‘Don’t Breathe’ is a thriller on the most primordial kind of monster we know – humans! Youngsters who assumed they are in control broke and entered to steal from a blind old man. They ended up trapped in the controlled environment that is his horror house. A case of victimisers becoming victims. The old man turned out to be sharp and cunning, and even a vicious murderer!
Who is the monster here? Not just the old man, but the thieves who preyed on the ‘innocent’ and ‘helpless’. The movie is a microcosmic portrayal of how karmic tables can be swiftly turned, with the over-confident ‘outsmarter’ outsmarted. Never break any precept, in this case, the Second Precept against stealing, thinking you can just get away.
The law of karma is said to have long arms, but this also means its rebounding effects might be experienced sooner than later when quickly caught! Of course, we cannot simply label horrific cases of vengeance as karmic retribution at play. It is cruel to let the vengeful be cruel to the victims and themselves, as they create fresh negative karma bound for personal suffering too.
The movie was a case of ‘steal another’s money and you might get robbed of your life’. The payback might seem disproportionate, but grave past karma only needs minor triggering conditions to ripen. Since if is hard to remember what horrible karma we might have created in this and previous lives, why further break precepts to tempt ill ‘karmic destiny’? With an open ending of the old man escaping that offers room for a sequel, it is an unnerving reminder that unresolved negative karma plays on…