Fede Alvarez & the Cast of ‘Don’t Breathe’ on Horror Movies They Shouldn’t Have Seen as Kids

     July 28, 2016


Last summer, I was able to visit the set of Fede Alvarez’s thriller Don’t Breathe in Budapest, Hungary, along with several other journalists. We interviewed the cast about Hungarian food (it’s like soul food, basically), their roles in this new horror movie (it’s actually more of a thriller), and plenty more. If you aren’t familiar with it yet, Don’t Breathe is about a group of kids in Detroit who decide to burglarize a blind man’s house, expecting an easy score. But there are a lot of question about who the villains are here, as the blind man turns out to be a formidable foe for the intruders.

The set and the scenes were saw being filmed were full of tension and some horror, so I had one particular question I wanted to ask each of the cast members — Jane Levy, Daniel Zovatto, Dylan Minnette, and Stephen Lang — as well as director Alvarez: what horror movie did you see when you were too young?

For Jane Levy, it was The Sixth Sense,

I think I was like 11 or 12 and I lost my mind. My parents were actually scared of me. I was like screaming to turn it off. I don’t know what happened that freaked me out so bad.”


Image via Sony

Daniel Zovatto said there were several that stood out for him (and he thinks kids should be able to watch horror movies), but:

I saw The Shining when I was too young with my dad in San Francisco in the hotel room. My dad is a really cool guy, but he showed me The Shining and I was like, “Hey, dad. I’m thirsty. Let’s go get a Coke.” So we went to the vending machine and he hid … and I turned back and I was like, “Dad? Dad?” And the elevator scene came to my mind. So that movie … And I still watch it all the time. I love The Shining. Kubrick is pretty amazing.

Dylan Minnette also had a trickster Dad who was into horror, telling us:

I watched Child’s Play and those movies starting at 4 years old. That was all thanks to my dad. I think that that set me up for horror. He would bring me to these haunted houses at like 5, 6 years old, like random haunted houses in Indiana where I’m from, where people are using like chains on the chainsaws — like, crazy. So I think all of that I was doing at a young age and I got scared of it for a while. But now I’m absolutely obsessed with it.

Minnette (who also starred in Goosebumps), added that,

Goosebumps was a very big part of my childhood. That’s kind of what also inspired me to be into horror, especially because it was kid-friendly and it dared you to read the books alone. So being a part of that was super nostalgic and crazy for me.


Image via Sony

Stephan Lang — who said he doesn’t like to be scared watching movies — revealed:

There are a couple of them that made an impression on me. Certainly The Exorcist stayed with me. But I wasn’t too young when I saw it, or else you’re always too young for that … it’s so incredible. And I think The Omen is an amazing … there’s such cool stuff in The Omen. But there’s a film when I saw when I was probably about nine that I shouldn’t have seen. It was called Two on a Guillotine. I believe it’s with Cesar Romero and possibly Dean Jones, which would be weird. If I look at it now, it’s probably the campiest, stupidest thing in the world. It scared the living shit out of me. And then, also, when I was a kid, Bride of Frankenstein was an amazing movie, but it had such whip. It scared me, but it kept you coming back because it was so kinda cool at the same time.

Finally, Fede Alvarez, the mind behind Don’t Breathe, was scared by … “It wasn’t a movie, actually. It was a music video. It was Thriller.”

In 1986. I was 7. And it was playing all the time on TV, all the time. And that was really my way into horror … Remember the movie, right? You had the movie in the theater, the werewolf story, and then the walk. And then at the end of the music video she is running away and goes into the house. As a kid, I was 7 and that felt like … I never understood that it was a musician and it was a song. It was just scary. I had many of those that I thought were super scary, like Young Frankenstein was one of my favorite movies. I thought it was terrifying. As a kid, I was 5 and I was watching it every day. Eventually I realized how funny it is. And today it’s one of my favorite movies. But back then it was just the horror in it, which it was pretty scary and pretty dramatic in some moments.


Image via Sony

As far as what the first horror film he actually watched was, Alvarez — who directed 2013’s Evil Dead said,

I don’t remember. It was probably when I was 12 and I started watching the Nightmare on Elm Street’s and Friday the 13th. All that stuff was kind of one that hit me when I was 11, 12 and we started getting together with kids from school and watch that. But Evil Dead was actually also one, the first one that really terrified the hell out of me. Again, I was 11 or 12 and we rented it. And we shouldn’t have done that. That’s why the take of my movie is what it is, because when I saw Evil Dead, I didn’t think it was funny at all, because it wasn’t. It was just so scary and so perverse and so wrong … And the low budget elements just make those films look scarier, because they didn’t look safe like other movies. There was no moment that felt like, “Oh, this feels homey.” It always feels weird and creepy because of the budget. But that was probably the first one; the first one I remember really being scared out of my mind and not being able to sleep, just thinking about that cellar. Little did I know.

So readers, what movie did you see when you were too young, or that scared you really badly back then? Is it still scary now, or is it ridiculous like 1985’s Alice Through the Looking Glass (this scene)? Let us know in the comments!

Don’t Breathe hits theaters August 26th


Image via Sony


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