Tag Archives: Drama

And another ones gone… And another ones gone… Another one bites the dust!

I don’t know what’s more difficult, devoting a full 31 days of the year to Schlock or working on the post game summary.

Boom! Done! Finished! Hasta La Vista Baby! Elvis has left the building! This year’s Schlocktoberfest was brought to you by the letter C which stands for Creature Feature and holy hell I think I set a personal record as there were 8 films that consisted of giant monsters, Giant Octopuses, Sharks of the Mega and 2 headed variety, carnivorous tentacles, 7 foot wasps, and hostile aliens.  If you’re sensing a bit of deja vu with several of these entries its because I went back into the archives and condensed older reviews from the first version of The Direct 2 Video Dungeon. This is also why you might have spotted a lot of this year’s list focusing on productions from 2012 with several coming from The Asylum.

The variety was off the charts – regular zombies, vampiric zombies, homicidal paper boys, psychotic grandparents, a couple generic slashers here and there and an reanimated corpse that dresses up as Uncle Sam. Go ahead and pick your poison.  Oh plus a book and soundtrack review that ended up taking the place of the horror based video games I covered last year (my gaming habits have been pretty sporadic lately and didn’t have enough time to look for any games that fit into the Schlocktoberfest mold).

Before I get to my top 10 Schlocktoberfest 2K16 picks I would like to once again thank all of you who came along for this wild ride. Schedules can be difficult to work around and there were days where life got in the way but I was still able to throw together an update of some kind. I know that in the last two years I’ve stated that I had plans to update this blog more often and thanks to procrastination getting the better of me that never happened. Well I do plan to be back very soon as I have a couple ideas I want to expand on so you’ll most likely be seeing me around sometime in Mid-November. As of right now I intend to enjoy the rest of my Halloween and start November off by catching up on the latest episodes of Elementary, West World, Gotham and the season 3 finale of The Strain. Until the next time – keep a stiff upper lip.

Schlocktoberfest 2K16 Must Watch List: 

1 – Stranger Things – Technically not a movie unless you view this Netflix hit as it was intended through binge watching and even then each episode is presented in chapters so really this is what I’d refer to as an episodic live action book. A series starring children with adult tones. Horror, science fiction, drama, romance wrapped up tightly in an coming of age bow. You’ve had an entire month to watch this so if you flat out ignored my recommendation never come to this blog again…. EVER!

2 – The Witch – Beyond effective delivery, stunning performances, spine tingling results. If you grew up with a basic of witch folklore prepare to have all of your senses jolted.

3 – The Poughkeepsie Tapes – Blending the popular docudrama style of Discovery Channel’s New Detectives with the found footage genre there were moments where I felt a twinge of legitimate fear that wouldn’t subside until two or three days later. Can only hope John Erick Dowdle wasn’t blowing smoke about getting a distribution deal with MGM finalized as this needs a proper DVD/Blu-ray release.

4 – Godzilla vs. Destoroyah – 2016 featured another big return for Japan’s native son and when Funimation signed a deal with Toho to distribute Shin Godzilla for a limited U.S. theatrical engagement I don’t think The King’s handlers knew what was going to happen. One week and $1.5 million later and Shin Godzilla decided to stay take in the sights and sounds of the good old U.S.A. for a little while longer. I still missed out so Funimation when you announce pre-orders for Blu-ray I’ll be ready. Godzilla vs Destoroyah on the other hand is a real treat for G-fans as at the time it was intended to be a hiatus for Toho and what a send off the effects are completely jaw dropping, the story features a few new concepts all the while paying tribute to Godzilla’s humble origins. If you don’t have this in your collection you’re not a true Godzilla fan.

5 – Abraham Lincoln vs Zombies – Don’t really have to say much here. Abraham Lincoln kills zombies and does so in such a kick ass way you’ll be completely shell-shocked  when you realize this was an Asylum production. Thank you Bill Oberst Jr. without your screen presence this production would have been brain dead long before the zombies reached it.

6 – 10 Cloverfield Lane – Goodbye handheld camcorder hello Hitchockian suspense. The not so much a sequel as it a completely different concept that no one saw coming. What a pleasant surprise give John Goodman a fallout shelter set off an apocalyptic event and watch the tension build to a fever pitch.

7 – The Final Girls – Would have been much higher up on the list if not for a PG-13 rating. I’ll say it one more time for good measure – A PG-13 slasher flick?!?!?!? Never in all my 35 years of life would I have thought such a thing could exist. Oh well it dusts off some old ideas applies some polish and presents them in like new condition.

8 – Deep Rising – Oh Stephen Sommers how I miss thee, this is back when you presented some actual fun ideas. There’s not one person in the entire cast where I feel their talent was wasted. There are one liners galore, thrills, chills, gross out moments and plenty of laughs. Don’t get any second ideas here just because Deep Rising is in the number 8 position doesn’t mean it’s not as good as the films above in fact its the second highest rated creature feature next to Godzilla so if you’re looking for something completely campy but is so much fun don’t pass this one by.

9 – Don’t Breathe – Want to really throw audiences for a loop? Make a movie where 90% of the time the characters don’t even talk to one another. Don’t Breathe locks in the tension in a way where you don’t care if there’s dialogue you’re too concerned with monitoring your own pulse and wondering if your heart is going to into cardiac arrest by the time the credits roll.

10 – The Millennium Bug – Demented hillbillies, a normal everyday family getting off the grid to avoid any Y2K catastrophe and oh yeah a grotesque behemoth who’s rudely awakened from his  peaceful hibernation. If you miss the days of Stan Winston and Rick Baker this indie creature feature isn’t afraid to raise its practically created middle finger towards every CGI heavy production polluting the entertainment industry.

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Schlocktoberfest 2K16 Day 31: The Witch (2015)

I remember hearing that Goats will eat anything therefor I never really found them to be that scary. Until now.
I remember being told at a young age that Goats would eat anything therefor I never really found them to be all that frightening…. Until now.

Synopsis: A family in 1630s New England is torn apart by the forces of witchcraft, black magic and possession.

Which is the greater evil? The evil that resides inside of man or the evil that lurks out past the shadows in the woods and inside the beasts that inhabit such a vast untamed forest? With modern society we don’t have to turn far in order to see the evil that men do. Grab a TV remote and turn on the news, power on a laptop and load up a internet browser to CNN.com, check out a copy of The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune or USA Today. It is all around if given the chance it envelops us and yet its white noise that a vast majority decide to tune out and pay no mind to as we try to live our normal everyday lives.  The fear that lurks beyond the shadows as the sun slips down below the horizon is far more elemental preying on the wide array of emotions our minds will go through whenever we’re out in the middle of a serene wilderness. The unexpected sound of a branch snapping will send a surge of adrenaline through our bodies as we instinctively begin turning in circles desperately trying to locate the source of the sound. Now imagine in the course of taking four simple footsteps you’re transported some 400 years back in time to a point where if you hold a certain set of beliefs you’re cast out of society forced to make a go of it in unfamiliar territory that rests on the edge of an endless forest. It’s a world where their form of contemporary medicines wouldn’t be able to fight off simple illnesses and would ultimately be blamed on the work of the devil. If you’re not familiar with how to properly cultivate the earth and in your brash arrogance plant vegetables that turn up rotten blame wouldn’t be put on pure ignorance one simply had to point their finger at something as wicked as black magic instead. Wandering out into the serenity of the woods would greatly be frowned upon as you’re risking life itself. The sudden snapping of a tree branch could simply be a deer a wolf or a bear or it could be something that engorges on the fears of the unknown and is sinister beyond imagination.

