Warning: Spoilers for Don't Breathe are in play. If you haven't seen the film yet, bookmark this page, and come back after you've seen the movie. Trust us, it's worth it.
Believe it or not, Don't Breathe has generated $88.4 million off of a $9.9 million budget, in a mere 18 days. While that's not exactly Suicide Squad numbers, it's another example of a micro-budget thriller making such a profit that a studio like Sony would be seen as foolish not to cash in and slate Don't Breathe 2 into their upcoming production slate. I, however, believe in the completely opposite viewpoint, and think that making Don't Breathe 2 doesn't really need to happen at all. Though if it does, for some odd and money related reason, it needs to be of a certain blueprint to remain as clever as the first film.
"So why not make a sequel to Don't Breathe," you may be asking yourself. Well, the simplest and most important reason is that a sequel to the misadventures of Rocky and The Blind Man would ruin all that was special about the first film's events. The drama of Fede Alvarez's certified summer hit is self-contained, with the conflict easily set up, engaged in, and drawn to a close. Rocky wants to score a whole bunch of money to get out of town, she goes through Hell to get it, and in the end escapes with her sister to California.
While the film does end with The Blind Man alive, it's highly doubtful he'll be coming after Rocky, unless he somehow pulls a Jaws: The Revenge and makes his way to California to stalk her and her younger sibling. Her happy ending has been earned, and her story need not be revisited, if only because it would require a huge suspension of disbelief to even make a lick of sense. However, if Sony's really keen on keeping Stephen Lang's Blind Man in the picture, there are ways it can be done without sacrificing that first film.
The Blind Man's history is the stuff of legend, and even his own personal backstory could be explored in a spin-off film. His first days as a blind man, and the slow chronicle into madness could be shown on screen, ending with his daughter's untimely death and his quest for vengeance. Or, perhaps, several other gangs of hoods have tried, and failed, to knock him over in the past. After all, Money and his underworld contact couldn't be the only people who knew about The Blind Man's fortune. If a follow-up to Don't Breathe is to be had, it's better to ditch the title and focus on Lang's evil bad ass.
Having said that, the argument still circles back to the plain spoken fact that we really don't need a Don't Breathe sequel. So many other properties become franchised, and a character that was once imposing either becomes a ridiculous joke or becomes a weaker, more sympathetic version of themselves. Delving into The Blind Man's past any further would just demystify him, and in turn take away what scared us about him in the first place. After Fede Alvarez set the character up so perfectly as a methodical madman who wants nothing more than twisted revenge at the end of a turkey baster, anything else would really ruin that deadly serious image.
We shouldn't want to sympathize with The Blind Man, nor should we want to see him become a weaker copy of his former self by fighting off another group of punks who are looking for a quick score. Just as Don't Breathe was a chance to let an original thriller flourish in a market of sequels, adaptations, and re-imagined concepts, we now have a chance to show that the traditional way isn't always the right way. If anything, Sony should be giving Fede Alvarez, Jane Levy, and Stephen Lang blank checks and all of the assistance in the world to come up with an original project that's just as lean and mean as Don't Breathe was. The studio can keep the team together, but they really give their players a new field to play on.
Time will tell if this warning is heeded, but for now, we'll just enjoy the fact that Don't Breathe has made so much out of so little, and proven once again that originality can be rewarded. If you haven't gotten to experience a taste of the magic yourself, then you can still see Don't Breathe, as it's in theaters now.
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