Event Report: DON’T BREATHE Trailer Experience in LA

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SHOCK’s Camilla Jackson reports on a unique interactive horror movie event.

EVIL DEAD remake director Fede Alvarez has found another way to scare the pants off us with his second English speaking film, DON’T BREATHE. This time round, Alvarez has chosen to go down a less supernatural route, and opted for a more real horror to build his narrative.

DON’T BREATHE is the story of three young desperados (Daniel Zovatto, Jane Levy, Dylan Minnette) with a hunger for some quick cash. Their decision to make some easy money by preying on the home of a blind man (Stephen Lang), turns out to be not so easy at all, as the optically challenged invalid swiftly turns the tables on the young ne’er-do-wells. Set in Detroit, the film looks dark, intense and downright terrifying.

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After viewing the trailer, the team at Sony had organized a  quick jaunt into the Countdown Escape Rooms in Downtown LA which provided  the perfect segue. A nervous team of  journalists were herded into a similar experience to what occurs in the film.

Locked in a room with an angry blind man was quite the challenge, particularly when eerily shouted at like in the trailer “Now you see what I see” as the lights were completely turned off and the fumbling group of journos were made to hurriedly complete their escape in complete darkness.

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Through a series of puzzles and clues we did eventually escape, which is not to say it was easy, and had it not been for the assistance of a few helpful actors, this team would never have made it out and would probably still be fumbling around in the dark right now..

Thankfully we were joined by none other than the director himself who was also on hand to have a brief chat with us about the film.

When asked about his choice to not charter further into supernatural territory, Alvarez explained that there is so much horror to draw from in real life that it seemed the obvious choice for him to build his narrative around a more believable theme.

Having a film that is partially set in darkness and a story that revolves around a home invasion of a blind person is easy to draw comparisons to classic films such as WAIT UNTIL DARK (1967) which Alvarez admits he had not seen, but explained that when he made DON’T BREATHE his mother instantly made him aware of the 1967 classic. Another film to draw comparison from was the fantastic scene from SILENCE OF THE LAMBS that occurs in the pitch black. Alvarez explained the differences between the two films, “ I don’t know if you’ve read anything about the film but there is a scene where it’s full darkness and we had to figure out how we are going to do that. You need light to see what is going on. And it was interesting to see the drama that is happening there when there is no light at all. And basically we said, it’s never been done before, there is always a night vision camera in the scenes where you see stuff like that in movies. Like in THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS you have Buffalo Bill with the goggles. It’s never been done without a device in the story. But it worked [to have it without a device] and when people see the movie so far it is one of those set pieces they are going to remember. We took a chance to see if it worked and it worked really well”.

When asked if Lang’s character does in fact turn out to be some kind of bogeyman, Alvarez was tight-lipped, “You’ll just have to watch the film and find out” he quipped.

If the trailer is anything to go by, this is a film that we will most certainly be watching.

For some real-life thrills and scares DON’T BREATHE will be at a cinema near you this August.