Don't Breathe 2: Quick Take Review
2016's Don't Breathe was one of my favorite horror films of the last decade. When I heard a sequel was in the works it didn't totally surprise me since the film leaves it open for one, but I was skeptical that anything could come close to reaching the same quality a second time around. Then I heard that star Jane Levy would not be returning and instead would focus on Stephen Lang's villainous "The Blind Man" character, this time turning him into the protagonist anti-hero. Then I became even more skeptical.
Don't Breathe 2 picks up a couple of years after the events of Don't Breathe where the Blind Man has made himself a quiet new life and now has a daughter whose past he's keeping a secret. But, after crossing paths with the wrong people, he finds his home invaded once more and now he must exact his revenge.
Here's the thing. You can't make a villain an irredeemable monster who is a rapist and kidnapper in one movie and hope the audience will cheer him on in a sequel. The filmmakers' remedy for this is by bringing in villains this time that are almost comically ridiculous amounts of evil so that you can't wait for them to get their comeuppance. To a degree, this does actually work, due in large part to how great the action setpieces are (though none reach the heights of the original as expected). Still, this film would have worked MUCH better as a prequel to show how The Blind Man became the way he is rather than trying to show another side of him here.