Archetypes: Film: Review: ‘Don’t Breathe’ (2016)



Typically the hallmarks of romantic cinema, Mars and Venus get a different sort of work out in Don’t Breathe, a nimble horror film about a burglary gone very wrong.

Co-written and directed by Fede Alvarez, the movie gets to the basics quickly. Three young adults – Rocky (Jane Levy), her hot-headed boyfriend Money (Daniel Zovatto) and friend Alex (Dylan Minette) who’s sweet on her – are itching to get out of their go-nowhere lives in a poor section of Detroit. Venus rules both money and love and, because his father is in the home security business, Alex has access to keys and other information which allows the trio to break into upscale people’s homes and steal valuables which are then fenced.

Alex is a cautious guy and, to protect themselves, he insists they work as no-cash and no-weapons thieves. But learning about a six-figure pile of money in the broken down home of a Gulf War veteran (Steve Lang) – a blind vet, at that – provokes the group to break their own rules. The tension between the trio’s geographic Saturnine confinement in a debilitating environment – akin to imprisonment – and a reckless desire for Jupiterian expansion of resources is palpable.

What these folks don’t count on is the ingenuity of The Blind Man, as he’s credited, once they find their way into his domicile. His highly sensitive hearing wreaks havoc on the thieves’ clumsy attempts to escape what is now a literal brick-and-mortar prison. And it’s a cheeky move by Alvarez to set the house on Buena Vista: The Blind Man has no view. The culprits can’t see their fate. And no good is on its way to anyone.

As the movie ups the suspense ante, there’s vivid interplay between love (Venus) and war (Mars). The cat-and-mouse fuse is ignited by Money, who brings a gun into the house, turning the escapade into armed robbery. The Blind Man carries the Mars archetype – soldiering, weaponry, aggression and, in an uncomfortable reveal, sex. When the home owner – he’s come into his money as a result of the death of his daughter – perverts the Venusian archetype, one character equalizes the situation by embracing Mars to balance things off.

The adage is all you need is love. But Don’t Breathe suggests that Mars is what you want. And really need.

Archetype: Aggressor. Fighter.

Astrology Archetype: ♀ ♂  (Venus, Mars)

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