Total Film

DON’T BREATHE 2

DON’T BREATHE 2 The Blind Man is back for an already controvers­ial sequel…

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The Blind Man returns for a sequel shocker.

FIede Álvarez’s brutal shocker Don’t Breathe skilfully flipped the script on the home invasion nightmare back in 2016, daring its audience to root for the robbers as they uncovered tragic and sinister truths about the far-from-helpless, visually impaired guy they were trying to steal from.

Its final scene hinted at another showdown between surviving burglar Rocky (Jane Levy) and The Blind Man/ Norman Nordstrom (Stephen Lang). Don’t Breathe 2, however, focuses solely on the latter, positionin­g him as the protector of an 11-year-old girl (Madelyn Grace) who’s been targeted by a group of thugs – a decision that hasn’t gone down smoothly with all genre fans given the character’s history of kidnapping, murder and sexual assault. But producer Álvarez – who hands over directing duties to co-writer Rodo Sayagues – isn’t afraid of backlash.

“We like to fuck with people,” Álvarez admits, noting the reaction to the film’s first teaser. “We want to show that things are not black and white. People are concerned he’s an antihero? Shows like Game Of Thrones drive you mad with empathy for bad people. He’s more of an anti-villain. He may think he’s not, or do some

things that’ll make him escape it temporaril­y, but he is. He’s a shadow character, not so much the protagonis­t. There’s so much more to the story.”

“It just makes everything unpredicta­ble,” director Sayagues adds. “If it’s clear who the good guys and bad guys are, you know who’s gonna make it, right?”

Motivation­s and morals may be up in the air but when it comes to

Norman’s adversarie­s, one thing’s for certain: these aren’t scared-todeath punks this time around, they’re “mean motherfuck­ers,” says Álvarez. And they’re aware of Norman’s dark past, too. “We’re ’80s kids, and this has a lot of testostero­ne-heavy, homoerotic action in it. Just a bunch of dudes fighting other dudes,” he smiles. “It’s a bit of a love letter to the movies we grew up with.”

While the original was a claustroph­obic affair, with the majority of the film taking place in one location, the sequel swaps Norman’s rundown Detroit abode for the sprawling country. Filming out in the sticks, in the midst of the pandemic, Sayagues and his crew were left to their own devices, as anyone who wasn’t needed on set – Álvarez included – couldn’t just pop by, and the freedom allowed them to push boundaries in Don’t Breathe 2’s more violent sequences.

“When we make movies together, I’m the one who brings some sense of control and tries to make it more mainstream,” Álvarez laughs. “Rodo brings the madness. In Evil Dead, the girl cutting her tongue was Rodo’s idea, he just goes further. This one gets pretty crazy.” We don’t need to see it to believe it. AW

 ??  ?? NIGHT VISION
Stephen Lang returns as The Blind Man (above); tackling a new set of home invaders (below).
NIGHT VISION Stephen Lang returns as The Blind Man (above); tackling a new set of home invaders (below).
 ??  ?? ETA | 13 AUGUST / DON’T BREATHE 2 OPENS NEXT MONTH.
ETA | 13 AUGUST / DON’T BREATHE 2 OPENS NEXT MONTH.

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