Sommerleigh Pollonais, Horror Head Writer
Plot: The sequel is set in the years following the initial deadly home invasion and sees Norman Nordstrom aka The Blind Man (Stephen Lang) living in quiet solace until his past sins catch up to him.
Review: The first film was a surprise hit and makes for a great double feature if you watch it with A Quiet Place, but when they announced a sequel most fans had one important question on their minds—how do you make The Blind Man a hero? I mean the dude did some seriously messed-up things! Well it’s simple really. You pit him against people who are even worse.
Returning to this uniquely memorable role is Stephen Lang (Tombstone, Avatar), a man who makes a blind badass one hundred per cent believable. This time around he’s found himself raising an orphaned girl he named Phoenix (Madelyn Grace) after she survived a house fire that allegedly killed her entire family. He tells her she’s his biological daughter and raises her to be self-sufficient by training her in survival tactics. Of course this is a young girl we’re talking about and she wants to make friends and go to school, which The Blind Man won’t allow.
Her only reprieve are her drives into town with a trusted friend who delivers weekly supplies to their home. And it’s on one of these trips she catches the eye of a man named Raylan (Brendan Sexton III). Raylan and his gang of ex-military thugs follow them home one day and this triggers a nail-biting game of cat-and-mouse that turns the stakes all the way up to a thousand. And it gives The Blind Man a reason to let loose his dark side and take us on one hell of a thrill ride.
Fede Alvarez directed the first film but returns here as one of the writers alongside fellow writer and sequel director Rodo Sayagues. Both men do a wonderful job of not only evoking the tension of the first movie but ramping things up in a way that felt logical.
I knew they would have to pit The Blind Man against some truly beastly characters this time around but I could never guess how ruthless these villains would be. My favourite moment was when they were searching the house for Phoenix. The long shots and cool camera tricks made you feel like you were right there with her as she quietly did all she could to escape the house. The sound design is perfectly balanced between the quiet moments and the more action-oriented ones. And considering how unforgivable these villains were in their actions, watching them being dispatched in gloriously gory fashion was just what the doctor ordered.
Now let’s talk about the turkey baster in the room. The first movie (original film SPOILERS AHEAD) was kind of strange when you thought about both the protagonist and the antagonist. We have a trio of kids who are breaking into a blind man’s home to rob him and said blind dude has a poor woman tied up in his basement so he can forcibly impregnate her. It’s messed-up as all hell and I wasn’t willing to overlook the fact this guy was a rapist (and a killer) just because he’s playing Daddy. Well I have good news because not only are these facts not ignored, they’re addressed in a way that feels organic to the character and satisfying to the viewer. Or at least it satisfied this viewer.
Don’t Breathe 2 isn’t just another intruder revenge tale but also one of redemption, and a hard-earned redemption at that. And for that alone I think the sequel is actually better than the first film.
Heads up—there’s a mid-credit sequence, so don’t go hitting that off button too soon.
Sommer’s Score: 7.5 out of 10
So have you checked out Don’t Breathe 2 yet? What did you think of it? And you can check out more great horror/thriller content below:
Sommerleigh of the House Pollonais. First of Her Name. Sushi Lover, Queen of Horror Movies, Comic Books and Binge Watching Netflix. Mother of two beautiful black cats named Vader and Kylo. I think eating Popcorn at the movies should be mandatory, PS4 makes the best games ever, and I’ll be talking about movies until the zombie apocalypse comes.
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