SHOULD I? STATUS: Official Red Flag
Currently in theaters
THE QUICK AND DIRTY DEETS
Don’t Breathe? More like Don’t Bother
Normally I like to watch movies at least twice before I review them, but in this case, you can bet your damn ass there’s no way in hell I’m paying to see Don’t Breathe again. And the first time was a matinee.
When I saw previews for Don’t Breathe, I thought, “Oh cool! Some producer saw Hush and decided to make another movie in the same vein. OK, the main character’s a dude, and instead of being deaf, he’s blind, but what a great idea!” I really enjoyed Hush and was excited to see the “sensory handicapped but kickass defender” plotline extrapolated to the next – well, sense.
I was profoundly disappointed.
First, Don’t Breathe attempts to humanize its main characters, who are the aggressors, with a pseudo-heart-wrenching backstory to justify their choice to live in crime. You know what? If you want to do that, in a movie set in Detroit, then let me honestly ask: why are they all white? Let’s be real here. If you’re an American, you know Detroit is shit. It’s full of vacant houses and the local economy has basically collapsed due to the car industry tanking, and consequently pulling out of the city. It’s also 83% black, which means that the people who are disenfranchised in Detroit are overwhelmingly people of color. Why is the only black person in Don’t Breathe a guy buying coffee in the airport at the end of the film? Serious question here. Please, serious answers. I will give that one of the 4 actors in the movie actually is Costa Rican, but he’s as white as any other.
Anyway, here’s my point: the ends don’t justify the means, and this attempt to make them do so rings especially hollow in a movie where the “downtrodden aggressors” clearly belong to privileged classes.
Another one of my huge issues with Don’t Breathe is that it’s hugely, overwhelmingly gratuitous. Hush does get pretty violent by the end, cringe-worthily violent, even, but as a whole, I’d say the movie justifies the violence which occurs. After all, at some point in scenarios like these (home invasions; predator and prey), there’s no real way to avoid an eventual physical confrontation. However, Don’t Breathe skips promising opportunities to build psychological terror and therefore, a story that will stick in the audiences’ mind for more than sixty seconds after leaving the theater, and instead leaps to grotesque body shots. There’s simply no mental challenge in this movie whatsoever. I might as well watch a snuff film for what I got out of Don’t Breathe. I don’t know where to find a snuff film, but that’s because I don’t want to.
In sum, I felt as if a producer sat at a table of generic Hollywood movie folx and said “Hey! I’ve got this idea! Home invasion movie, but gone wrong. And here’s a twist! Blind guy.” Then all the people around the table, from behind their sunglasses and bored yawns, said “You know what? Great idea. We love it! But…with what you’ve brought here today…that’s only like, 30 minutes of a movie. How can we twist it to make it even better?” And they pounded their hands on the table and someone stood up and said, “I have an idea!” And they twisted it, gratuitously, for time. Then someone realized that even with that twist, the movie was still only an hour long, so they fuckin twisted it again. And it was finally long enough, and it was GTA-4 levels of gratuitous. None of these decisions served the movie in any way, whatsoever.
Do not go watch Don’t Breathe. It isn’t worth your money, and it’s certainly not worth your time.
What does it say that I wasn’t surprised at all to see Sam Raimi was one of the producers?
Excuse me now, I have to go watch MURDER PARTY again so I can review it, and get this bad taste out of my mouth.