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  • Writer's pictureCody Fuhrman

[Review] "Don't Breathe 2" Reveals the Darker Side of Human Nature With Nail Biting Intensity

Updated: Aug 13, 2021

A home invasion thriller that turns into a #survivalhorror sequel, Don't Breathe 2 doesn't let its fast pace get in the way of exploring some of cinema's darkest and most important issues, issues related to human nature and its complicated relationship to both good and evil.

Courtesy of Sony Pictures: Stephen Lang & Adam Young in Don't Breathe 2

Don't Breathe 2 takes place in the years following the initial deadly home invasion where Norman Nordstrom (Stephen Lang) and 11-year-old Phoenix (Madelyn Grace) live together in quiet solace, attempting to recreate his former life. In the first film, we learn a few things about Norman that are important to remember for the sequel:

  • Norman is a blind, war veteran who lost his daughter to a drunk driver but he is not a character to be pitied. In Don't Breathe, a group of young burglars break into his home and discover a dark secret in his basement: Norman kidnapped the drunk driver and he's holding her captive, raping her repeatedly in an attempt to recreate the family he lost.

  • Norman attempts to rape one of the intruders, played by Jane Levy, but co-star Dylan Minnette rescues her at the very last moment.

Courtesy of Sony Pictures: Stephen Lang in Don't Breathe 2

In Rodo Sayagues' directorial debut, Norman (Stephen Lang) and Phoenix (Madelyn Grace) seem to live a quiet life until some recent sins catch up with him. A second group of intruders headed by Raylan (Brendan Sexton III) - this time with almost no redeeming qualities to speak of - break into Phoenix and Norman's home. Told from Norman's perspective this time, Don't Breathe 2 feels less #HomeInvasion and more #SurvivalHorror with Stephen Lang giving off John Wick vibes throughout. Similar to its predecessor, Don't Breathe 2 exudes the same kind of fast pace and nail-biting intensity while never forgetting to provide complex character development as well as what Lang refers to as a very dark "heart and soul."

"There are movies that are wonderful to watch. But the reasons they’re wonderful have nothing to do with either heart or soul. I do think that Don't Breathe has a lot of heart and a lot of soul albeit a very dark heart and a very tortured and black soul." -Stephen Lang

Courtesy of Sony Pictures: Stephen Lang in Don't Breathe 2

For Don't Breathe 2 writer/director Rodo Sayagues, the franchise shows us something important about the horror genre as a tool for communicating the darker side of human nature in all of its complexity:

"I think all storytelling is about discussing human nature, there’s no way around it. And the good thing about this genre - horror - is it provides a canvas that allows us to discuss these aspects of human nature. And I think that’s a healthy thing. There are other genres where these subjects and these themes don’t fit. This is the perfect place to do this and to talk about these kind of things." - Rodo Sayagues

Courtesy of Sony Pictures: Rodo Sayagues & Stephen Lang in Don't Breathe 2

For Don't Breathe 2 writer/producer Fede Alvarez, the sequel might serve as an analogy for man's fear of himself, what he might be capable of or what Rodo Sayagues calls "the fear of facing your own darkness."

"All of us have secrets and most of us are usually afraid of something about yourself that you don’t dare to face. So any story about a character that has to come to terms with themselves and dares to look themselves in the eye - it is an interesting story and it appeals to anyone, not just the monsters. It’s just a good analogy for the fear of ourselves. -Fede Alvarez

You can find the trailer for Don't Breathe 2 below:

Starring: Stephen Lang, Madelyn Grace & Brendan Sexton III

Director: Rodo Sayagues

Writers: Fede Alvarez & Rodo Sayagues

Producers: Fede Alvarez, Sam Raimi & Rob Tapert

Don't Breathe 2 will release exclusively in theaters THIS FRIDAY - August 13, 2021.


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