I love films that surprise me, who i had no high expectations of. Films that comes unexpected, and turns out to be surprisingly good. That´s something that does not happen very often, so when a film actually manage to do this, i am always positive. Since a lot of releases usually follow a certain pattern that we all recognize, we need a fresh wind once in a while to stir things up. There is nothing wrong with making a traditional film, it´s just nice to see that a director want to make an effort to try something different. To be able to see a film that actually tries to make an attempt to borrow ideas from certain classic films, but still manage to put it together in an intelligent way. And that is exactly what we noticed back in 2016, when director Fede Álvarez ( the director of the very well made Evil Dead remake ) released his film known as Don´t Breathe. I remember going into the theatre to this film, since i tried to avoid reading reviews and articles about the film, to get my own opinion. And i am glad that i did, because Don´t Breathe turned out to be one of the best horror thrillers of 2016. Not just because the plot was clever constructed, but this film also managed to deliver strong characters, and really good horror elements as well. Don´t Breathe tells the story of Rocky ( Jane Levy ), Alex ( Dylan Minnette ) and Money ( Daniel Zovatto ) who make a living on breaking in to people´s homes, by stealing valuables. Money recieve a tip that a Gulf War veteran named Norman Nordstrom ( Stephen Lang ) has 300.000 U.S. dollars in his house in an abandoned Detroit neighborhood. They think it will be easy to get the money, since Norman is completely blind. But they are about to find out, Norman is more prepared than they expected. Don´t Breathe is still today one of those films i could easily recommend if you want to see a really well made horror thriller. The acting is really good, and the horror elements works really well. If you get the Blu Ray, i suggest that you listen to the commentary track and find out some very interesting details about the making of this film, and about the characters. I actually did not expect to see a sequel, but here we are in 2021 with another film with the main character Norman Nordstrom back. Since i really enjoyed the first film, i was a bit worried they would mess things up with a sequel, but decided to give this film a chance. Is this a worthy sequel to a really good film, or is Don´t Breathe 2 a sequel that never should have been made at all?
Eight years have passed, and blind Army veteran Norman Nordstrom ( Stephen Lang ) lives with 11-year-old Phoenix ( Madelyn Grace ) and his Rottweiler, Shadow, in a Detroit suburb. Norman tells Phoenix that her mother died in the fire of their old house. Hernandez ( Stephanie Arcila ), Norman´s only connection with society and a veteran army ranger, convinces Norman to let Phoenix go with her to spend some time with her, instead of staying at the house all the time. While Phoenix visits a bathroom, a biker tries to abduct her. She gets away thanks to her friend Shadow. It turns out, that this gang is actually out for Phoenix for a reason, as they head over to the home of Norman.
I knew that there is a chance that Don´t Breathe 2 would not reach the same quality level that the first film did. And that is true, this sequel is not as good as the first film. However, this is still a solid sequel for a completely different reasons. I feel that this film tries to give us a completely different view on the life of the main character Norman, wich was definetely needed to make a sequel. I also feel that this film also does a great job by showing us the life of his young adopted daughter Phoenix. I have to mention what a wonderful performance child actor Madelyn Grace gives in this film as Phoenix. To be able to play her character so professional as she does, and show the emotions that she manage to do at her young age, tells me that she can be quite a unique actor in the future. I really wish her all the best on her career, looking forward to see what she will do next. Legendary actor Stephen Lang ( who i especially remember from the 1993 war film Gettysburg ) deliver once more a solid performance as Norman. Another detail that i think makes this film interesting as well, is that Norman get to fight against another war veteran, compared to the first film. This is definetely an interesting twist in this sequel, since they have both been in wars, and they both suffer from their traumatic memories. I think this was a good choice, instead of just doing the same thing as the first film, with the same kind of characters. So how does the horror elements work in this film as well? It´s not as effective as the first film was, i will be honest about that. I still feel that this sequel does a good job with the source material, by using other ways to tell a different story, and add some surprising details into the plot. Director Rodo Sayagues ( who was the writer on the Evil Dead remake ) have done a pretty good job with this sequel, and deliver a solid film, especially for those who enjoyed the first film. Don´t Breathe 2 may not find a big new audience, but it will definetely be appreciated by those who want a brutal horror thriller. Definetely worth picking up on Blu Ray, this is my kind of Saturday night treat.