I liked the first Don’t Breathe. That film was an intense to the point thriller with talented leads. This sequel is not that at all. Don’t Breathe 2 replaces the suspense from the first film with Saw–like gore and also replaces the sympathetic lead characters with unbelievably vile characters. The intruders in the first film were only doing what they were doing to escape a horrendous home life where as the intruders here are doing what they’re doing for a wildly evil purpose. Also, this film becomes laughably illogical by trying to humanize the horribly villainous blind man from the first one.
Let’s begin with Don’t Breathe 2’s story problems, shall we? First and foremost, it just doesn’t make sense to make the evil man from the first film some kind of heroic father figure. I really struggled while watching this because you can’t take a kidnapper/rapist/murderer and make him sympathetic. I don’t know how the screenwriters for this sequel thought folks would just forget or ignore this man’s actions from the first film. So, literally right from the get go, this film’s structure just doesn’t make any sense.
It still wouldn’t work even if they were going for a route of “atoning for past sins” because I’m just not interested in rooting for someone that did the things he did. The pre-teen girl that he has been raising is the one and only character here who is a good guy. There’s a woman in the beginning who is someone we could root for but she goes away very quickly. But since this girl is only like 10 or so, she can’t fight to protect herself. Since she’s the age she is, Don’t Breathe 2 is basically all these awful people fighting over her. This plotline is just simply…. unpleasant. A suspense thriller is supposed to be exciting and fun to watch but this is just uncomfortable and pretty sickening.
If you are going to create a film that features a bleak plot where some pretty awful things unfold, then you need to have a quality script and good reason for those awful things. Don’t Breathe 2’s script, while not terrible, certainly isn’t anything to brag about and is a definite step down from the first. 90% of the first film took place at the man’s house where a cat and mouse game unfolded.
I actually didn’t expect for the violence to get as graphic and gross as it does. Towards the end things get so gross and brutal and some of it is just unnecessary. During the end sequence, I was just ready for things to end. I’m not interested in dismemberment and gore for no reason. If you’re going to turn up the violence and get graphic, fine, but give me a reason and give me a worthy script to go along with it.
There are multiple things at play and none of those things are particularly well executed, so things feel jumbled as a result. There is a portion of Don’t Breathe 2 that focuses on a similar cat and mouse game at his house but it was done far better in the first film. The other half of the film goes in a surprisingly vile direction that I just couldn’t stand. I won’t say why the intruders want the girl but suffice to say it’s stomach turning.
Once the third act kicks into gear, I went from being kind of bored to just being disgusted. There isn’t anything tense or entertaining about where they take the plot, it’s just off-putting. There is no amount of therapy that the girl in this film could obtain in order to make her ok after all this… that’s for sure. I suppose the cast is all fine, but none of the characters are well developed or interesting. Like I said, the girl is the only “good one” but she’s kind of a dud. Her role is limited to running around and trying not to be killed by the other characters.
To be honest, the only thing I liked about this pointless sequel was Stephanie Arcila. Arcila is only present in the beginning but she is only interesting character and her scenes were the only ones where I was engaged.
Don’t Breathe 2 is not only boring, forgettable, and nonsensical – but it’s also sickening. Save your time and your money and just re-watch the first one, which is actually a well made film.
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