Fede Alvarez  
Writers: Fede Alvarez, Rodo Sayagues
Genres: Horror, thriller · Release: August 26, 2016

Casts: Jane Levy, Dylan Minnette, 
Daniel Zovatto, Stephen Lang

More info: IMDb


Look at that. The core team from the Evil Dead reboot is back again but for another kind of horror;  a home invasion thriller! While I am aware of the abundance of films that utilise this trope, I am not a follower of it. I think the last home invasion flick I actually watched was the original Purge, but that was going for the political satire route. This one? A rather streamlined kind of home invasion film in which the aim was to make you shit bricks. And oh boy, bricks was shat in the cinema, I tell ya. Despite the highly scaled-back violence, this is nonetheless an awesome horror film which is just as effective as the Evil Dead reboot! 

Simple plot, terrific execution, awesome technicalities, complex acting, equals profit! And I am being entirely positive here! Oh, this review is SPOILER-FREE.

Here's the plot: the trio that consist of Rocky (Levy), Alex (Minnette), and Money (Zovatto) are partners-in-crime who would look for homes with high security to break into them and steal valuable loots. Then, they received a big time tip; there's a mysterious recluse (Lang) who keeps a hefty sum of money in his house because he hates banks, and this effectively fuels the trio's dream to fund what each of them desires once the money is theirs. To their surprise, the recluse is an old, blind guy... and this make them think that this person is a pushover. Even more surprising than that, he does not take shit from home intruders... because he would go ahead and trap them, and try to kill them. And so, a brutal cat-and-mice hunt begins, and happens almost entirely in the darkness of his house at night.

Let's talk the filmmaking side first. This is easily an unnerving film in which it knows how to use jump scares to actually SCARE the living hell out of the audience. It was not used to force cheap, unnecessary jump scare shots only to disappoint the audience with something that is not scary instead; every jump scares meant that the plot would thicken. Sound wise, the film scores resonated very well with every scene, and even the silences were well-placed. I hope what I'm about to say is not a spoiler, because I really have to tell you that these people can really act - even in TOTAL DARKNESS! Wait, how can I even see their acting when it's in total darkness? For one, the excellent use of night vision camera. And because of the night vision's limited viewpoint, it adds more tension to the already heart-pounding sequence!

Now, a little more elaboration on the acting. One would expect that they only have to make random noises when in total darkness and have their bad acting exposed when the night vision mode is on, but that was not the case at all in this film. The young actors brought their A-game in here to deliver the most genuine fear I have ever seen so far in film. Too bad for Daniel Zovatto for appearing very briefly in the film and having a very caricature-ish character, but even that served a tiny purpose, so I guess it's not all that bad. And oh, God, Stephen Lang. The last time I saw this guy was on James Cameron's Avatar, posing as a textbook dickhead, antagonistic military operative. And now, he is effectively, as per the title of this review, Stick from the Daredevil comics and other media; as he is a motherfucking badass and just... a ruthless bad guy in here! While his acting was minimalist, his presence as the main 'antagonist' (my justification on the quotation marks on that word will be on the following paragraph, so follow me on this) was just huge as you can really felt his pent-up anger and frustration over something that he had lost, which I won't spoil for you. Combine his military prowess from that film and his blind rage (lulz) in this film, and you will get yourself a potential candidate for Cable! Go, Lang, go! And now it makes you wonder how Stick from Daredevil came to embrace his murderous tendencies until he's all skinny (okay, ignore this).

On the storytelling department, this is where it falters a little for me. While the exposition of the three leads and what they did on daily basis was interesting, it started to feel a little awkward when the film started to explore The Blind Man's backstory. It slowly dissolved itself from being a kick-ass thriller into a melodramatic tale, which in turn dialed down some of the suspense that was built up as the film progresses. But thankfully, they tried to not dwell into that territory too much by still giving audiences something to shit bricks about as the film was coming to an end. And then, there was that ending in which its purpose, according to my brother, was to maybe hint a continuation of the story. I think the film was fine as it is, and a pointless, vastly different feel of a sequel would be a bummer in my book. And now here is what I like about an aspect of the film's writing: all of them are bad guys, and there was no real "antagonist vs. protagonist" conflict in here. Both the preys and the predator were just more or less had very selfish reasons behind what they're doing. I like that!

Overall, this is a rather exciting film to watch. And this is coming from a dude, as previously mentioned before on my 2-in-1 review of The Visit and You're Next, who is not at all a horror fan. Definitely choose this film if you're looking to scare yourself silly and make you realise that Stephen Lang MUST be Cable for the Deadpool sequel! #StephenLangforCable!

This film is definitely recommended for your viewing pleasure!

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...