Good horror films embrace the story their telling whereas magnificent horror films will use atmosphere to toy with every human emotion.  The atmosphere The Witch embraces hinges on primordial elements deciding early on that its going to use the plain fear of isolation to slowly unnerve viewers. A family has to readjust their lives as best as they can in an absolutely remorseless wilderness. A mere 10 minutes in the tension is quickly fractured when the family’s newborn son mysteriously vanishes. The father is quick to blame the disappearance on wolves and the mother is bedridden with grief and depression breaking down into tears as she prays for the safe return of her child. After searching for a few days the father makes the heartbreaking decision that everyone should move on with their lives readjusting once more to whatever hardships may come their way.  The forest around the homestead begins to feed off the tragedy and despair by punishing those who set foot in it. These were the moments where I found my pulse quickening to the point  where my heart was ready to punch out of my chest. Subtle little instances where what could be viewed as a bit of misfortune returns with those who ventured out and like a single ember sets fire to an already fragile powder keg of raw emotion. Atmosphere comes in many shapes and forms and the way it crawls out of the shadows  in The Witch is through the performances of four very talented young actors. Any respected thespian will tell you delivering a line of dialogue in the right inflection can be extremely difficult yet all four of these kids bravely carry the entire weight of the film on their shoulders. I knew almost immediately when I began making my selections for Schlocktoberfest 2K16 that The Witch would bookend the month and decided not to screen it right away preferring to wait and see where my emotions would lead. Thankfully I was not disappointed. This is bare bones horror at its finest. No lens flares or flashy explosions. No Hollywood hunks brought into the production to try and sell the film on the merits of being a box office smash. You want those qualities you know where to find them The Witch on the other hand is for those who like having a plot thread expanded out beyond set traditions and reminds us why we always gather together to tell these stories during this part of the year.

Final Grade: A+

Schlocktoberfest 2K16 Day 29: Crimson Peak (2015)

I see a blue door and I want to paint it red...
I see a blue door and I want to paint it red…

Synopsis: In the aftermath of a family tragedy, an aspiring author is torn between love for her childhood friend and the temptation of a mysterious outsider. Trying to escape the ghosts of her past, she is swept away to a house that breathes, bleeds – and remembers.

Guillermo del Toro’s obsession with the things that go bump in the night began at an early age.  He distinctively remembers seeing monsters from his crib and would frequently wet his bed making his mother upset to the point where del Toro finally decided to make a deal that if the monsters would allow him to go to the bathroom he would be their friend forever. Then there is the story of his Uncle Guillermo (whom he is named after) being fascinated with the occult and horror in general. One conversation led to a ghostly visit in which the younger Guillermo told his beloved uncle that when one of them passes on to the great beyond that they should come visit the other to prove that there is such a thing as the after life. When Uncle Guillermo did eventually die del Toro inherited the guest room his uncle frequented whenever he visited. One night while doing homework Guillermo began hearing groaning and deep breathing. Curious to find out where these sounds were resonating from he quickly turned off the television and closed the nearest window only to discover that the breathing was following him around the room. It got to the point where Guillermo checked his pillow and the mattress itself where he made the eerie discovery that the moaning was echoing throughout the bed springs and not long afterwards decided to never sleep in that room again.

