Don't Breathe

You can't really call Jane Levy (Evil Dead remake) a Queen of Scream because there's no screaming going on in Don't Breathe -- at least, not on the screen. The audience? Now that's a-whole-nother thing. Director Fede Alvarez, who wrote the screenplay with collaborator Rodo Sayagues, methodically lays out the story and the playing field for this cat and mouse game. Levy's Rocky and friends Alex (Dylan Minnette) and Money (Daniel Zavotta) have been burglarizing homes in Detroit because their lives suck and they want out of Motor City. Alpha dog Money scopes a house on a deserted street. The owner is a blind Gulf War veteran (Stephen Lang) mourning his daughter who was killed by a careless motorist. Setting sympathy aside, Money and Rocky decide to break into the house and relieve the vet of the money he received in a settlement from the driver's affluent parents. Beta male Alex, who is pining for Rocky, is ambivalent at first but eventually joins the gang. Once inside the house, however, the plan goes awry and the blind vet -- with his keen hearing and smelling -- proves to be much more than he appears as the thieves try to hide from him in his creaky house. It's all bloody good fun that had me rooting for both the cat and mouse at different times and sometimes both at once.

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