DON’T BREATHE (2016) Reviews and overview

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‘This house looked like an easy target, until they found what was inside.’

Don’t Breathe is a 2016 American home invasion horror film directed by Fede Alvarez from a screenplay co-written with his Evil Dead co-scripter Rodo Sayagues. It was produced by Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert. J.R. Young, Nathan Kahane, Joe Drake and Erin Westerman executive produced.

The movie stars Jane Levy (Evil DeadSuburgatory), Dylan Minnette (Goosebumps), Daniel Zovatto and Stephen Lang (The Monkey’s Paw).


Detroit: Rocky (Jane Levy), Money (Daniel Zovatto) and Alex (Dylan Minnette) break into a blind Iraq War vet’s (Stephen Lang) home thinking they’ll get away with the perfect crime. They’re wrong…


“With this movie Alvarez shows there’s more to him than a good gorehound. He uses all the tools in a director’s toolbox to make something classy in its f*cked-up-ness. The sound design is incredible, his use of extended silence make for ridiculously tense sequences. Production design is fantastic as well, the house being a character in and of itself. And his use of camera is restrained, but fun.” Ain’t It Cool News

“The whole thing is an exercise in suspense that would make even Hitchcock proud. Equally impressive are the extra-long tracking shots employed throughout the film. There were multiple times where I would be watching things transpire on screen and think “Is this still the same shot?” It’s absolutely hypnotic.” Bloody Disgusting

“Alvarez’s Evil Dead left many wondering what this visually talented director would do next. Inconsistent and offensive, Don’t Breathe is not the follow-up many will have wanted. The man has talent, and still looks to have a hopeful future. But next time, please don’t send us to Detroit.” Consequence of Sound


” … the first two-thirds of Don’t Breathe are as solid a piece of thriller filmmaking as Hollywood has produced in a while. If it occasionally loses its way, that’s a necessary trade off and side-effect for the experimentation every genre needs and for that what problems it has can be forgiven.” Coming Soon

“There’s some really inventive camerawork on display throughout the movie and the way that sound becomes so integral to the narrative is downright masterful. Unapologetically fierce, compelling and brutally tense, Don’t Breathe is an exemplary effort from Alvarez and all those involved with its production.” Daily Dead

“An intense, streamlined exercise in gruesome thrills, with a tiny glimmer of social context (it’s all about the economy) which doesn’t take away from the exciting struggle to get out of this house of horrors.” Empire

“For adventurous horror fans, Don’t Breathe is required watching. Alvarez isn’t going anywhere. But like Evil Dead, it ultimately feels less than the sum of its parts – individual scenes are brilliant and one sequence involving a close encounter in a small car is grim slapstick at its best, but the film rarely rises above being just a fun ride.” /Film

“Running just under ninety minutes, Don’t Breathe is ultimately a breath of fresh air for a genre at risk of growing stale. Capable characters, sharp direction, and an energetic story that steadily ramps up the tension and the threat make for a terrifically fun time at the movies.” Film School Rejects



“Halfway through, the film does take a weird twist, that we should warn you, does veer into quite icky territory and will turn some viewers off. But apart from that, it is a thoroughly enjoyable, scary ride that is definitely worth streaming if you didn’t see it in the cinemas.” Joe

“Not even the Saw films dreamed up anything this surgically scary. 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.” Rolling Stone


“Like a lot of films of this breed, Don’t Breathe gets a little less interesting as it proceeds to its inevitable conclusion, replacing tension with shock value, but it works so well up to that point that your heart will likely be beating too fast to care.”

“As simple as the plot may be, it still also manages to squeeze in some surprisingly sick and bleak twists. This is a story that goes to a very dark place […] What’s more, the pacing is absolutely flawless, the film never pausing for breath as it plunges us into a relentless series of suspenseful scenes.” UK Horror Scene

Filming locations:

Budapest, Hungary
Detroit, Michigan


The film was released globally via Sony Screen Gems and Ghost House Pictures on August 26, 2016. It took a massive $153,211,773 at the box office worldwide against a budget of $9.9 million.

It is available as VOD via Amazon Instant and hit Blu-Ray and DVD with eight deleted scenes and a director’s commentary.

A British Blu-ray and DVD release was issued on 16th January 2017.

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