The key thing that makes me such a huge Guillermo Del Toro fan is never quite knowing where each new project of his is going to be focused. When he came up with the concept of Pacific Rim and excitedly described fusing the kaiju and mecha genres together as one I couldn’t wait to see how he would transfer his soul into each metropolis leveling leviathan. When Pacific Rim hit theaters in July 2013 I wasn’t disappointed and as I made my way toward the exit I began to wonder where Guillermo would hang his hat next. When it was announced that his next directorial project would see him return to telling another ghost story a sly smile formed across my face as I said to myself ‘This will be vintage Del Toro!’ For the most part Crimson Peak is a love letter to those who grew up with the golden age of Gothic horror of the 1960s and 70s. I say for the most part because the first 35 minutes feel like something out of PBS’s Masterpiece block of programming. It’s not what you’d call a slow burn especially when a romantic subplot goes from simple flirting to marriage quicker than a hiccup. That minor annoyance aside as soon as story shifts to the newlywed couple moving into the haunted family estate is where Guillermo lets his brilliance run wild and free. Every scene is beautifully shot and like every Del Toro production it doesn’t take long to get lost in the sense of scale.  Reading the movie trivia on IMDB the house used was built specifically for this film as was every item in it so when production wrapped it was torn down to make room for studio space which is a shame because its one of those structures that if it was left standing a majority of people would take one look at it and go yep that place is undoubtedly haunted. Where Crimson Peak really dials in it at is with the beyond outstanding performances from Tom Hiddleston and Jessica Chastain. The chemistry between the two is so well executed to the point where everyone else has a difficult task keeping up. I’m not what you call an overly romantic type and there were several moments where I ended up rolling my eyes yet as soon as Del Toro got away from that and pushed the accelerator down to the floor board Crimson Peak rarely lost any momentum. I’m looking forward to giving it another watch since like any other Del Toro production there’s always going to be something you’re going to miss the first time around. That’s the power of Guillermo Del Toro though as long as those things still go bump in the night continue to haunt his memories he’ll keep the creative juices flowing.

Final Grade: B

Schlocktoberfest 2K16 Day 26: 2 Headed Shark Attack (2012)

It's not an extreme sport unless you're surfing 2 headed shark induced waves.
It’s not an extreme sport unless you’re surfing a 2 headed shark induced wave.

Synopsis: Survivors escape to a deserted atoll after a Semester at Sea ship is sunk by a mutated two-headed shark. But when the atoll starts flooding, no one is safe from the double jaws of the monster as it eats fresh delicious women and men.

Every so often the appetizer that is served before a main course isn’t very appealing and in the case of Megashark vs. Giant Octopus while it helped The Asylum break out into a larger spectrum the film was marred with excessive pacing issues and a plot that withered and died not even a quarter of the way through. Despite these gaping flaws MSvGO is proud to walk that line between insanity and sheer genius fifty times over and in the years following its conception it has found a loyal following from creature feature fanatics. Now if you weren’t satisfied with little to no blood or gore or even less of Megashark and Giant Octopus laying the smackdown on one another today we’re focusing on a much more savage predator born into this world with two heads attached to the same body and according to the DVD/Blu-ray tagline it has 6,000 teeth between the both of them. It couldn’t be a true shark movie without a bevy of bikini clad women and several dumb jocks and thankfully 2 Headed Shark Attack takes these two stereotypes and meshes them together better than peanut butter and jelly. The only thing worth questioning about the plot here is how Calvin Klein catalog models were able to get passing grades in their college courses in order to qualify for a semester at sea aboard a scientific research vessel but than again maybe its best to throw all logic off the port bow considering if you try and devote more than 5 minutes to dismantling an Asylum production you deserve to get ripped to shreds by a 2 headed terror.

