A new kind of horror

A new kind of horror

A new kind of horror

Don’t breatheEnglish Cast: Stephen Lang, Jane Levy, Dylan MinnetteDirector: Fede Alvarez

2016 has been a great year for horror movies. Latest in line is Fede Alvarez’s Don’t breathe, a horror flick that stands out for bringing a new type of horror to the fore.

The movie is about three 20-something youngsters, who in a desperate attempt to make some quick money, decide to rob a blind, old man of the fortune that he has recently come to. 

The old man’s daughter was run over by a rich girl, and he made a settlement with the girl’s family for a six-digit sum of money in exchange for dropping charges. However, the blind, old man is not what he seems, and nearly the whole movie is an account of the bloody events of the night of robbery. 

Don’t breathe is especially hard-hitting because of how ‘realistic’ it is compared to the other major horror films that released this year. Conjuring 2 was a good old-fashioned Christian horror, where crosses act as ghost-repellants. Lights out had a motif of mental disorder attached to what is otherwise still a tale of the supernatural. 

Don’t breathe, on the other hand, is not the story of a haunting. All the horrors in the movie are human-inflicted.  While Don’t breathe is far more macabre than Lights out, it does not pin the morbid actions of the blind man to any mental disorder. One of the horrors of the movie is that his actions are the product of a very rational world-view that he has constructed for himself, and the viewer would be horrified to realise that despite everything, the viewer can understand and feel bad for the monster . 

The Dostoevsky references are unmistakable. The attack on the old-man is strikingly similar to Raskolnikov’s decision to kill the pawn-broker in Crime and Punishment; both crimes are instigated by the fact that the loss of an invalid can affect the world in no major way. The old man’s monologue also reveals that the most horrid actions are allowed because there is no God to look over them, a sentiment again borrowed from the Russian writer. 

Overall, the movie proves to be not just an out-and-out thriller, but an intelligent one. Do watch it, if you don’t mind a few graphic sequences and are in a mood for terror! 

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