nathaxnne walker’s review published on Letterboxd :
BLUNT FORCE TRAUMA
Today I was in Savemart in Lancaster which is where I buy herbal supplements to self-treat brain injury when I am unable to buy them online or at Giant or closer and there was some dude wearing a Black Flag shirt and I was all like 'Black Flag R Awesome' and dude was like 'Yeah, sure, uhhhhh' and grabbed his organic corn chips or whatever and hurried past me which honestly is rational if you think about some obviously brain-damaged middle-aged hippie scuzz-drain wearing a Charlie Brown Halloween Shirt in August soliticing you for hardcore solidarity at Savemart. That dude could see that something was off and he was right. Don't Breathe is that situation when your loser friends try to convince you or you trying to convince others that what is obviously a terrible idea isn't really ALL THAT terrible an idea and anyway what is the worst that could happen? This is always a prelude to if not the worst that could happen, someway much further on the road to the worst that can happen than anyone would want to travel. Don't Breathe is when you hurt yourself and are like hey its not all that bad and then you hurt yourself again or the original injury is worse than you thought and you are like hey I can manage this right up until the point where you are like holy shit this could actually kill me and by that point your access to suitable agency required to fix things has been pretty much impaired. Don't Breathe is when you look down and notice that your shirt or your sock is like actually soaked in blood and you are scared to look under it because you would rather not know.
As far as I am concerned Fede Alvarez and Jane Levy need to keep making movies together until I am dead unless I can watch movies from beyond the grave in which case my death should be immaterial to Fede Alvarez and Jane Levy, which I am sure it is in any case. With Don't Breathe they have already MINOR SPOILER THREAT: made the best crypto-remake of Cujo with Jane Levy IS Dee Wallace or if The Hills Have Eyes 2 was PTSD flashbacks while the trauma has never been given time to be post all the way down. END MINOR SPOILER THREAT
If Evil Dead was Slayer in its raining-bloodness (it felt like Hell Awaits or South Of Heaven more than Reign In Blood to me but undeniable) than Don't Breathe is like when Pig Destroyer pull their sludge riffs out of a whirling money chamber filled with sarin and broken glass. Or when there is feedback, just feedback, over a void for I don't know how long until gravity reasserts itself. It is also kind of like Eyehategod hitting themselves in the face with a microphone stand more than once over the course of a show.
Don't Breathe is something that can hurt you without you knowing it can hurt you until knowing won't make any difference.
There were people at my viewing who were audibly saying NO, NO, NO to the screen. There were parts of Don't Breathe where my body was physically trying to get out of the seat through involuntary writhing and squirming. It is not so much a gutpunch of a movie but a series of gutpunches that leave you winded and gasping and bruised.
I don't have access to a car anymore and I am terrified of the social anxiety induced by the prospect of a cab ride so although I got a ride to this movie I made the really stupid decision to walk back for what would have been a 10 minute car ride in the dark with no sidewalks, immediately falling face down in the oncoming traffic lane, luckily avoiding head impact and oncoming traffic, by twisting my ankle and sending my phone into the darkness of the road. I kept walking and my phone said it would be like an hour and fourty-five minutes but if you have a stupid orthopedic shoe and a brain injury it takes like three hours. This is an example of a bad decision made out of stubborness, poverty and desperation. Don't be like me. Don't Breathe.
Don't Breathe is when you find out that My War is really part of someone else's Ongoing War that has never ended and you have now enmeshed yourself in and cannot extricate yourself from. The fact that you are sorry doesn't matter. The fact that you were stupid doesn't matter. The fact that you would do anything to get out of where you are now doesn't matter. All you can do is hope the worst that could happen doesn't get any worse and you tell yourself that if you don't move and don't make any sound maybe this doom will pass you over but there is no sigil to mark you as saved, unless there is. Saved, though, doesn't mean unscathed.