One has to wonder what the person who coined the phrase two heads are better than one would think of a schlocky horror flick the likes of 2 Headed Shark Attack? Would they sit and watch in awe as this awesome creation goes through hordes of college students faster than Leatherface and Michael Meyers could do in a weekend fueled by binge drinking,  ruthless chainsaw swinging, and competition kitchen knife throwing. While Megashark vs. Giant Octopus takes multiple viewings to live up to its namesake 2 Headed Shark Attack is near flawless in its overall execution wasting no time by killing a group of wake boarders within the first two minutes of the film. Why go for dull plot exposition? Bring on the shark ravaging goodness and that’s exactly what The Asylum promises and delivers upon in spades. If you’re a bad movie aficionado, like me, then you’ve probably built up sort of a immunity to watching trash cinema and in doing so you now actually encourage the film to kill off all the irritating characters with stone cold precision. 2 Headed Shark Attack wipes the floor with 99.999% of the cast and it does it so quickly that you’ll get an adrenaline high that lasts until the next victim bites the big one. The funny thing is that this never becomes overly cliched either you get someone dropping a horribly quipped one liner one moment and then quicker than you can say supercalifragilisticexpialidocious they’re in the belly of the beast trying to read Louisiana license plates realizing that they forgot to pack a flashlight. This is another Asylum feature where there are some spectacular locations to take in plus I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed the spontaneity that the filmmakers took here where they didn’t keep everyone fighting for survival on just a broken down boat. Moving the action to an atoll made for a great change of pace because it gives the group what they think is a safe haven but when sudden earthquakes begin to rip everything apart all the survivors know that they are now royally screwed. Looking at the acting both Brooke Hogan and Carmen Electra were able to hit their marks respectively more so than any of the other actors featured but in many regards there isn’t anything that they add to the movie as a whole. Electra is well past her prime looking like she had to trim down quite a bit to fit into a swim suit and even when viewers get a scene of her tanning its nothing like almost two decades earlier when posters of her were selling like hotcakes. Brooke Hogan, on the other hand, is a Jill of all trades including a pop singer, a model, has followed in her father’s footsteps by being a professional wrestling personality of sorts, and now with her trying to become a respectable actress the only thing she does in 2 Headed Shark Attack (way too much I might add) is flaunt herself in a bikini top. Charlie O’Connell proves that he can handle any part that his brother would most likely pass on without a second thought. It was such a blast watching this guy all the while thinking to myself ‘Hmmm, I wonder how Jerry would deliver that line???’ Witnessing a 2 headed shark devour everything in its sight is the main reason to drop rental money down on this and in doing so I have to ask – is it weird that I secretly obsess over wanting to see a major network pick up a sitcom with both the 2 headed shark and Charlie O’Connell working together to solve bizarre crimes on the high seas? Personally I think that has the words smash hit written all over it.

Final Grade: C+

Schlocktoberfest 2K16 Day 24: Curtains (1983)

Its a good year before Freddy Krueger was unleashed on the world but I think he'd have something to say about that ultimate nightmare tagline.
Its a good year before Freddy Krueger was unleashed on the world but I think he’d have something to say about that ultimate nightmare tagline.

Synopsis: Six young actresses auditioning for a movie role at a remote mansion are targeted by a mysterious masked murderer.

The lengths some actors/actresses will go to to deliver truly iconic performances are what separates those who set their sights on Hollywood because of their model good looks and just want to be famous for the attention to those who start out with simple bit parts as they slowly struggle their way up the ladder of success to one day be nominated for the biggest prize in the industry, a coveted Oscar. The late great Heath Ledger got his first big break as a heart throb in the teen comedy 10 Things I Hate About You and after the monster success of that film refused to be typecast choosing his next roles very carefully. By the time he accepted the role of The Joker in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight the initial reaction from people was how could someone who did lighthearted comedies like 10 Things  and A Knight’s Tale play the clown prince of crime? In preparation Health locked himself in a hotel room for the better part of a month keeping a journal and slowly created the Joker’s voice, laugh, and mannerisms. With Heath’s unexpected passing months before the film’s premiere there were some who wondered if he perhaps went a little too far down the rabbit hole in order to attain the performance of a lifetime. I never really thought of the events surrounding Heath’s death as more than a unfortunate tragedy and upon watching the first half of Curtains I can definitely see where that certain line of thinking can come into focus. An actress decides that in order to fully embrace a character that she is going to be playing convinces the director of the film to have her committed to a woman’s insane asylum and surround herself with individuals who have a wide array of disorders. At first she is able to play along relying on her acting to convince the staff that she has had a complete mental breakdown yet as the days wear on her interactions between fellow inmates legitimately begin to take their toll on her own mental stability.  It certainly doesn’t help matters when she comes across an issue of Variety with front page news that the director has decided to hold an open casting call looking for another actress to play the role instead.

