Don’t breathe 2, by Rodo Sayagues, bears similarities to the premise of the original film. Again, Norman Nordstrom (Stephen Lang) must face an enemy from violence. Doing so further turned into a kind of ambiguous monster that ranges from a killer of amazing ability to a victim. But this time around, the director and co-writer also makes some interesting decisions to make Nordstrom even more unsettling.
For his return to the cinema, Sayagues explores the character’s motivations by giving him all kinds of new stimuli and an entirely different exploration. The result is a journey towards gore, domestic terror and the terrifying of the invasion of personal spaces as interesting as in the first installment of No Breathing. But in addition, the director finds an original way to rethink the base story.
After all, the open ending of the first film it left a lot of questions. All around the character of Lang giving the possibility that his revenge extended beyond the reduced limits of the house.
The story below could have been obvious, recurring, or repeat its best moments. But in a brilliant decision, screenwriters Fede Álvarez and Rodo Sayagues create the condition that this time Lang will show his terrifying abilities in a different way.
The villain, the cruelty and the atonement
Of course, it’s about the idea of a deep, multi-layered villain bordering on the terrifying quality. For his return to the big screen, the premise of Don’t Breathe 2 goes furtherBut it also asks different questions about its context. Violence changes its tone, form and meaning to support a more intelligent conception of fear.
But, like any home invasion movie worth its salt, Don’t Breathe 2 is also a confrontation with safety, limits and spaces. And although the director dares to push the character to new places – metaphorical and real – the fact of inherent fragility is fundamental.
Despite his physical ability, awareness of his power, and superhuman instinct, Norman still teeters on the edge of the vulnerable. Or at least it doesn’t get over the perception that there is no way to stop him. That little nuance is of paramount importance even though it doesn’t seem like it. The journey to the center of the story becomes more complicated and terror becomes something new. All due to the good narrative decisions of the plot.
Don’t breathe 2, when mystery is everything
Unlike other sequels to numerous horror movies, Don’t Breathe 2 isn’t interested in getting bigger and bigger. On the contrary, it is surprising that the director has avoided the temptation to delve into Norman’s world to make it more frantic. Could do it. There is a change of scenery, a new goal and the audience is familiar with what the character can do.
But Sayagues is obsessed with his character’s relationship with his surroundings. And that makes me make decisions that benefit the plot and that make use of suspense with enormous intelligence. The story – which takes place eight years after the first – has its own dynamic. And the fact of avoiding the long-awaited revenge announced by the original makes you can play again with surprise. In reality, Norman is not on the scene again to become an unstoppable criminal who does the same in different places.
He is a man who faces extreme situations and does so with terrifying ability. In them, good and evil are a concrete point to cross. And it is then that Norman, who is now the father he wanted to be, must face what lies beyond his borders. The fact that the film meditates on narrow claustrophobic places, as well as external and internal dangers is no accident. And although it does not seem to be a sinister allegory to the pandemic either, if you play with the same resources. Suddenly, Norman knows that he must face the unknown and do it the only way he can.
‘Don’t breathe 2’ is not what you expect
It is then when violence is sustained by something more elaborate than cruelty. The film distances itself from the original premise and builds a dialogue about fear with neat subtlety. Sayagues’ camera flickers back and forth like a fixed eye that makes Norman a ruthless but necessary creature. And is this almost redemption the best twist of Don’t Breathe 2. If in the original the apparent fragile victim becomes a fearsome predator, in the second it is a weapon. One so violent and unpredictable that it manages to overcome the fact that the public already knows the premise.
It is an elaborate speech that sustains a dangerous condition. Don’t Breathe 2 depends on how much the director and script can convince that their villain can be a hero. He achieves it? In his most inspired moments, there is a genuine concern for Norman.
Because he can achieve his goal, fight and battle against enemies that double him in number but never in skill. But in essence, Don’t Breathe 2 takes a staggering risk. and it is to show that his villain is now an enraged man. It always was, but now cruelty becomes a need for protection. That’s when Don’t Breathe 2 becomes original in its own right. Something that very rarely can be said of a horror movie.