‘Don’t Breathe’ promises screams, delivers cringes

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2 out of 5 Torches

By Adam Schalke, Staff Reporter

One of the unforgivable mistakes that too many horror films of the new millennium commit is the practice of sacrificing suspense and legitimate fright for mere uncomfort, often using gore or triggering material in a ham-fisted attempt at realism. It is unfortunate to say that the much-hyped horror flick “Don’t Breathe” falls into this cliche.

The film focuses on a trio of professional thieves operating in Detroit and its surrounding suburbs. The group attempts their largest robbery yet. Their target is a blind man living alone in an abandoned neighborhood of Detroit, who is rumored to be sitting on a massive settlement payment following from a vehicular manslaughter incident that killed his daughter.

To the group’s dismay, the blind man turns out to be a retired Marine who despite his blindness and age, is near peak physical condition and attempts to kill the burglars. Imagine him being a blind Captain America, but mixed with Clint Eastwood’s character in “Gran Torino.”

While there will be far worse scary movies on the horizon as Halloween draws near, and the night-vision chase scene of the movie is undeniably inventive, one will be hard-pressed to leave the theater without cringing at what they had just witnessed. “Don’t Breathe” is drawn out and it shamelessly objectifies its female lead with grossly inappropriate cinematic tropes. If quality horror movies are what you’re after, then this is not the film for you.

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