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I was given the great opportunity to attend this screening last night
of 'Don't Let Him In' at the BAFTA Theatre in London & will say I was
truly privileged to have been there & thankful indeed to Kelly & Mike
for the invite. I truly mean that.
But on the basis of the film: I have to say I was very disappointed with the final results after 80 minutes
Firstly I found the sound to be very boomy (cheap sounding) in parts & the mix could have been a lot better, considering the time spent on the film & in my opinion the premise itself although promising on the tag-line lacked somewhat in terms of story & characterisations.
I really did not connect with ANY of the characters on screen or cared if they were hacked to bits. I feel no matter what genre it is, there has to be some audience connection with the characters, even with low budget classics such as Halloween or Friday 13th etc, all had pretty much wooden characters there true, but there was something elusive or tangible about them or the atmosphere present in the film itself which this film sadly lacked in abundance...sorry!
I am truly sorry to write this, but I believe in giving my own 'personal opinion' & is nothing more &..of course I will have many others who may or may not agree with me..C'est La vie.
I will positively say that the editing was pretty much spot on & some of the visual effects were quite good for this genre but I just did not feel any 'real' atmosphere or feel on the edge of my seat. A couple of jumps here & there but they're quite easy to pull of in any horror film really.
So to conclude: A good idea for a synopsis/treatment but unfortunately was not conceived well. Shame!
Since my viewing of "Don't Let Him In", I deliberately waited two days to write this comment, allowing for the film to sink in a bit deeper. My very first impression wasn't overly positive, but there were a few aspects that I felt were worth pondering about. For example, some of the principal characters are very identifiable and sympathetic, but the killings are cruel and extremely sadistic. This combination leaves a rather unpleasant aftertaste in your stomach just after finishing the film, but the memory that sticks permanently is that "Don't Like Him In" is a new horror movie that dares to shock and provoke the audience perhaps? The premise of the film is rather basic. Calvin and Paige, a joyous young couple, have planned a weekend in the Southern British countryside where Calvin grew up. They also invite Calvin's baby sister Mandy, a little troublemaker who always picks the wrong guys to date. She just spend the night with the extremely arrogant and obviously up- to-no-good bloke Tristan; who reluctantly accepts the invitation but mainly because he has to hide from authorities. Upon arriving in the cottage, the foursome also immediately receives warning that the neighborhood is under the reign of terror of a crazed serial killer with a peculiar modus operandi. The aptly nicknamed "Tree Surgeon" dismembers his victims and hangs the body parts in trees. Obviously they will confront the killer eventually, but there's a fair chance the group will already be traumatized by then. Director/co-writer Kelly Smith usually an editor assures a logical unfolding of the plot, complete with some clichés and red herrings, and she (at least I assume Kelly is a female) often even manages to generate a morbid and deeply uncomfortable ambiance. The acting is remarkably good! As stated above, the good- natured characters are genuinely amiable and the ill-tempered ones are, in fact, very despicable. The murder sequences and make-up effects are raw and grisly, but I guess that could also be seen as an additional recommendation for horror fanatics.
This reminded me so much of a proper old fashioned English horror film.
The special effects (although effective) were only used when necessary
and basically just the actors talents used to terrify.
I felt there was real evil in the eyes of the main actors - I can only assume it was an act (Scotland Yard profiling could confirm this). While on the subject of - I thought the jovial local constable was moving into a slightly humorous realm a feeling which threaded throughout the film.
This is the sort of movie childhood nightmares are made of, it starts with a weekend away in the countryside and then soon descends into - bloody murder.
Brilliant stuff - fans of Hammer Horror will appreciate this film.
I was shocked just how bad this movie was. It was well made, well acted, great scenery, and like a said, you can polish a turd, but its still a turd. As well made as this movie was it was terrible. It was a typical slasher movie except all of the characters have had their brains surgically removed. None of the characters do things that people in real life do, nor do they react to situations like a normal human being. Two scenes that jump out at me are when the 'mysterious' hitchhiker shows up at the main characters remote cabin with a stab wound. The main female character is a nurse and immediately begins to give him medical aid (I with the scene so far), so the tertiary blonde bimbo say in the background, I will call an ambulance. The nurse lady tells her that there is no time for that. Then the blonde watches impotently as the main character saves his life. What the 'f' do you mean that there is no time to call an ambulance, the blonde wasn't helping anyway, so call the effing ambulance. But here's the kicker, after the mysterious stranger is going to live, they don't call the police, an ambulance, they are going to let this wounded guy stay in there remote cabin without an explanation to why he was stabbed. I don't know about you, but if a guy shows up at my door with a gushing stab wound, granted I am going to do everything that I can to save his life, but the ambulance and police are going to be called. The second unforgivable scene is when the protagonists now know who one of the killers are, and still let him back into the house. The movie was so terribly written it begs for an explanation. How could you have gathered a group of intelligent actors and not have anybody say, 'you know this doesn't make any sense'...