So what do you honestly think is going to happen when an aging actress is conned into being institutionalized and then finds out that the director of the film she was set to star in had little to no interest in using her in his production? Anyone… anyone… Bueller? Bueller? Congratulations, if you said  that the emotionally crippled, highly jealous, now potentially insane former starlet was going to find a way to break out of the women’s asylum and begin plotting her revenge give yourself a pat on the back. Curtains has a solid dynamic behind the first 30 to 45 minutes where you’re naturally intrigued as to whether there is going to be a huge payoff or not. The director and writers go so far to introduce a second killer to really try and keep you second guessing but like any murder mystery of the week it doesn’t take much sleuthing to figure out who is behind the other set of killings. What’s even worse is there’s a point a good three quarters of the way through where the plot starts to drag itself around like the dead body of one of the film’s victims. I like the fact that Curtains takes the secluded approach of The Shining by having the main setting be a house that is out in the middle of nowhere while a blizzard has all the roads are snowed in. I love that John Vernon (National Lampoon’s Animal House and Killer Clowns From Outer Space) gives audiences another solid performance as a vile/cutthroat director that treats all the actresses auditioning for him as nothing more than mere set decoration. There’s certainly a sense of style here and regrettably its marred down by trying to do too much too fast and not allowing that much breathing room in between. While I understand that Curtains has developed a cult following over the years after my one and only viewing I think I’d find more enjoyment in comforts of a straight jacket and a comfy padded/soundproof cell.

Final Grade: D

Schlocktoberfest 2K16 Day 22: Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies (2012)

The Great Emancipator, The Great American Ass Kicker!
The Great Emancipator, The Great American Ass Kicker!

Synopsis: While the Civil War rages on, President Abraham Lincoln must undertake an even more daunting task – destroying the Confederate Undead.

Over the course of the history of the film industry there have been many portrayals of Honest Abe whether its Frank McGlynn, Sr or Robert V. Barron to more recent interpretations from Benjamin Walker and Daniel Day Lewis.  2010 would see Lincoln’s popularity soar to new heights in the most unusual way when author Seth Grahame-Smith gave the world an interesting horror/alternate history mash up cleverly titled Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter about how the future 16th president led a secret life hunting down and killing unholy bloodsuckers. The book became an instant hit and a couple years later would spawn a feature film adaptation in which the aforementioned Benjamin Walker starred in the title role. Before the movie had a chance to hit theaters the masters of mockbusters over at The Asylum struck with their own alternate version of history as President Lincoln had an even bigger threat to conquer besides slavery – a zombie outbreak. Like any Asylum production the normal rules of right and wrong don’t apply and absurdity ultimately wins the day. Someone must have dropped acid before they cracked open a U.S. history book and took almost every major historical icon from the era and intertwined them into the story. Besides Lincoln himself the cast of characters are rounded out by a young Teddy Roosevelt, Confederate General Stonewall Jackson, future Wild West lawman Pat Garrett, and the infamous John Wilkes Booth who is working as a double agent planted inside Lincoln’s secret service. Everything is set into motion with Abe in the middle of writing The Gettysburg Address but then he is quickly interrupted and informed of a mysterious outbreak that has hit in a southern fort where people who have succumbed to the disease reanimate as the mindless walking dead and have an intense craving for living flesh. Reminded of an earlier incident that took place during his youth in which he lost both of his parents Honest Abe immediately jumps into action by personally leading a group of men on a daring mission to stop this infestation from spreading throughout America. Okay on second thought whoever came up with this is an absolute genius because for as absurd as it sounds you have to witness the beautiful carnage that is unleashed in this mockbuster masterpiece for yourself, its simply a sight to be seen. Where else are you going to get the opportunity to watch a legendary U.S. president running around lopping zombie’s heads off with a retractable scythe? Good luck trying to find anything the likes of that on the History Channel and if you’re expecting Spielberg’s overly dramatic Lincoln to be a man of (kicka$$) action I hate to break it to you but you’re going to be severely disappointed.

