By Lee Romero
See No Evil
According to some, 2016 was a “bad year.” Remember all the hate it got? Jeez. What an understatement the whole “bad year” thing was/is, right? I mean, compared to now? Well, that’s a whole other topic. However, I will say if there’s one good thing that came out of the year, it had to be the sleeper hit Don’t Breathe. Boy oh, boy… talk about a flick that took the whole home invasion genre and flipped it on its head, Don’t Breathe was one of the darkest, intense, and twisted thriller-horrors I’d ever seen. As it unfurled, you didn’t know what to think or who to root for! The fact that the script was able to maneuver your psyche from side-to-side was brilliant and one of the most creative concepts to date, courtesy of Fede Alvarez (cowriter, director of flick) and Rodo Sayagues (cowriter).
So, so good. What else can a movie fanatic ask for? After the first, I never thought there’d be a sequel. Was that even possible? Not like it ended openly, nor did I think they’d be able to add anything to its already creepy, complex storyline. I was wrong. Turns out the duo behind the tale did come up with another concept. Switching up on the director seat this time, but typing it up together, another concept was born. In Don’t Breathe 2, the narrative is set in the years that followed the deadly home invasion, where Norman Nordstrom (Stephen Lang) lives in quiet solace until his past sins catch up to him again.
Now, if you’ve read my work through the years, you know I’m not a fan of reboots, remakes, sequels, or even prequels (UNLESS decently done)! I must tell you, I didn’t really love this sequel, but I didn’t hate it either. It held its own and stuck to its gritty roots of grungy, terrifying, and dysfunctional origins. While 2 isn’t as cleverly layered, paced, and executed, it doesn’t fall short of making sure it grabs your attention. It has its grimy twists and turns (just like the first), harsh display of malicious intent, and above all… an interesting choice of victim (Madlyn Grace) that adds a bit of charm and sympathy among a cynical purpose orchestrated by a sinister group. Mash it all up and you have an intensely entertaining sequel.
Also starring Brendan Sexton III, Don’t Breathe 2 manages to stay afloat. It regenerates all those prior feelings from its first flick and ends in a way where once again I feel they absolutely can’t take this franchise anywhere else. Sometimes it’s just good to let things float away in triumphant glory. How its fanbase will react to this upgraded version of “see no evil” will be interesting. But one thing they won’t be missing out on is sinister behavior and intense violence. The allure of a blind man surviving from the first is gone, but overall, Don’t Breathe 2 provides enough to mobilize without a blind cane.
Genre: Thriller, Horror | Rated: R | Run Time: 1:38
Starring: Stephen Lang, Brendan Sexton III, Medlyn Grace
Direct by Rodo Sayagues
Official Movie Website: DON’T BREATHE 2