Updated: May 20
I don't normally put spoilers in my reviews - it's against embRUDEry policy and goes against everything I despise about certain reviews... BUT this is one of those times when I simply can't explain my distaste for a movie without revealing MAJOR spoilers from both this, and Don't Breathe (2016) 😅 So, if you're not interested in watching either of these, or you already have and are completely miffed as to why I would shun this sequel so much, feel free to read on...
Don't Breathe 2 (2021) continues a full 8 years after the original movie; apart from a brief scene at the beginning which finds blind veteran Norman Nordstrom (Stephen Lang) coming across a girl, later named as Phoenix, (Madelyn Grace) who has collapsed after leaving a burning building, and... well.... taking her, (as you do 😳).
Next we find them living together in another abandoned house, where they grow plants to sell, (wait, it gets weirder...). Hernandez, Norman's delivery driver, if you will, convinces Norman to let Phoenix go into town with her to do her deliveries, and Phoenix is approached in a public toilet by a very unsavoury fellow who then follows her back to Norman's house, along with his band of not-so-merry-men. They are apparently dishonourably discharged ex-veterans, which you think will be important but actually isn't.
Anyway, cue the violence. Norman starts his killing spree, rightly defending Phoenix who hasn't a clue what'a happening until, lo and behold, she finds out the ringleader of this bloodthirsty crew is her real father, and the fire she escaped from as a young child was, in fact, her father's meth lab going up in flames.
Now. Here's where I find the whole thing, frankly, bizarre, (if I hadn't already...); in the first movie, Norman Nordstrom was initially a blind man defending his house against some clumsy teenage cat burglars with extreme violence, but it's later revealed HE KIDNAPS WOMEN, TIES THEM UP AND ARTIFICIALLY INSEMINATES THEM IN HIS BASEMENT OF TORTURE in order to try to recreate the family he lost to a drunk driver. Let me just repeat that; HE KIDNAPS WOMEN, HOLDS THEM CAPTIVE, AND ARTIFICIALLY INSEMINATES THEM. Essentially, he begins as a hero; a blind ex-veteran who you feel sorry for, having to defend his run-down home from a bunch of teenagers, but turns out to be the movie's main villain, killing everyone, kidnapping women, impregnating them, and getting away with it.
Now fast forward to this movie. He has, essentially, kidnapped a small child for himself and is raising her as his own. Obviously, she came from a broken home, so you are seriously conflicted at this point in the movie. He's done a good thing, but he's not a good person. At all. And the story just gets weirder....
Phoenix obviously wants to meet her mother, so the dad, having survived much savagery so far, takes her to the remnants of another meth lab to meet her. She's in a wheelchair and dying, (thanks to the meth fumes), but she needs a new heart to survive. New plot twist: Phoenix's father has only gone to 'rescue' her so they can cut out her live heart and replace her mother's broken one 😳
I know, bear with me... I didn't write the movie.
Of course Norman manages to track her down and save her from her creepy birth parents, but not before Phoenix's dad stabs him, followed by Phoenix killing her DAD, and holding a dying Norman in her arms. Of course, the last credits soon shows a brief shot of his "dead" body, and possibly a flicker of movement in his fingers, just paving the way for yet another, (probably bizarre), sequel... 😳
What. WHAT?! HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO FEEL ABOUT THIS?! Apparently, we have to forget that creepy, ultra-violent Norman was a kidnapper who essentially tried to torture women until they were pregnant with his child... And if I'm honest, I really struggled to do that. I'm still struggling with it now. I don't know what I thought this movie would be, but I wasn't expecting it to be... well... this. A better plot, surely, would have been that the child was actually the product of his previous artificial insemination experiments, and he was 'protecting' her from a group of people who'd found out about his messed up exploits.
What do I know, I just watch the movies 🤷♀️
Anyway... you can watch it and judge for yourself, and if you've seen it already please let me know your thoughts. And remember; this is just my opinion. You might like it, and that's ok! Sadly, it's just one lonely star from me.
My movie reviews aren't like other reviews - I won't bore you with long, drawn out explainations, reveal big spoilers, dazzle you with long words, or try to analyse the movie for you. I won't tell you if you should watch it, or if you shouldn't - all movies are made to be watched, bad or good. I'll simply tell you what I think of it. What you choose to do with that information is up to you.... But don't say I didn't warn you 😉