Don’t Breathe 2 (2021) – Review/Summary (with Spoilers)

Don’t Breathe 2 improves on the original while revisiting certain scenarios The Blind Man put people through in the first film.

Director(s) Rodo Sayagues
Screenplay By Rodo Sayagues, Fred Alvarez
Date Released 8/12/2021
Where Can You Watch? In Theaters
Genre(s) Action, Crime, Drama
Duration 1 Hour 38 Minutes
MPAA Rating R
Noted Cast
Norman (The Blind Man) Stephen Lang
Phoenix Madelyn Grace
Hernandez Stephanie Arcila
Raylan Brendan Sexton III

Please Note: We only include pertinent spoilers in the review

Film Summary

Somehow, Norman, aka The Blind Man, has gotten himself a child. Granted, with the way he is raising the girl, Phoenix, she has no friends beyond Shadow, Norman’s dog from the first film, and a woman named Hernandez, who is a veteran like Norman. But perhaps that’s for the best? For with a man named Raylan, and his crew, seemingly part of a gang of local organ harvesters in Detroit, not getting to leave the house often, and Norman homeschooling Phoenix, might have been the safest way to go.

However, all it took was Phoenix going out for the day with Hernandez to end Norman’s bliss and for Phoenix’s life to be put at risk.

Things To Note | Question(s) Left Unanswered

Reason(s) for Film Rating

  1. Blood: Expect blood being spit up, coming from wounds, and being splatted due to gunshots
  2. Gun Violence: People get shot, but guns are less of a focus compared to the first film
  3. Gore: From a hand getting cut off, eyes being gorged, and seeing burnt skin, you will get some graphic visuals
  4. Violence Against/ Done By Children: Phoenix gets involved and fights in the movie, which leads to her being harmed once or twice
  5. Violence Against Animals: It’s mainly implied, but you can also see situations where an animal could be under duress

Things To Note

  • You don’t have to watch the first film to enjoy the second. The only thing the first film provides is a bit more background on Norman and what happened to his first daughter and the method he used to try to cope.



It Weirdly Feels Like A Reboot

Norman aka The Blind Man (Stephen Lang) talking to Phoenix
Norman aka The Blind Man (Stephen Lang)

If you watched the first film and then quickly watch this one, it’ll feel like the first film was a trial focused on having some recognizable faces to compensate for lack of development. Don’t Breathe 2 isn’t like that. It makes sure to have twists throughout the film and complicates how you should feel about Norman, Raylan, and the situation they have put Phoenix in. Also, with putting Norman on the defense, you are more drawn into his story and wanting to forgive his actions, rather than focus on him whipping people’s assess and killing them in brutal ways.

But what really pushes the reboot vibe is that certain scenes Norman is put in reminds you of what Rocky and Alex had to go through in the first movie. Which feels less of a homage to itself and more like, with knowing what worked and what didn’t, Alvarez and Sayagues wanted to keep some of the best parts of the first film and bring it to a new audience.

There Are No Heroes

Raylan (Brendan Sexton III)
Raylan (Brendan Sexton III)

The weird thing about the Don’t Breathe franchise is that it doesn’t necessarily have innocent characters or a hero. Yes, due to being a child, Phoenix is innocent, but only up to a certain point in the movie. As for everyone else? If they aren’t making meth, they are a murderer, rapist, have no issues harming children or animals, and as we learn more and more about each person, you realize there isn’t necessarily anyone to root for. You’re just meant to enjoy the action and hope the worst-case scenario doesn’t happen to Phoenix.

While The Hand To Hand Combat Still Has Weird Audio Moments, The Violence Is Upped

While the sound effects for blows landed aren’t as forced to the point of being comical, like in the first film, there are still moments you feel like the sound of impact is artificial. However, I will admit that sometimes the sound is on point, which may lead to flinching occasionally. However, the visuals may also get to you, like when Norman glues someone’s mouth and nose shut.

Combine that with someone being set on fire, being gouged in their eyes, and Norman being shown as someone who can’t take bullet wounds and stabbings and still fight as if nothing happened, and it makes for quality action scenes.

In This Film, You Can Get Emotionally Invested

Phoenix (Madelyn Grace) and Hernandez (Stephanie Arcila) after Phoenix spent the day with Hernandez
Phoenix (Madelyn Grace) and Hernandez (Stephanie Arcila)

Don’t Breathe, the original film, kept you on a need-to-know basis. This person is going through this, hence why they do that. Because this happened, that’s why the basement holds a secret. It was very cut and dry and made the fear of Alex and Rocky the focus, alongside how far Norman would go to keep his secret and get to be a parent again.

In this film, things are different for with how Phoenix and Norman’s relationship is, you see he is a good dad. Overprotective? Absolutely! But considering the film doesn’t add any details to make it appear he lost his first child due to any fault of his own, it almost makes you forget his crimes. Yet, there is also Raylan, who comes with his own twist. So watching the sweet and innocent Phoenix be torn between two very flawed men and who they are to her, it gets you in your feelings. Mainly since, even with Norman training Phoenix to survive, it isn’t like she has become like Hit Girl in Kick-Ass. She is very much a tween girl who wants friends and more than just her weird caretaker.


Our Rating: Positive (Worth Seeing)

Don’t Breathe 2 has everything the original has, minus some of its top criticisms. Thus, the sequel feels like a reboot with the budget and lessons learned from the first film, including quality action, twists, and emotional moments you may not have expected.

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Title Card - Don't Breathe 2 (2021)
Don’t Breathe 2 (2021) – Review/Summary (with Spoilers)
Who Is This For?
Anyone who enjoys gory action movies but that don’t treat having a story or developing its characters as a necessary evil.
It Weirdly Feels Like A Reboot
There Are No Heroes
While The Hand To Hand Combat Still Has Weird Audio Moments, The Violence Is Upped
In This Film, You Can Get Emotionally Invested

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