Title – Don’t Breathe 2 (2021)
Director – Rodo Sayagues (feature debut)
Cast – Stephen Lang, Madelyn Grace, Brendan Sexton III
Plot – Blind veteran Norman Nordstrom (Lang) and his adopted/kidnapped daughter Phoenix (Grace) must hold off a bloodthirsty gang of organ hunting intruders lead by the determined Raylan (Sexton III).
“Now you’re gonna see what I see!”
Review by Eddie on 01/11/2021
A surprise hit in 2016, horror/thriller Don’t Breathe made use of its high concept scenario of a home invasion gone wrong when the intruders face off against a seemingly decrepit blind man only to discover his anything but innocent and hapless but if there was ever a horror film that didn’t need a sequel it must have surely been Fede Alvarez’s feature that is here returned for the trepid Don’t Breathe 2.
This time handing the reigns over to first time director Rodo Sayagues, Alvarez takes a back seat role here as this unnecessary sequel takes a much more thriller entry approach to proceedings, mixed with some revenge action as Stephen Lang’s Blind Man/Norman Nordstrom and his young daughter Phoenix (played with some attitude by Madelyn Grace) must use all their skills and expertise to fight off a band of ex-army man who want to take Phoenix from Norman’s possession for what could only be nefarious purposes.
The first film (which I must admit to not being a huge fan of) at least had some thrilling moments and built a lot of tension up from Nordstrom haunting his unwanted house guests but this sequel really has zero moments of dread or suspense outside of a well-filmed tracking shot moment when Brendan Sexton III’s Raylan’s gang of criminals first enter Nordstrom’s house and from there as the film filters into a more revenge thriller mode, Sayagues feature fails to make a mark outside of some gory moments and Lang trying his best to make the most of a dire situation.
It’s arguable that the film here is damned if it did and damned if it did not in regards to rehashing what has come before it and it would’ve been hard for Sayagues and the character of Nordstrom to go through another bout of a full length feature centered around him taking it to a group entering his humble abode and while its interesting that this time around the tale tries to paint Nordstrom of more of an anti-hero than genuine evil villain committing terrible crimes, you wonder why on earth your supposed to care about such a vile man or his quest to unleash some form of justice against some even worse human beings.
Final Say –
Without any scares and with a sense of sameness without the surprise, Don’t Breathe 2 is about as pointless as sequels come regardless of genre, with it already past due that Nordstrom and his antics retire for good.
1 tube of super glue out of 5
Sorry you didn’t end up enjoying it. For me, the fact we were now in the shoes of the man we started out fearing and ended up hating in the first film was definitely strange, but what I loved was how because of the last movie I was actually against The Blind Man winning against these intruders, and yet the trauma he goes through was satisfying but somehow also discomforting, and overall I had a really fun time. I haven’t watched many movies this year, but Don’t Breathe 2 will be in my Top 10.
I haven’t seen too many quality films this year mate so at this rate this one might sneak into my Top 10 to haha!
But yeh, really didn’t love this film, felt pretty cheap, nasty and pointless and did nothing for me on the chills or thrills scale other than that great segment where the intruders first enter the house.
“…while its interesting that this time around the tale tries to paint Nordstrom of more of an anti-hero than genuine evil villain committing terrible crimes, you wonder why on earth your supposed to care about such a vile man or his quest to unleash some form of justice against some even worse human beings” — This very specific iteration of “who’s the worse villain” seems more like fodder for the average anti-war film or particular true crime material (vigilante serial killer/criminal).
The general idea of “lesser of two evils,” though, makes me think of Hard Candy in the way the viewer can interpret who deserves what kind of justice or if some ends justify the means.
Another short hop, jump, and skip away and you’d get Freddy vs. Jason? Whose backstory is more worthy of sympathy? I know this movie probably isn’t trying to be this deep or intertextual, but your review inspires many thought exercises.
Lots to dissect here! How good is Hard Candy, that is a film I wish more people would see. It’s tough! But so much in it.
I loved Hard Candy the first time I saw it at the theatre. Through maybe half a dozen rewatches of it over the years on DVD, I thought Hailey could do no wrong and that Jeff was the character who may or may not be as “normal” as he appears at various intervals. The most recent revisit was a year ago. For the first time I found myself being critical of Hailey…I also wanted a prequel when the movie ended. And a decaf latte with a slice of chocolate ganache cake.
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