An inevitable, yet unnecessary sequel with an unearned conclusion is an indulging, hardly effective horror/thriller.
Don’t Breathe 2 features Stephen Land and Madelyn Grace s viewers lured by the 2016 film by Fede Alvarez (here a co-writer and producer) will be teased for a while in trying to make sense of incidents in relation to what happened eight years earlier. Like a loved one perishing in a car crash. Could this be an origin tale? The filmmakers aren’t as considerate or respectful like the sinewy, even shocking predecessor in assumptions in parsing through a domestic situation.
Alvarez cedes directorial duties to writing partner Rodo Sayagues with Lang’s sightless Gulf War veteran Norman Nordstrom ‘training’ preteen Phoenix (Grace) hurtling through the woods trailed by an unfriendly canine.
Previous deftness turns daft after a mimicking shift might have certain cineastes contemplating a notable James Cameron sequel (Lang would be part of his box-office behemoth Avatar in a flavorful antagonistic turn).
Prognosticating and acton has a stale feel about it from basement close-ups media detailing of organ harvesting, as well as an asylum for troubled youths. Pallid hues are representative of a genre example sparked by another invasion. Brendon Sexton II (remembered for the exemplary Boys Don’t Cry) does his best to spew menace with to little effect as a ringleader (a role that may have been played by Gary Oldman back in the day).
The trafficking of plot machination may prove amusing to some with a pronounced contrivance ensuing. While Sayagues doesn’t have the acumen of his collaborator behind the camera to elicit vivid, edgy flair he gets the occasional solid technical contribution. For example, when Phoenix has to elude the intruders repeated in what comes across as particularly lengthy single take
Apparently, a far more insidious presence is poised to pounce in a kind of mayhem that knows how to pile on the nastiness. But, Don’t Breathe 2 unfortunately suffocates itself in the heightened sense and familiarity with Nordstrom and his dark past. Even with Grace coiling as well as possible into what fuels plenty of angst. It’s too bad a distinguished actor like Lang (who again imparts much physicality to a thin, rugged ad melancholic, through mercurial figure) is the victim of enervating, emotional realignment.