Don’t Breathe, Fede Alvarez’s haunting home invasion thriller, is hitting theaters this weekend to rave reviews.

In Don’t Breathe, three Detroit teens come up with a plan to burglarize the home of a neighbor, who happens to be a blind and elderly war veteran. They believe that if they break into the house at night, they’ll be able to pull off the caper without a hitch, getting their hands on some valuable items without being seen by their victim. But while blind, their intended victim can hear, and is shocking menacing. The question stops being about whether or not the trio will pull off the burglary, but whether or not they’ll escape the house alive.

Don’t Breathe Reviews

Critics credit Alvarez for making the film and its simple premise payoff with scares that feel honest, and are all the more scary for it. Among Alvarez’s talents on display in the original fright fest is his use of the house, mining it for potential scares that push the story further along.

“[Don’t Breathe] is visually resourceful and honest in how it sets up and delivers on its shocks. There isn’t a single false scare. There isn’t, come to think of it, a scare that doesn’t set up another scare down the road in the manner of a good gag writer — horror and slapstick being sibling-close, as Don’t Breathe’s co-producer and proud Three Stooges fan Sam Raimi would be the first to tell you.” – David Edelstein, New York Magazine/Vulture


A week of entertainment news in your in-box.
We find the news you need to know, so you don't have to.

“Fede Alvarez proves his bona fides as an original filmmaker with the home-invasion thriller Don’t Breathe, one of the most suspenseful, terrifying, and devilishly original horror pics in recent memory. […] Alvarez has a knack for using meager resources to his advantage. He sets virtually the entire film in the vet’s house, making ingenious use of every floor, every room, every ventilation duct to transform an ordinary house into a terrifying, vertiginous labyrinth. There are touches here that recall the wizardry of the Coen Brothers’ low-budget breakout feature Blood Simple and the first film in James Wan’s Saw franchise.” – Tirdad Derakhshani, Philadelphia Inquirer

“This is some weird, twisted shit. Don’t groan when I say Don’t Breathe is a home-invasion thriller. Uruguayan writer-director Fede Alvarez, of 2013’s gory Evil Dead remake, is as good as it gets when it comes to playing with the toys of the genre. […] What makes this so memorably nerve-frying is the way Alvarez and cinematographer Pedro Luque use night-vision and every trick in the book and ones not invented yet to trap us in their vise. Claustrophobics, you’ve been warned.” – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

“Fast-paced, coherent and continually gut-wrenching, this home invasion thriller begins with a gambit that pays off handsomely: making the villains redeemable and their victim monstrous. From its opening, a high-angle establishing shot of an abandoned, hellishly blighted Detroit neighborhood, we’re in a world of legitimate threats not to be laughed off.” – Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune

Don’t Breathe is currently in theaters.

Leave a comment

Read more about: