As I have stated numerous times, I am not a fan of the horror genre unless it skews slightly more toward the thriller territory. Having said that, I have ventured out more and more watching a mix of both. This time I took in Don’t Breathe 2 centering around a blind veteran (Stephen Lang) who finds himself having to use his military training to save an orphaned Phoenix from a group of thugs who break into his home.
Sound like a simple enough premise right? It actually ends up feeling more like Home Alone gone wrong to the 10th power with an organ trafficking ring. We meet up with Norman eight years after Don’t Breathe and discover Phoenix (Madelyn Grace) face down in the middle of the street has actually survived a fire. Posing as her father, Norman trains Phoenix in escape techniques should she need to be able to defend herself without any assistance from him. Enter organ traffickers who murder Norman’s friend and set their sights on taking siege of this home when thing things end up being a little more difficult than anticipated.
Stephen Lang navigates these staged scenes as a blind man expertly well and Madelyn Grace matches him toe for toe amongst a dark, post-apocalyptic feel making it the perfect backdrop for an organ transplant gang. The ominous soundtrack compliments the action and impending drama laden throughout. However, it quickly becomes a comically nail-biting, thin plot with crack addict organ traffickers taking away from what is meant to be an immensely serious situation.
Aside from Grace and Lang’s performances, Don’t Breathe 2 is a sequel that doesn’t serve it’s franchise well. Even though we know the trope of a horror film often results in dogs and women being killed, it was particularly disturbing the manner in which they both met their demise which was massively violent. Don’t Breathe may have been a wildly successful hit in 2016, but the extensive violence, and trite dialogue make this sequel difficult on a number of levels. Directed by Rodo Sayagues and produced by Sony Pictures, alongside Screen Gems, Don’t Breathe 2 will join the graveyard of sequels and although not anywhere near as good as its predecessor will keep audiences on the edge of their seats as it screens exclusively in movie theaters right now.