Don’t Breathe was a great horror blockbuster in 2016, but its long-awaited sequel, Don’t Breathe 2, went in a different direction than the first iteration. Don’t Breathe was a genuine surprise hit, grossing $158 million on a $10 million budget. Of course, to turn over a profit like that, you would need something along the lines of the best online poker guide ever! However, this popularity was thanks to outstanding film festival reviews and positive word of mouth that the film received. The premise of Fede Alvarez’s “Don’t Breathe” was simple on the surface: a group of youthful burglars steal into a blind man’s home in search of cash and receive more than they bargained for.

That’s because the man they were attempting to rob, referred to as “The Blind Man” in the credits, is an Army veteran with extensive firearm experience and a high level of training. As The Blind Man hunts down the thieves, they soon become the prey. While it’s easy to sympathize with a man defending his house, Don’t Breathe reveals that he’s hiding a much darker secret later in the film. The Blind Man kidnapped the woman who killed his daughter by accident with her car and tried to force her to bear him a replacement.

The horror genre is known for its sequels. Heck, we have SIX Paranormal Activity movies, with a seventh on the way. That is absurd. However, now and then, a horror sequel does more than repeating the success of its predecessor. It thinks beyond the box and enriches the game in unexpected ways for the viewer. One of the horror films is Don’t Breathe 2.

The sequel is set in a fresh new town several years later and is directed by co-writer Rodo Sayagues. Despite Jane Levy surviving the first film, the writing team of Alvarez and Sayagues startled fans by stating that Lang would be the only original cast member to return. The Blind Man’s narrative continues with him taking care of a young girl named Phoenix, revealing a new side to his personality.

Some viewers may be surprised that the Blind Man is more of a protagonist this time around, but it all comes back to the core objective of defending what he owns. The mystery and fascination with his past and prowess keep admirers coming back for more, whether the figure makes them queasy or afraid.

Norman must protect his home and adoptive daughter from a new band of more brutal attackers than the previous ones in the original. Unlike the first film, the sequel will finally force Norman to leave his house and reveal how he will function in a new setting. Furthermore, Sayagues stated at a recent press event that the film would dive deeper into Norman’s emotional issues with parenting.

Lang’s tremendous physicality goes hand in hand with his ability to construct the part. It’s what made Norman so frightening in the first film, and it’s the same in Don’t Breathe 2. It wasn’t simple bringing that to the screen. Lang explains, “My preparation was intense.” “I went to the gym every day. I was aiming for a certain look, which I refer to as “old guy strong.” I wanted him to have a sinewy, gristly appearance. I wanted him to be as pure muscle and sinew as possible, without looking bodybuilder strong or anything.”

There are stylistic and tonal distinctions. The dazzling reds, yellows, and blues of Don’t Breathe have now given way to a greyer palette veiled in deep shadows, even though both films share the same cinematographer, Pedro Luque. While Norman’s physical limits were more prominent in the first film, he appears to be superhuman at times in the sequel as he defends his new home and Phoenix. The general degree of brutality and gore has also been increased.

Sayagues and Alvarez, on the other hand, have a keen understanding of how to build on previous successes without getting stale. The creeps invading Norman’s home to kidnap Phoenix, sneak around a labyrinthine house filled with locked chambers and hidden escapes, tell a lot of the storey with minimal dialogue, allowing us to think along with the characters.

And, while there are fewer stunning turns this time around, Sayagues and Alvarez do throw in a couple late in the picture, notably the surprise appearance of a figure who makes excellent use of the film’s shadow motif. But, then, in the final half-hour, what begins as another home invasion scenario takes some truly bizarre and unexpected turns.

While opinions on the Blind Man’s path in this film are likely to be split, Sayagues used something personal to build the film’s final moments. Norman confesses to Phoenix and tells her the truth about his heinous crimes. In exchange, she has chosen to go by the name he has given her.

In the end, the actual test of every sequel is whether it can entertain individuals who have never watched the original. And the answer is an unqualified yes in this case. If you haven’t seen the first film, Don’t Breathe 2 might be even more riveting and tense. Alvarez and Sayagues have created a blood-splattered potboiler that is far better than average but not brilliant. In this dreadfully merciless and unfair world, as their overworked antihero Norman knows all too well, you have to grab a win wherever you can get it.

Movie Review – DON’T BREATHE

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Betty Bugle