When Fede Álvarez’s 2016 horror movie “Don’t Breathe” first debuted, it was not designed to launch a new horror movie franchise. And yet, the film earned strong critical support (it boasts an 88 percent on Rotten Tomatoes) and was a summer sleeper hit at the box office with a worldwide gross just under $160 million. When an original idea makes that much of an impact, Hollywood comes calling for a sequel. Enter “Don’t Breathe 2,” which returns Stephen Lang to the role of Norman Nordstrom (aka The Blind Man) opposite a cast of franchise newcomers that includes Brendan Sexton III and
“Don’t Breathe 2” is set in the years following the initial deadly home invasion as depicted in the first film. Norman Nordstrom (Lang) lives in quiet solace until his past sins catch up to him. While Norman was the terrorizer in the first film (which starred “Zoe’s Extraordinary Playlist” favorite Jane Levy and “13 Reasons Why” star Dylan Minnette before their television success), he’s now the one being targeted and fighting back against evil.
Original “Don’t Breathe” director Álvarez is just a producer and co-writer on the sequel, as newcomer Rodo Sayagues makes his feature directorial debut with the follow-up film. Sayagues also co-wrote “Don’t Breathe 2” with Álvarez, and clearly he made an impact, as he’s also an producer on the upcoming “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” reboot.
“In the first film, Norman had the upper hand,” Alvarez recently told IGN about the film, “but this time the tables are turned and the invaders totally outnumber him. And he’s the one that will have to fight for his life against all odds.”
IndieWire chief critic Eric Kohn gave the original “Don’t Breathe” an enthusiastic B+ review out of the 2016 SXSW Film Festival, writing, “The formula for the home invasion thriller has fueled countless eerie showdowns, but Fede Alvarez’s ‘Don’t Breathe’ is an especially dazzling example. The director’s sophomore effort, following his 2013 ‘Evil Dead’ remake, finds a trio of reckless teens attempting to rob a blind man and inadvertently wind up trapped in his lair for the night. Equal parts ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ and ‘High Tension,’ this elegant and surprisingly fast-paced blend of horror and suspense overcomes some of its more ridiculous ingredients thanks to endless invention. Alvarez makes the terror of locked doors and dark rooms more unsettling than the terrible things they entail.”
Sony is set to release “Don’t Breathe 2” in theaters August 13. Watch the official trailer below.