Starring: Stephen Lang, Brendan Sexton III, Madelyn Grace
Director: Rodo Sayagues
Running Time: 98 mins
Don’t Breathe 2 is an American film and the sequel to Don’t Breathe. While caring for a young girl, the blind man finds his home under attack from a vicious group of criminals, who set their sights on the girl at any cost.
Don’t Breathe was a real breath of fresh air in the home invasion genre, with exhilarating thrills, innovative horror and a stunning twist at the end. Its sequel is a little bit more of a typical home invasion thriller, but with the violence taken up another notch, all set to a story with some deeply unsettling undertones.
While the first film found many of its frights in jump scares, Don’t Breathe 2 uses uncompromising gore and a powerfully disturbing story to get you on the edge of your seat. As a result, it’s not for the faint-hearted, and certainly isn’t anywhere near as enjoyably scary as its predecessor.
On the plus side, there’s no denying that Don’t Breathe 2 doesn’t hold back when it comes to serious horror. With an ominous atmosphere that lingers in the air from the start, the movie picks on a pair of vulnerable but likable leads in Stephen Lang and Madelyn Grace in the cruellest of ways.
While the screenplay doesn’t necessarily give the same nuance to the characters as the first film, leaving its action as more of a crash-bang affair than a piercingly exciting thriller, Don’t Breathe 2 is a film which completely turns itself around about halfway through.
With a devastating revelation that builds upon some nasty hints in the early stages, the film’s latter half is really, horribly disturbing. It’s not edge-of-your-seat thrilling, but the blend of gruesome violence and a truly terrifying back story for the villains makes it a powerfully unsettling watch to the finish.
In the lead role, Stephen Lang gives an amazingly physical performance as the blind man, brilliantly converting from the pseudo-villain of the last film into a lovable hero this time round. Meanwhile, the very young Madelyn Grace puts herself through some truly gruesome sequences and themes, and it’s testament to her maturity how she delivers her character’s tough role so well.
Again, this film really isn’t for the faint of heart, and although it certainly pales in comparison to its predecessor due to a less innovative and ambiguous screenplay, Don’t Breathe 2 is still a striking, albeit deeply uncomfortable, horror thriller. So, that’s why I’m giving it a 7.4 overall.