Don't Breathe 2 movie poster
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Don't Breathe 2
Don't Breathe 2 movie poster

Don't Breathe 2 Movie Review

Now available on Blu-ray and DVD (Buy on Amazon)

Rapists can still be heroes. That’s the moral of Don’t Breathe 2--if there is one--a sequel to the gripping horror-thriller in which the villainous blind dude who tried to inject his semen into his horrified victim with a turkey baster is now the good guy. From a f**king turkey baster. To hero.

The first Don’t Breathe was excellent. Like, really excellent. Suspenseful. Frightening. Gory in all the right ways. And if at first you felt sympathy for The Blind Man (Stephan Lang), director and co-writer Fede Alvarez cemented in the film’s final act his awfulness by revealing that he was a psychopath, a kidnapper, and a rapist. 

Well, Alvarez is gone. His co-writer and collaborator Rodo Sayagues took the reins this time around and for some reason decided to go the direction that he went.

It’s not that a movie about a blind man being an unsuspecting badass--and a force for good--is a terrible concept, but this blind man? In this franchise? It’s a horrible decision, especially in the wake of the #MeToo movement. But even those optics aside, it’s hard to empathize with this dude, even if he is trying to rescue his sort-of-adopted daughter (Madelyn Grace) from a group of bad guys.

As a thriller, Don’t Breathe 2 isn’t the worst thing you’ll experience all year, but Sayagues, in his directorial debut, lacks the nuance and patience of Alvarez. The movie is an onslaught of bad people doing bad things, resulting in lots of violence and gore. There isn’t a single likeable character in the whole film--I didn’t even particularly like the young Phoenix, despite being the one innocent of the bunch--and seeing them endlessly bash one another gets tiring after a while.

The story itself is sort of deranged, but not in a deranged late-career Nicolas Cage-style way as much as it is a weird, “this is the best you could come up with?” continuation to this franchise, which will presumably go no further. It’s clear that Sayagues knows his protagonist is largely irredeemable and so he had to make the bad guys so clearly much worse.

Though not without a few satisfying moments, Don’t Breathe 2 is a largely unpleasant experience that fails to capture the magic of the first film. Rapists can still be heroes, but then again, maybe they shouldn’t be.

Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.

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