Don't Breathe delivers endless thrills and chills

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      Starring Stephen Lang. Rated 14A.

      Director Fede Alvarez blasted onto the scary-movie scene in 2013 with his twisted Evil Dead remake. It was the most shocking and intense horror flick to get widespread theatrical release in North America that year.

      The Uruguayan-born filmmaker shows no signs of changing his ways with his followup feature, Don’t Breathe, which is destined to battle it out with the likes of Green Room and 10 Cloverfield Lane for the title of Top Hollywood Fright Flick of 2016.

      B&E artists Rocky, Alex, and Money–Jane Levy, Dylan Minette, and Daniel Zovatto, respectively–target the home of an Iraq war vet (Stephen Lang) who’s had it rough. As well as being blinded in action, his only child was killed when a rich kid ran her down. He received a large cash settlement, which he keeps in his big old barred-up house, guarded by his vicious rottweiler, and located in a derelict neighbourhood where all the other homes are abandoned.

      Easy pickins for one last score, figure the three thieves, if they can just take care of the mutt.

      But Lang–best known for playing the biggest macho dickhead in Avatar–really shines in his tables-turning role as The Blind Man. You go from feeling sympathy for all his suffering to realizing he’s one mighty sick and twisted fuck.

      Equally impressive is Levy, whose punishing role as junkie-turned-demon-battler Mia in Evil Dead no doubt prepared her for the relentless nastiness on display here.

      Alvarez–who also cowrote the script–guides the ensuing mayhem with a sure hand, ratcheting up the suspense and keeping the thrills coming long after other directors would have packed it in. Can’t wait to see what he comes up with for feature number three.