Joey is a movie enthusiast and loves to watch movies and review them.
Background and Information
The anticipated sequel to Sony Pictures’ highly-acclaimed, new horror intellectual property (IP) Don’t Breathe 2 was released on August 13th. The movie hit box offices during an ongoing pandemic and has only grossed about 45 million dollars compared to its budget of 15 million. This number is nowhere near the 150 million dollar earnings of its predecessor Don’t Breathe showing how the pandemic is still affecting movies on the big screen. Don’t Breathe, released in 2016, was about a group of burglars who snuck into a blind, old man’s house to steal a cache of money he had stashed away in his house. However, what should have been an easy score quickly took a turn for the worst. Don’t Breathe 2 is “meant” to be a direct sequel to this film.
Review and Opinions
I put meant in quotations in the previous sentence not because it was a typo, but because I struggled to see the connection between the two movies. Don’t Breathe 2 seemed to be its own standalone movie with no correlation at all to the first movie despite the character of the blind, old man. It makes me think the company just used the name of the first film because it was so highly praised and earned a lot of money to try and make more money off of a lousy sequel. Don’t Breathe 2 completely threw aside what made the first movie so great, which was the tension and horror. In the first movie, the blind man was perceived as the antagonist and the burglars were perceived as the protagonists, which caused a lot of the tension and horror due to the fact that you were rooting for the protagonists, who were less powerful than the antagonist, to escape. However, the sequel makes the blind man the protagonist, which immediately eliminates all of the tension and horror that the first movie had. Rooting for the blind man in this instance makes everything so predictable and boring because he is superior to his enemies in a lot of ways. It is very hard for a movie franchise to randomly make the antagonist all of a sudden the protagonist, especially in horror movies, and this movie does not do it well at all. They expect you to care for a character that you hated in the previous movie right at the start of the sequel without setting anything up, which is really poor writing. Although they do build his character a small amount throughout the film, character development is greatly lacking for his character from the start.
What also made the first movie so great was that there were multiple protagonists, which allowed for them to kill off or greatly injure some of them to build tension and horror. However, the sequel only having one protagonist again makes it very predictable and builds zero tension and horror because you know he will most likely survive the majority of the film. The limitations on protagonist side characters also limits the ability to kill some off, which would add some tension that this movie so desperately needs.
The setting was also a huge reason of why the first movie was so good. In Don’t Breathe, the setting was limited to just the blind man’s house for the majority of the movie, which allowed for a very spooky and claustrophobic feeling that added a lot of tension and horror aspects as well. However in Don’t Breathe 2, they use the blind man’s house as the setting for a very small portion of the movie again neglecting what made the first movie so great.
Despite what I have previously said, Don’t Breathe 2 does have some good elements. For starters, the overall story is actually pretty good with a surprising twist in the middle, which sets up a somewhat underwhelming ending unfortunately. The action scenes and some uses of props and other weapons are very well carried out. The choreography and cinematography on fight scenes were well done as well. The character development seems a little bit forced in certain areas, but overall allows for you to develop an emotional connection to the old man and his daughter, which builds some tension for the final fight scene at the end. This story focused on action more than tension and horror, which may actually be some people’s cup of tea, so if you hate horror and cannot stand it, Don’t Breathe 2 might actually be a decent movie for you to check out. However, if you love to be on the edge of your seat the whole movie and really be immersed in a horror experience, then this movie will be very disappointing for you.
Conclusion and Final Verdict
In conclusion, Don’t Breathe 2 is a so-called sequel that greatly falls short of the mark from the original. With its lack of a connection to the first film along with its lack of horror and tension driven scenes, Don’t Breathe 2 is an unfortunate sequel to what was a great new IP in the horror genre. Despite its lack of horror and tension, it does have some action sequences that some viewers might prefer. With a decent story and character connection, which allows for you to actually care what happens at the end, Don’t Breathe 2 is not a terrible experience. However, the overall experience is nothing like the first one and feels like it was forced and rushed just to make more money for the studio. That being said my final verdict for Don’t Breathe 2 is a 4/10.
Don't Breathe 2: 4/10
© 2021 Joseph Coviello