Don’t Breathe 2 Trailer and Filmmaker Footage Presentation was invited to watch early footage and the new trailer, which you can check out below, for Don’t Breathe 2 at an in-person screening with the filmmakers.

It’s been five years since the highly unsettling gore and suspense fest of Don’t Breathe and now the filmmakers behind the Screen Gems hit thriller are back. Swapping roles this time around, Fede Alvarez and Rodo Sayagues co-wrote the sequel with Sayagues taking the helm this time.

The duo behind the reimagined Evil Dead (2013) reunites to continue their own imprint on the horror genre. During the panel where they introduced the preview footage, they shared that the idea for the first film was born out of traveling out of Comic-Con after doing press for the home release. They plotted the story for their sophomore debut on that fateful long drive, which proved to have legs far surpassing their work on Evil Dead. “Back then we thought it had no chance,” Alvarez described, feeling as if they stood in the shadow of their own Evil Dead. “It’s an original, has no brand. It opened bigger than Evil Dead. We are super proud and happy that it happened. Right away we thought: we’re going to make another one.”

Watch the official Don’t Breathe 2 trailer:

The sequel picks up on Norman Nordstrom (Stephen Lang) living with an 11-year-old Phoenix (Madelyn Grace) as part of a twisted family he’s recreated eight years after the first film’s events. The new family is attacked by stronger and much more capable intruders who set their sights on the kid. In the first clip we saw, the intruders lure Norman out of the house through the mysterious disappearance of his trusty dog and break in to get the girl. Grace jumps into action aware of the danger she is in but it’s unclear if she is aware of the danger her father figure poses. We’re excited to see where her character goes in the film as she’s poised as the film’s final girl. From the clip we saw, she’s like a horror film Kevin McCallister if trained by an evil Old Man Marley. In the additional clip, we see Lang slip back into the cold and calculating blind military vet’s training to disarm his attackers. Particularly vicious was a scene where Norman seals an assailant’s mouth and nose with industrial super glue. Their partner comes in and well…operates with the available tools to keep hunting the hunter.

Tonally and visually the change of hands is seamless. Sayagues was encouraged by Alvarez to do it, he had stuck with his writing partner all through the editing of the first one and so he offered him the opportunity. Sayagues shared he was on his way to a trip when it came up,  “Funny enough I was going to Vegas that weekend with a friend. So I said let me go meditate on this. Where (else) can you go looking for clarity to make a decision like that?” he laughed. Fede stayed on to advise and the team who worked on the first film returned under Sayagues. 

The film explores Norman as a father and gives him a more visible protagonist role alongside Phoenix. Alvarez clarifies, however, “Protagonist, yes but never an antihero. It’s tricky how to navigate a character like this. Really hard to forgive him and we don’t really. This is about coming to terms with who he really is. You might f—ing hate the guy at the end.”

While we only saw about a quarter of the opening and the brutal trailer that just dropped that showed more locations, the duo assured that the story changes beyond the scope of another home invasion with tables turned. Inspired by Hitchcock and the use of sound to build tension and suspense, they say fans should expect real stakes amped up by the quiet and muted tracks that don’t depend on a traditional score. A tool that comes back from the first film to get audiences to pay attention.

Don’t Breathe 2 is a Screen Gems and Stage 6 Films presentation associated with Ghost House Pictures and a Bad Hombre production. The film stars Stephen Lang, Brendan Sexton III, and Madelyn Grace. Directed by Rodo Sayagues. Written by Fede Alvarez & Rodo Sayagues. Based on Characters Created by Fede Alvarez & Rodo Sayagues. Produced by Fede Alvarez, Sam Raimi, and Rob Tapert.

The film will be released in theaters nationwide on August 13, 2021, and is Rated R.