A trio of brazen young thieves in down-and-out Detroit help themselves to fancy stuff from rich folks’ houses while they are out of town. Technically, they are not breaking and entering because they are able to unlock front doors and disarm security alarms, thanks to the house keys and alarm override gadget from Alex (Dylan Minnette), whose father is a guard at the security firm supposedly protecting these houses.
Alex, along with cohorts “Money” (Daniel Zovatto) and Rocky (Jane Levy) seem to have only one rule: don’t take cash. Other than that, it’s a free-for-all. They don’t wear masks and Money even likes to leave a little something of himself behind which, you would have thought, leaves them wide open for DNA identification should they ever be caught. But I digress.
Not content with the pittance that they get from selling hot Rolexes and other luxury items, Money decides to break their rule. He gets a tip about an ex-army vet (Stephen Lang) who won a six-figure settlement from a wealthy family whose daughter had killed his daughter in a hit-and-run accident. Despite his windfall, the vet lives as a recluse in a neighbourhood long abandoned by everyone else. Money is convinced the cash is hidden inside the house – why else would he still be living in a run-down house and yet install a high-end security system?Initially reluctant, Alex finally agrees to go ahead with the heist. When the trio go to stake out the house, they discover that the vet is blind; his only companion being a big, mean rottweiler. They agree to hit the house that night while the Blind Man is asleep; Money even brings some DIY chloroform gas to help him along, just in case.
A blind old man is an easy target, right? Bad idea! Have they never heard about the scientific fact that when a person loses one of their senses, their other senses become more acute to compensate? Plus, remember, the man was in the army. That means he was trained in combat so he is not a man likely to just roll over and let you walk away with anything. And what kind of heartless person would rob a man who not only lost his daughter, but also got injured while serving his country?
Plenty of things go awry for the trio as they uncover more than they bargained for inside the house. For the record, I spent the entire one-and-a-half hours of this movie going from cheering for the Blind Man, to cheering for the thieves, and then switching sides again. I held my breath plenty of times, too, and found myself curled into my seat. There may have also been a couple of scenes that I watched between my fingers but the surprises are plenty and the payoffs are worth the scare.
Written by Fede Alvarez and Rodo Sayagues (the creators of Evil Dead), Don’t Breathe is directed by Alvarez and is now showing across Australia.