Don't Breathe is a phenomenal step for the suspense genre. It presents the fairly unoriginal idea about a home invasion of an impaired victim and flips the roles such that the intruders are the protagonists.
The main characters, Rocky (Jane Levy) and Alex (Dylan Minnette), are a team of reluctant thieves in modern day Detroit. One last heist is all they need to end their careers as larceners, and the job seemingly couldn't be easier- the house belongs to a blind man (Stephen Lang). Quickly they become trapped in the house, and they eventually learn the horrifying truth about the man they set out to rob.
The camera angles used were remarkably consistent for reminding the viewer of just how small the setting really is- it is, after all, a house. Don't Breathe certainly isn't afraid to jump-scare you- but luckily it knows how to use them in moderation. The cinematographer often adds to the suspense quite effectively by having the protagonists and antagonist in the same shot, though not always aware of the location of the other.
Something that struck me about this film was that it really was not afraid to break any horror norms such as an easy escape from a near-death situation. Without spoiling any of the plot, I'll just say that I was terrified at the level of realism that was put into the story, and also extremely satisfied with the choices the director made when it came to shocking his audience.
Even though the setting is admittedly small, Don't Breathe does a great job of using the space for different purposes. In one segment of the movie, the characters are trapped in the basement where they lose their only advantage against their adversary: light. Things suddenly get dark not only for the protagonists but for the audience, and this swift change in the camera is followed up by a thrilling action sequence.
Don't Breathe is a smart, relentless thriller that will keep you scared consistently. The plot itself isn't difficult for the average moviegoer such as myself to follow, but interesting enough to set it apart from most others. This is recommended to any fan of the horror genre who wants a true thrill ride. Remember- just don't breathe.