Part of what made the original Don’t Breathe so novel was that the concept was entirely fresh. In a horror movie landscape where it all sounds, feels and scares the same, it had some ideas we hadn’t seen before.
The story of three young robbers who break in to go after a blind marine’s safe became a fight for survival, and the twist that he had a young woman in the basement turned the film on its head.
But this sequel – five years later – sees our blind, nameless antagonist back in action. Part of the issue is they try to make us root for a man who’s so despicable in so many aspects.
He’s raising a young girl who isn’t his own, and his past begins to catch up with him years after the events of the first film. The problem? He’s still up to no good, and there’s absolutely no one to root for here.
Writer-director Fede Alvarez created a thrilling original, but this one just seems too bleak, and a bit too predictable.
With Rodo Sayagues taking over the director’s chair, it’s still visually thrilling, gory and impactful, but it just doesn’t have the resonance that made the original a modern classic.
Stephen Lang is back and bold as ever, but the rest of these throwaway characters fall flat. The incredible acting from young stars like Jane Levy and Dylan Minnette isn’t replaced with matching, intense performances, and we’re left sort of shrugging our shoulders.
Standing on its own, Don’t Breathe 2 is a good enough film, but as a sequel to an exceptional one, it’s a slight disappointment.