(director/writer:  Rodo Sayagues; screenwriter: Fede Alvares; cinematographer: Pedro Luque; editor: Jan Kovac; music: Roque Baños; cast:  Steven Lang  (Norman Nordstrom/The Blind Man), Brendan Sexton III (Raylan), Madelyn Grace (Phoenix), Christian Zagia (Raul), Rocci Williams (Duke), Bobby Schoefield (Jared), Stepanie Arcila (Hernandez), Diaana Babnicova (Billy), Steffan Rhodri (The Surgeon), Adam Young (Jim Bob); Runtime: 98; MPAA Rating: R; producers; Fede Alvarez, Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert: Sony Pictures Entertainment, Screen Gems; 2021)

The violent film (showing anything gruesome from hacked limbs to gouged eyes) is meant as a shocker.

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

A sequel to the chilling 2016 home invasion thriller directed with torpor by the first-timer Rodo Sayagues, and co-written by Sayagues and  Fede Alvares.

We have the
same blind widowed Navy vet from the original, Norman Nordstrom (Stephen Lang), who in that film turned into a killing machine during a home invasion.

Norman is now raising in an isolated cabin, in Detroit, an 11 year-old daughter, Phoenix (Madelyn Grace), who he home-schools after lying to
her by saying that her mother died in a house fire and that he only had time to rescue her. He refuses to send her to the public school because he deems it too dangerous, even though she begs him to go there to be with kids her age. He also teaches her survival skills and to be frightened of the outside world.

While in town, Phoenix is bothered in a public toilet by Raylan
(Brendon Sexton III). The thuggish guy and his three gang member friends follow her home and go looking for her in the cabin after luring Norman outside to look for his Rottweiler.

When Norman goes back in the cabin, he must deal with his traumatized daughter who learns from the thugs the truth about her past and about the operation of an
organ trafficking ring on the premises.

The attempt to make the repulsive Norman into a good guy for doing the right thing now in protecting
Phoenix as an avenging angel, seems a ludicrous turn around from the previous film where Norman was so vile and a menace to society. The violent film (showing anything gruesome from hacked limbs to gouged eyes) is meant as a shocker, as the pointless schlocky exploitation horror film made for such an unbearable watch that I couldn’t wait for it to end.

Don’t Breathe 2

REVIEWED ON 10/8/2021  GRADE: C-