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Don’t Breathe 2 Review

Don’t Breathe 2 (2021) Film Review, a movie directed by Rodo Sayagues, and starring Stephen Lang, Madelyn Grace, Brendan Sexton III, Adam Young, Rocci Williams, Christian Zagia, Stephanie Arcila, Diaana Babnicova, Fiona O’Shaughnessy, Steffan Rhodri, Ron Rogell and Bobby Schofield.

In 2016, horror film audiences were captivated by the tale of a blind man (Stephen Lang) battling would-be thieves breaking and entering into his home in the terrific thriller Don’t Breathe. The sequel, while entertaining, will probably only appeal exclusively to fans of the original as I feel if you haven’t seen the original, you may be confused and not really sure who to root for. Even if you have seen the first movie and do want to root for the blind man who makes a return in the sequel, the first film gave us a lot of reasons not to like the character. However, Lang’s performance makes the character strangely sympathetic to viewers. This time he is joined by young actress Madelyn Grace who plays a young girl the blind man raised. Grace is a bright and energetic newcomer 

The film opens with Madelyn Grace’s character Phoenix running from a seemingly vicious dog but it’s just a test that’s being given to her by father figure Norman Nordstrom (Lang). We are informed the events of this sequel are taking place eight years after the conclusion of the original picture. Set in Detroit, the movie introduces us to a seemingly creepy man who starts talking to Phoenix in a public restroom. This man will have a lot to do with the film’s plot.

The opening events of Don’t Breathe 2 are really just a lot of set up to get to the meat and potatoes of the film which is where the blind but tough-as-nails Norman will be fighting the group of thieves led by Brendan Sexton III’s creepy character. You see, there is a lot of complexity to the film’s story line such as the events which led up to Norman raising Phoenix as his own daughter more or less. If you’ve seen the first film, you know Norman is just as bad as he is good since he did unspeakable things in the first picture. But, due to his human side, he is very protective of Phoenix. There’s a reason these thieves are trying to get a hold of Phoenix and if you don’t want to know what it is, read no further.

We meet Phoenix’s real mother (Fiona O’Shaughnessy) who needs a heart transplant. In order to take Phoenix’s heart and put it in the mother will require Phoenix (who is told her real name) to die. A weirdo doctor with no morals is willing to do this the transplant. When it appears Norman is left for dead and to burn up in a house fire, the dog whose life he saved ends up leading Norman to fight the bad guys and rescue Phoenix from a dire fate. It becomes a fight to the finish as both Norman and Phoenix must fight for their survival.

What’s really good about Don’t Breathe 2 is the performance of Lang. He has a tough scene towards the end where he must tell the girl he has come to see as his daughter the truth about who he really is and what he has done in his past. Lang nails the sequence and has some physically demanding scenes which he handles well along the way. Madelyn Grace is a newcomer whose role in this film is one we actually care about and she may be the only one in this film who has a truly likable character.

Brendan Sexton III is a reliable villain and his band of goons are well cast. Fiona O’Shaughnessy does extremely well here as well as a self-centered mother who would rather save herself than her own daughter.

But, the movie is dark and murky looking just like the original film was and it doesn’t work as well this time out as it did in the original. Sometimes it requires paying extra attention to what is going on to keep track of who’s who when the lights go out or are dimmed significantly. The movie is also too dark for its own good thematically with so many scenes that are simply uninspiring. The fact that Phoenix’s parents don’t seem to give a damn about her is really uninspiring. And, the ending is less than hopeful for a key character.

With that said, the movie follows the same basic structure of the original film and if you liked that movie, you may find yourself willing to go the extra mile and give this film a “shot.” I enjoyed a lot of it but sometimes I felt a little more depressed than I wanted to at times. Don’t Breathe 2 was never meant to be a happy film but the first film left us cheering in spots. This one leaves us on a much more sour note but the action scenes are solid nevertheless and the acting is good so if you liked the first one, you’ll probably want to see this one too for whatever reason.

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[ Modified: Wednesday, 1 September 2021, 2:39 PM ]