U.S. Release Date: 8/26/16
In the new thriller Don’t Breathe, three small time burglars quickly discover that appearances can be very deceptive when they attempt to rob the house of a blind man living in an abandoned part of Detroit.
“I wouldn’t call it a hundred percent horror or thriller. But it has a bunch of very scary moments for sure.”
Sam Raimi, who produced Alvarez’s Evil Dead and directed the original back in 1982, gave Alvarez the go-ahead to serve up a second horror helping.
“From the beginning, Fede had a distinct vision of an edgy, character-driven thriller for a modern audience. And introducing a blind character opened doors for him to build tension through both visuals and sound design.”
In the story, scripted by Alvarez and Rodo Sayagues, the three pals – comprising of Rocky (Jane Levy), Alex (Dylan Minnette) and Money (Daniel Zovatto) – target a home filled with enough cash to see them leave Detroit and begin life anew.
Once they break in, however, they discover that the house is occupied by a blind man (Stephen Lang), who, it turns out, is as dangerous as they come.
“This man is unusually resourceful and completely ruthless, to the point where he seems almost superhuman. He’s not going to let them get the money without a fight to the finish.”
Don’t Breathe also sees Alvarez re-teaming with Jane Levy, who played Evil Dead’s Mia – a demon possessed drug addict.
“This is a completely different character on some levels, but Rocky definitely shares some similarities with Mia,” says Alvarez. “She’s a fighter, that’s for sure. She has a purpose for going after that money and nothing will stop her. But the Blind Man is pulling from the opposite direction with the same fierce resolve.”
Post Evil Dead, Levy planned on waving goodbye to the horror genre, but Don’t Breathe quickly changed her mind once she learned that Alvarez was at the helm.
“It has an epic, mythological feeling for me. It’s been elevated in a way that only Fede could. This movie reminds me of a graphic novel in many ways. The palette is really beautiful — grey with pops of color.”
Levy says she wanted to make Rocky likeable – even though the character is committing a crime.
“You’re rooting for Rocky, even though she’s doing something dishonorable. But Fede has created archetypal characters who are complex mirrors of humanity. In this situation, Alex is the brains, Money is the drive and Rocky is the heart, so you can root for her.”
Alvarez says none of the characters – portrayed in Don’t Breathe – are completely admirable.
“I don’t like it when filmmakers force me to pick a side. A lot of the stories I see are very manipulative. I don’t need to be spoon-fed who is good or bad. Let me choose who I like. We show you an array of characters and let you decide. No one is a saint here. Everyone has shady motives. You have to pick the one that you connect with.”
Studio: Screen Gems
Director: Fede Alvarez
Stars: Jane Levy, Dylan Mynette, Daniel Zovatto and Stephen Lang
Screenwriters: Fede Alvarez and Rodo Sayagues
Producers: Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert and Fede Alvarez
Executive Producers: Nathan Kahane, Joe Drake, Erin Westerman, J. R. Young, and Mathew Hart
Image Info: Stephen Lang stars in Screen Gems’ horror-thriller DON’T BREATHE. © 2016 Screen Gems. All Rights Reserved
Source Info: Information in this article, including quotes, is sourced from press material pertaining to Don’t Breathe © 2016 Screen Gems. All Rights Reserved