Trent: Three good friends: Cute Rocky (Jane Levy); douchey ghetto guy “Money” (Daniel Zovatto); and nice-guy sucker Alex (Dylan Minette). Oh, did I mention these three kids are as thick as thieves cuz they ARE thieves? Fede Alvarez’ “Don’t Breathe” has them break into the Detroit house of a “Blind Man” (Stephen Lang), who supposably has got all sorts of mad dough stashed away. Like taking candy from a Blind Man? Not so fast!
The Blind Man’s killer instincts are very highly developed, given that he’s an ex-soldier, Rambo with bad corneas. So, who will emerge victorious? The three young thugs, or the one old soldier? And, hey, Tracey, you can tell your terrorist buddies at PETASS that “Don’t Breathe” is animal-friendly and includes a guest appearance by everybody’s favorite pooch, Cujo.
Tracey: Ugh, when I joined PETASS, I signed a form saying that whenever PETASS is mentioned, I have to specify that PETASS, the “People-for-the-Ethical-Treatment-of-Animals Sympathizer Society,” is in no way affiliated, endorsed, or even acknowledged by PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. PETASS simply meets every other Wednesday to express the sympathy our members have for PETA’s cause. It’s pretty chill! We basically hang out and eat cheddar-flavored vegan crackers. Then at the end of the night, the President of PETASS leads us on a chant from the Egyptian Book of the Dead. “Oh Great Goddess Bastet, you whose feline form guards the Ninth Gate- Let your claws free Bubastis from its Earthly shape- Let your forceful tail penetrate our soul.- Oh Bastet, let us wait no longer for the triumph of the dead. The blood of mortals shall be as cream to the roughness of your tongue.”
Tracey: Yeah. I know. That last part is… odd… But the cheddar-flavored vegan crackers are really good, you guys! Gluten-free!
Grandpa Felicius: Consider me intrigued. Crackers and thin broth are just about the only food items my intestines can process.
Beatricia: Is the Cat Goddess Bastet trying to bring about the Mummy Apocalypse again? She is so persistent. It didn’t work in 1922 with Lord Howard Carter, or in 1999 with Sir Brendan Fraser. It’s not gonna work out with Mister Tom Cruise in 2017, either.
Hank: Folks, let’s get back to “Don’t Breathe”! Which is great! A gasp-inducing twist on the home invasion thriller! Although every single character is on the wrong side of the law, (the “good guys” are break-and-enter hoodlums after all!) the script remembers to give everyone reasons for their actions. At the risk of spoiling anything, I’ll say even the Super Creepy Blind Man has a heart-tugging origin story. Best movie about vision-impaired butt-kickers since Rutger Hauer was in “Blind Fury”!
Beatricia: Another Fede Alvarez movie in which a bruised-and-bloodied Jane Levy falls down a dark staircase into a ghostly basement? Didn’t we just go through this with”Evil Dead”? Talk about Deja-BOO. Also, this movie makes no sense.
a) Why would a weirdo have a STATE OF THE ART ALARM that dials 911 at the slightest offense if he lives in an abandoned, dilapidated neighborhood and keeps a chained woman down in his basement ? “Hey, just because I’m an evil psychopath doesn’t mean I don’t love it when cops drop by my torture dungeon whenever a kid throws a rock through my windows!”
b) Cops? Instantly responding to an alarm from an indigent neighborhood full of minorities? IN DETROIT?!? Let’s keep things believable, please.
c) They might not react to minorities, but are you telling me that when a RICH WHITE GIRL gets kidnapped, the police doesn’t head right for the CREEPY DUNGEON of the VIOLENT BLIND MAN whose DAUGHTER was killed by said RICH WHITE GIRL?
So No Cherry.
Tracey: I love Jane Levy. She has survived “Suburgatory,” demons, AND Detroit! I do wish this movie had included a disclaimer stating that vision-impaired people are wonderful, peaceful, contributing members of a diverse society, and that they only rarely play deadly cat-and-mouse games with the rest of us.
Cousin Franz: It alludes to Michigan’s agonizing economy; it makes the Blind Man an Iraq War Vet; it hints at a court case in which wealth ran roughshod over decency. “Don’t Breathe” seems to want to say SOMETHING about modern life and recession and economic disarray, SOMETHING about the amoral world that emerges when financial imbalances between the rich and the poor become visible in every deserted, boarded-up Detroit neighborhood, the way George A. Romero’s “Night of the Living Dead” decisively said something about race in America. But writer/ director Alvarez only allows those things to exist as “subtext.” How deep can “subtext” sink before it stops commenting on the “text” altogether?
Grandpa Felicius: I liked “Don’t Breathe” a lot better fifty years ago, when it was called “Wait Until Dark,” and it starred Audrey Hepburn as a blind woman who turned the table on her home-invaders. I even liked it a lot better thirty years ago, when it was called “Home Alone,” and it starred the late, great Macaulay Culkin as a sighted moppet who turned the table on HIS home-invaders. Ah, poor Macaulay! How I miss the endearing Shirley Temple / Jackie Cooper hybrid moppet who brought a smile to America’s sad mouth during the First Gulf War!
Hank: Pretty sure Macaulay Culkin is alive and well.
Grandpa Felicius: You and I use very different definitions of the words “alive” and “well.”
Blurbarella: “Mummy Apocalypse > Zombie Apocalypse? Or <? Or =? Big Questions.”
3 out of 6 Cherries