What can I say? I’m a self-proclaimed horror movie junkie. Flicks about axe murders, psycho-killers, and haunted houses intrigue me. It’s not so much the grossness of all that blood and gore; for me it’s always been more about the people who are trying to survive their circumstances. Based solely on the previews alone, I knew “Don’t Breathe” would be right up my alley. The cherry of top of this end of summer film – the main psycho was a blind man! Hell yeah! Way to represent my peeps! Spoiler Alert – If you’re planning on seeing “Don’t Breathe” then “Don’t READ.”
Set in Detroit, Michigan, our story begins by meeting a trio of amateur burglars: Alex (Dylan Minnette), Rocky (Jane Levy) and Money (Daniel Zovatto). Yeah, Money. He’s Rocky’s boyfriend and the token white guy who thinks he’s a badass gangster. Each of them comes with a less than exciting backstory.
Alex, is the brains behind the operation. His dad works for a security company conveniently keeping the codes and keys to his clients inside the family home. (Real smart, dad.) Rocky lives in a trailer with her young daughter and alcoholic mother. She’s desperate to save enough cash to move her kid and herself to sunny California. Finally, Money, is the muscle. He brings the take from every score to some back alley sleaze-bag in an old delivery van, where he collects a below market cash payout. Cuz, even sleaze bags are entitled to a 40% cut!
When Money becomes frustrated the fruits of their larcenous labor have yet to yield them enough cash to get out of Detroit; he comes up with a plan for the ultimate job. They target a middle-aged, visually impaired, Gulf War vet (Stephen Lang), who became a recluse after his daughter was tragically killed in a hit-and-run accident. Rumor has it, the terrible tragedy left the man with a hefty six figure payday from the perpetrator’s wealthy family.
And here’s where the story gets interesting folks…
Alex says, “It’s kind of fucked up to rob a blind guy.”
Money responds with the most insightful line he delivers in the entire film, “Just because he’s blind, don’t mean he’s a fucking saint bro.”
Clearly, none of these idiots have ever watched a single episode of Daredevil and their lack of familiarity for the visually impaired will come back to bite them in the ass. BIG TIME!
The three sighted amigos survey the desolate house for a few days, noticing their blind mark has a rather large dog. No, it’s not a guide dog; it’s the nastiest Rottweiler you could ever imagine. Think Cujo on steroids.
When night falls, they drug the pup with some capsules in a sausage and break in. Rocky leads the way, slipping through a bathroom window before letting the other two knuckleheads in though a back door. Upon entering, the burglars all remove their shoes (How considerate of them!) and begin rifling though the house searching for the coveted cash.
With the dog out of the way, Money ventures upstairs where he finds the seemingly innocent blind man. In the background, the sound of home movies play with a little girl about five or six years old, presumably the veteran’s deceased daughter. Money throws a gas like substance into the bedroom to sedate the man. He then returns to the lower level of the home to help his friends continue the search.
They notice a door to the basement has multiple locks and immediately assume they money must be hidden down there. (Silly robbers, don’t they know horror movies are never that obvious?) Money pulls out his Beretta pistol to shoot out the lock and suddenly Alex develops a conscious. He can no longer be a part of these shenanigans and leaves Rocky and her boyfriend behind. Money pulls the trigger, opening the lock, and also awaking the blind home owner, who confronts him in the dark hallway.
Money tells him to get away or he’ll shoot. The man, completely blind, walks towards him, hands up. “Please, please, don’t hurt me,” the man says. The entire time I’m thinking to myself, don’t let the blind dude fool ya;’ he’s a killer! He grabs Money’s gun and asks him if there is anyone else in the house. Money says it’s just him. Admittedly, I will give Money some credit for protecting his girlfriend. He’s then shot in the head.
Alex hears the shot and runs back to the house – heroically attempting to save Rocky, who’s now cowered in a closet. As she hides between coats and shirts, our blind killer comes in, removing a piece of sheetrock on a shelf, revealing a safe. He plugs in his code, which Rocky “sees.” By the time Alex finds her hiding spot, she has emptied the safe and the two attempt to make a clean getaway through the basement.
The blind man has been busily running throughout his house, trying to clean up the bloody mess of Money’s rotting brains on his hardwoods. He enters his kitchen and smells something. It’s the robber’s shoes on the floor. (C’mon, really!) He now knows he’s got more than one criminal in his house. He runs to the safe and realizes he’s been robbed. Our bloodhound/blind guy is royally pissed.
Meanwhile, in the darkened basement Rocky and Alex see something no one was expecting, a woman gagged and tied on a makeshift bed of couch cushions. She holds up a newspaper clipping. It’s Cindy Roberts, the woman who responsible for killing the blind man’s daughter. He’s been holding her captive for years. Rocky wants to help her and begs Alex to help free her. (Are you really that stupid, Rocky! Rule #1 in horror movies, save yourself then call the cops!) They manage to free the woman and begin climbing out of the basement, when the blind man finds them and starts shooting. He kills Cindy and the other two escape. Barely.
For the next twenty minutes, our two remaining robbers experience life as the blind man, in complete darkness, as they attempt to navigate towards safety. I’m not going to lie, even I jumped a few times. The heavy breathing and sounds of things falling was pretty nerve wracking. When they finally make it out of the dark, they meet a familiar friend again in the hallway.
You didn’t think that dog would sleep forever did you? The Rottweiler chases Rocky and Alex up the stairs.
Alex convinces Rocky to go into an old air vent because her skinny ass is small enough to fit. (If that was me, I would have been dead. D-E-A-D. One of my breasts wouldn’t have fit in that tiny hole. Just sayin’.) Alex makes a last stand.
Rocky is eventually caught by our killer, dragged back into the basement becoming the replacement for the dead kidnap victim. She begs for her life, pleads for it. The blind man finally speaks his first full paragraph in the movie, telling her that dearly departed Cindy Roberts had been pregnant with his baby! (HOLY SHIT!) His logic, Cindy had killed his daughter, so she had to give him another one. (Makes sense in a creepy kind of horror movie way, right?)
Now, Rocky was going to have to “bare his child.” (Do people even say that stuff anymore?) He defrosts some sperm and grabs the turkey baster. You see, our blind man has morals and he’s “no rapist.” In one of the most awkward, made me want to gag horror movie moments I’ve ever experienced, our blind villain is about to inseminate Rocky when….
Alex is alive! He saves Rocky, ultimately sacrificing himself. Rocky gets away and we bid farewell to our trashy heroin. She makes it to the airport with the money and heads to California with her daughter.
And what about our blind man? Well, all I will say is, I believe a sequel might be in our future!
Lessons Learned From “Don’t Breathe”
So, what’s the moral of our twisted tale? Our blind veteran used his disability to his advantage. He played society’s stereotypes about the visually impaired like a well tuned fiddle.
Money should have killed this dude when he had a chance. What stopped him? It certainly wasn’t his conscious; he didn’t’ have one. He could not bring himself to shoot a blind man for no other reason other than he was blind! Big mistake, Money!
Why didn’t anyone come searching for poor kidnapped Cindy Roberts at this killer’s house? Because how is a blind guy going to kidnap a woman and hide her in his basement? I mean, he’s blind after all; he can’t be a criminal.
Blind people are supposed to be helpless, innocent, weak human beings because of our disabilities, right? WRONG! This bad mother f’r showed everyone; don’t let a blind man fool ya!
The blind can be anything. Good. Bad. Indifferent. We can be saintly members of our community and there are those of us who are capable of being criminal masterminds. Never assume someone’s disability dictates their moral compass because it doesn’t. If you’re looking for a good end of summer scare, head to the movies and see “Don’t Breathe.”