New York – Fede Alvarez has enjoyed telling scary stories since he was a kid.
Growing up in Montevideo, Uruguay, he and his cousins would tell each other ghost stories scary enough to keep up any young child.
“We would always get together, and someone would have to start with a ghost story,” he told Fox News Latino recently. “They always seemed to be based on real life, and I just fell in love with them.”
It’s what inspired him to get into the genre of scaring people out of their wits through film, and the upcoming film by the director of the 2013 "Evil Dead" reboot is no exception.
With his second feature film, “Don’t Breathe,” in theaters Aug. 26, the 38-year-old director and writer is bringing finding new ways to bring suspense and horror onto the big screen.
“It’s both a thriller and a horror film,” he said. “I think that it’s the way to be successful in the genre. If you only do one genre straight forward, you will lose the audience – they know what’s going to happen. As filmmakers, we need to combine both, and that’s when it all works.”
“Don’t Breathe” centers around three young thieves and the blind war veteran they hope to make their next victim. They are played by Jane Levy, Dylan Minnette, Daniel Zovatto and Stephen Lang.
“Like many countries in the Third World, the idea of robbers are those characters that everyone loves to hate. They are part of everyday life of most people. It’s not that uncommon that someone breaks into your house,” he said. “I’ve always been fascinated by those characters, and I wanted to tell a movie from their point of view and try to understand why they do what they do and why they take the risk and follow them on the adventure when they go to rob.”
He added, “I think the best thriller movies Hollywood has ever produced have had characters with really shady morals … Those are the most interesting characters.”
Alvarez said that the three thieves, however, needed a worthy opponent. That comes in two forms: the home they break into and the homeowner they intend to victimize, a blind man played by Lang.
“The house is the battleground … It’s an extension of who he is,” the director said of Lang's character.
The idea of having a blind opponent really appealed to Alvarez for two reasons: It gives the robbers a sense of security breaking in, and then it highlights that any person regardless of disability can protect their home effectively.
“On the surface, (the film) is definitely a fun ride, a thrill ride like a rollercoaster,” he said. “But something I am really proud of is that … we went completely opposite of the stereotype of blind people in movies. I think that is a very powerful thing.”
Alvarez said he and Rodo Sayagues, also his cowriter on "Evil Dead," did a lot of research while writing the script and preparing for the film, and that it’s so incredible how people with disabilities can accomplish so many things.
“He is the one that has the biggest ordeal in the movie, when people break into his house, and it’s fascinating to see how he manages to defend himself and how resourceful he is,” Alvarez said. “Things like that are what make a film stand out … It stays with you.”
Lucia I. Suarez Sang is a Reporter for FoxNews.com.
Follow her on Twitter @luciasuarezsang