Honestly, there was no need for this. The first film in 2016 was a sleeper horror-hit. Stephen Lang, in a chilling performance, played the blind owner of a sprawling home where a bunch of intruders are taught a lesson of their life by his Norman Nordstorm whose lack of physical vision in no way obstructed his fists of flying fury.
A novel concept, guided by an authentic central performance, made Don’t Breathe a force to wreck on with. This second film is far more gruesome. Watching the graphic violence (in one sequence when the film’s young protagonist Phoenix is handcuffed to a falling woman Phoenix saws off the woman’s arms to save herself from the plunge) I realised this is all about the survival of the sickest.
The more aptitude you have for gore and blood, the longer you are likely to survive till the end of this tale leaden with violence. So much so that I wondered more than once, why the Indian censor board didn’t just ban the damned thing.
Who needs this experience? Certainly not for weak stomachs, Don't Breathe 2 starts as yet another home-invasion thriller with Lang’s Norman protecting his adoptive daughter Phoenix from intruders. Who the hell are these intruders and why are they in a home where four years earlier intruders were shown their place by its sightless owner?
None so blind as those who can see is an adage that this violence-ridden survival drama hammers in. Speaking of hammers, Lang makes generous use of the hammer to pound in his adversaries’ face. At one point in the pyrrhic plot Norman repeatedly pounds a miscreant's head with an iron rod until poor Phoenix (imagine, having to be introduced to such gruesome violence so early in her life) screams, ‘Stop, stop!”
Our sentiments, exactly.
Don’t Breathe 2 heaps the high-jinks to the brim and then descends further to ludicrous depths by moving to another venue (after burning down Norman and his adoptive daughter’s abode). There in what looks like an abandoned rest-house more violence ensues with a woman claiming to be Phoenix's biological mother, breaking her daughter’s heart... literally. The wacky woman wants her daughter’s heart transplanted into her chest.
Having given a new definition to the old adage that a mother is all heart, Don’t Breathe 2 unleashes some more of the stomach-churning savagery before we are told that Stephen Lang is no longer a bad guy. He may not be Phoenix’s real father. But he goes to any length to protect her.
“I can save you,” Phoenix sobs to her fatally wounded pseudo-dad at the end.
“You already have,” he sobs back and prepares us for a third film in the series where Lang and his screen daughter may be shown chased by hordes of angry viewers wanting their money back.
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