By David Villafranca
Los Angeles, Aug 11 (EFE).- Following the surprising success of their 2016 horror-thriller hit “Don’t Breathe,” Uruguayans Rodo Sayagues and Fede Alvarez are back with a sequel that explores both the monstrous and human sides of their sightless protagonist.
“Don’t Breathe 2” will hit theaters in the United States on Friday and aim to ride the wave of its predecessor, which grossed $158 billion on a $10 million budget while also garnering critical acclaim.
Although both once again share the screenwriting credits, Sayagues took Alvarez’s place in the director’s chair on this occasion.
With Stephen Lang reprising his role as the spine-chilling Norman Nordstrom, “Don’t Breathe 2” once again uses the scenario of a home invasion to delve into the themes of justice and vengeance.
QUESTION: Why was this ideal for you to make your directorial debut?
ANSWER: Rodo Sayagues: Well, things happen as they happen in life. They come as they come, and you either seize the opportunities or you don’t. Was it the ideal project? I don’t know, and I’ll never know. But it was what came my way. And it’s very welcome because it was a project I created with Fede that we know very well, that’s very personal, that’s very much ours. Yes, I felt it made sense for me to dive in and direct it.
Q: In this film, Norman refers to himself as “a monster.” At the same time, we also see a bit of humanity in him. How has this character evolved from the first film to the second?
A: Fede Alvarez: The task in the first film was to introduce a character that people see as the good guy at first, that you feel a lot of empathy for because he’s in a very complicated situation. He’s the person who has the biggest challenge of all. He’s blind. They come to rob him, and he’s also had a major tragedy in his life. Where will he get the strength to fight?
Then we take the audience from that place to (one of) revealing who he really was, the atrocities he was capable of and the secrets he had.
He was very good at justifying himself. He’s a character who nearly manages to convince you that he has the right to do what he’s doing, and that what he’s doing is bringing justice to the world. Blindness was to make an analogy with justice more than anything else.
But he got away with it all in the first film. He survived and didn’t pay a price … What he most fears is himself, who he really is.
A person who gets away with committing crimes, can he sleep at night? Is he at peace with himself? Does he think justice was served?
That’s why we put him in a more protagonistic role here. With his being just an antagonist, we weren’t going to know the answers to those questions.
Q: Darkness and silence were key elements in the first film. How did you take those elements of terror a little further in this sequel?
A: Rodo Sayagues: In the first one, Fede explored the ideas of turning off all the lights, absolute darkness and how that favored Norman.
But in the second we tried … (other ways) of making the other characters blind. EFE