“Don’t Breathe” is the latest in a slew of movies to use Detroit in a fictional story or as a filming location — sometimes both — for something ominous and scary.
In the trailer for “Don’t Breathe,” three teens contemplate robbing the house of a blind man as a way to leave their Detroit hometown behind. “Yo, I got our ticket outta here,” says one of them. “Rumor is this guy is sitting on at least 300K.”
The preview shows an overhead shot of an economically challenged neighborhood. There are glimpses of a relatively nice house (the blind man’s, it turns out) amidst the surrounding signs of decay, like overgrown weeds.
Director and co-screenwriter Fede Alvarez says in the film’s production notes that the Motor City’s empty lots and deserted homes add to the film’s unique character. It’s a scary street and this is the only well-kept house left..
The trend is keeping Detroit on the big screen, even now that production work here has dried up with the elimination of Michigan’s film incentives.
“Don’t Breathe,” which opens today, has earned good reviews and online enthusiasm for being a taut, claustrophobic thriller. It’s predicted to replace “Suicide Squad” as the weekend’s box-office winner. Estimates are it could earn $11 million or more, a big opening score for a project reportedly made for less than $10 million.