Let the right one in. Let ME in. Don’t let HIM in. Lock the freakin’ door then.
“Terror just got an invite.”
Director/Writer: Kelly Smith / Writer: Chris Andrews / Cast: Sophie Linfield, Sam Hazeldine, Gordon Alexander, Gemma Harvey, Rhys Meredith, Esther Shephard, Jason Carter.
Body Count: 8
Dire-logue: “A very unsavoury character has been troubling these parts lately… I suppose you’d call him a serial killer.”
Nice try with the title, people. No one will ever tell the difference.
Perhaps today was just a very good day, or I’m in a far better mood that I thought, because I liked this, frankly, cheap, derivative, and sometimes annoying little slasher film from my homeland.
Cutesy London couple Calvin and Paige are off to their holiday home in the West Country for a break along with Calvin’s unsettled sister, Mandy, who decides to bring the guy she banged last night with them, despite knowing fuck all about him. He – Tristan – is simply an asshole: Rude, ungrateful, uncharitable, and an oral box of unrelenting streams of insults and put-downs. I wrote “he must die!” next to his name in my notes and underlined ‘must’ several times.
No sooner do they arrive at the little cottage than a local ooh-arr bobby turns up and warns them about a loon stalking the area, known as The Tree Surgeon, because he cuts up his victims and hangs their various extremities from trees in the surrounding forest.
The unease of Wankface/Tristan’s presence is further shattered by the arrival of a bleeding guy at the door – a hitchhiker they passed earlier in the day – who is stitched up by nurse Paige, much to Wankface/Tristan’s annoyance and another diatribe of cocksmith comments spurts from his gob like a volcano that erupts only arrogance. The newcomer, Shawn, spends the night and offers to cook dinner the next day while Calvin and Wankface/Tristan go fishing…
Around this point, Don’t Let Him In gets a little interesting. A murder occurs and we see the culprit. A throat is cut by garrotting and then live maggots shoved in the mouth (ew!) but all is not what it seems. As news of the incident reaches those back at the house, there’s disagreement, accusations-a-plenty, violence, stabbing, retaliation, and revelations…
It’s stupid, for sure, and so very unlikely that all these bizarre incidents would cross paths here and now and all orbiting around this small group of people, but yet it happens. If you don’t want to know what the hell I’m talking about, stop now, as quasi-spoilers follow…
The catch, if you like, is that there are essentially two murderers operating separately. One is The Tree Surgeon, the other has their own agenda, which isn’t really revealed to us, but it’s pretty much irrelevant anyway. However, and this is what annoyed me and does so in most films where it’s commonplace, there are several of those “accidental killings” where someone stabs a passer-by thinking they are a threat, rendering the body count attributable to the actual killer/ers quite naff.
A 77-minute duration means the welcome is not worn out and the end was surprisingly taut and quite well acted given the evident low budget in play. Characters ranged from immediately stabbable to stupid to fairly realistic, although why they didn’t just tell Wankface/Tristan to fuck off early on is anyone’s guess, the guy is even hated by his beau after a short while at the house…
I’m not particularly patriotic so it’s not a British love-in, but I got something positive from this. That said, don’t blame me if you hate it. It’s not a “good film”, merely an entertaining and unassuming one that is neither direly predictable nor annoying or full of pretense. And the tiny cast do quite well with the material.