When I first watched Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies during the summer of 2012 I couldn’t believe how thoroughly enjoyable the finished results were. This ranks in as the absolute best Asylum film and I have no problems putting the Direct 2 Video Dungeon seal of approval on this bad boy. If you love getting friends together for a bad movie night Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies goes right to the very top of the list of recommendations. As someone who saw Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter in 3D I’ll admit that I had a lot of fun with both the blockbuster and the mockbuster yet it’s watching Abe wield a scythe like a madman that ends up getting higher replay value in this household. Anyone who goes into Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies with a serious attitude needs to get off their high horse and leave your brain with one of the undead. If there was any one complaint its that a lot of the actors used fake beards which is a tad unfortunate as if there had been a six month prep period there might have been several actors who would’ve given Kurt Russell and the rest of the cast of John Carpenter’s The Thing a run for their money in the most manly facial hair department. Apart from that ALvZ is a fun filled horror mash up chalked full of blood, brains, and gore so what are you waiting for? Nothing helps celebrate Abraham Lincoln’s birthday better than watching the 16th president open up a can and dispense it in grand low budget fashion.

Final Grade: A

Schlocktoberfest 2K16 Day 21: Don’t Breathe (2016)

I have this same reaction when I know Stephen Lang is a brilliant actor but the only thing I've seen him in is Tombstone.
The reaction everyone will have when I reveal that the  only other film I’ve watched with Stephen Lang in it is Tombstone.

Synopsis: Hoping to walk away with a massive cash, a trio of thieves break into the house of a sick man who isn’t as helpless as he seems.

The problem with a lot of contemporary horror is film studios love  to dictate to their directors, writers and producers that sticking to a formula will automatically equal box office gold. Originality always goes a long way but only if you’ve built a reputation inside the industry will the corporate suits allow you a have a few minutes to pitch something entirely outside the box. I imagine this is what happened when Fede Alvarez presented the concept of Don’t Breathe as he was coming hot off the heels the universal praise his soft remake of Evil Dead was receiving. It’s not everyday a relative nobody will be spotted by the original creators of such a beloved horror franchise and be given the creative freedom to take the property into a realm that doesn’t feel dated or deliberately try to get the audience on board by recreating shots from three decades ago in precise detail. Making a statement on a piece of established property is the trial by fire if you can hit the ground running and create something that the studio, critics, and movie fans alike universally get behind than you deserve to be rewarded by taking your next big chance out on to the freeway and opening the throttle all the way up past 100.

Remember when I mentioned that outside the box frame of thinking earlier? Well Don’t Breathe applies this for 85% of it’s duration. Apart from the cookie cutter attempt at character development once the home invasion aspect is dialed in good luck trying to advert your eyes away from the screen. The moment the switch is flipped is where the movie is forced to tell the story through silence and body language rather than risking the chance of any cheesy dialogue weighing the plot down. I mean when is the audience going to feel tension? In a film’s quietest moments or when someone is having a long conversation with other characters over what their next course of action should be. The tension starts as a small ripple and as expands outwards becoming more larger in scale and just when you think its going to subside in comes a perfect crescendo where Jane Levy’s character starts up a dialogue with Stephen Lang. The audience gets to do character building through watching the thieves slowly begin realize that just because their target is without his sight doesn’t mean that they can rob him blind. It’s adaptation in its finest form, when we lose one of our senses we quickly learn how to rely on our others so its definitely a more reserved take on the classic game of cat and mouse. Lang doesn’t need his eyes to convey a full range of emotions he’s a literal force of nature suppressed to the confines of his own home.  Which is why when Levy finally does get him to talk you’re drawn to every single word. Perhaps its a good thing there hasn’t been another horror/thriller in recent months to match the intensity of Don’t Breathe believe me after you watch this you’ll be thanking your lucky stars that you still have all five senses.

Final Grade: B+