*** out of four
Fede Alvarez, the director of this decent but over-praised Evil Dead remake, scores with his suspense thriller that plays like the flip side of Wait Until Dark (1967). His Evil Dead leading lady, Jane Levy, as well as that film's co-writer, Rodo Sayagues, are reunited for Don't Breathe.
Levy plays Rocky, a young adult living in a trailer park with her abusive family but hoping for a new life somewhere else. To get to that new life, Rocky, her thug boyfriend, Money (Daniel Zovatto), and the guy who has an unrequited crush on her, Alex (Dylan Minnette), break into homes of the rich and take as many valuables as they can. They soon get a tip that a blind war veteran (underrated actor Stephen Lang), living in a creaky old house, has a major stash of cash on the premises. The trio breaks in without counting on the blind man to be a wily psychopath.
Lang does speak throughout the film, but not often, so it is generally a silent performance which is effectively wicked. As his prey, Levy does an excellent job as the strong but believable and vulnerable Rocky.
During the final act, the cat and mouse chase goes gleefully bananas – she escapes, he catches her, she escapes again, he catches her, and so on, and we're not sure how it's going to end. And speaking of the end, it has a clever epilogue.
There is a small plot hole regarding the blind man's ultimate plans, but I can't talk about it without giving something away. Other than that, Don't Breathe is a fun ride of a thriller.