I don't take any pleasure in sticking the boot in on a film so woeful,
but I have to write this purely for selfish reasons. See, what keeps
happening is this: I see a film called Don't let Him In listed, and it
captures my attention. So, my interest piqued I enjoy even below
average horror films, mostly I look at the synopsis. And I think,
"Sounds good." So I set it to record, and look forward to watching it.
Then, when the mood takes and I have the two hours set aside, I sit
down to watch it. Get a few snacks ready. A drink. Lights down. And
then I play the movie.
The first few seconds are fine. But then: a vague gnawing in my stomach. Not the good kind of edginess a decent horror might give you; rather, an uneasy feeling that I'm an idiot who doesn't learn from previous mistakes. But I'm unsure, and keep watching, hoping vainly that maybe I'm wrong. But the opening sequence ends, and I see that shot of houses. And it sinks in. The dread and discomfiture spread through me. Then, the next shot of the house. I'm still not absolutely convinced, but in my heart, I know. Then the killer blow: the shot THAT shot in the kitchen. The skewiff, seemingly rushed framing. The ropey sound recording. The stiff acting from miscast people who seem unsure about what they're doing. I can't ignore the truth anymore: I've been here before several times. Because, like my own private horror movie, this keeps happening to me.
I keep recording Don't Let Him In, having forgotten that I've seen it, and that it was truly one of the worst things I've ever sat through. And I seem to block it from my mind (that perfectly generic title is so easy to separate from the film it belongs to) and forget that it ever happened, and record it again, and sit down to watch again, and I am swamped with anger and disappointment. I stop the film as the girl is doing her best to act like someone coughing in bed, and delete it, promising to never let this happen again. A few months later, I see a film listed called Don't Let Him In, and think, "Hmm, that might be interesting..." So: enough. This ends, now, here. As said above, I take no satisfaction in trashing these folks' movie, which I'm sure they worked hard on. Plenty of others here have gone into the details of what makes it so awful (as well as some shameless shills giving it 9 and 10...seriously: at least try and be cleverer about lying on behalf of your friends/employers), so I won't do that.
All I want to do is say to myself: Please. Remember. You have seen the British horror film called Don't let Him In. You gave it 1/10 on IMDb. Learn. Stop forgetting that you've been here before. See the warnings earlier. Recognise the title. Do not set to record.
Make this the last time. Burn the title into your mind: DON'T LET HIM IN. You can't keep doing this to yourself.
I was fortunate enough to attend the UK premiere screening at Bafta of
this great new British horror film from upcoming writer/director Kelly
Smith. UK horror fans have been crying out for new talent within the
genre and Don't Let Him In beats most direct-to-DVD horror fodder hands
down. Forget Hammer's WAKE WOOD with it's disappointing acting and
direction and head for Don't Let Him In. Sam Hazeldine is outstanding
as the wounded hitchhiker who seemingly falls prey to the rural slasher
known as The Tree Surgeon.
I really don't want to give too much away but if you are a fan of British Horror, particularly with a 70's sensibility you will really like this one. References that i can see are Norman J Warren's TERROR (1978)and Rick Roesslers' SLAUGHTERHOUSE (1987) among many others.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
No kidding, this must be the worst movie I've ever seen. It is not only inept, it makes you weep for the human race. It features a collection of characters who are, without exception, so nasty and/or stupid your only wish is for all of them to die as quickly as possible. Possibly the only film I've seen in which every single decision made by every character, every second, is the wrong one. The character of Tristin is so venomous, so selfish, and so devoid of anything resembling humanity you cannot imagine him being selected for a one-night (or one-millisecond) stand by anyone, even as undemanding a bimbo-slut as Mandy. He's so vile you know about three seconds in that the movie makers are setting him up as a red herring, so we can all be "shocked" when one of the "nice" guys turns out to be the real killer. Shocked, that is, if this is the first movie you've ever seen. The aforementioned Mandy has obviously never seen a movie either, since she lets a possible killer into a locked house, puts down her knife, and--hugs him?. A saint couldn't mourn the death of someone that stupid. From that point on it just keeps getting more and more bloody (in thunderingly dull and predictable ways) until the Oh So Ironic ending. A hateful experience.
It is very nice to see that even eight years old or so can write a
script for British horror movie. I see no other explanation of such
poor level of script of the movie! The level of stupidity in the
dialogs is simply astonishing. The characters are not only caricatures
of themselves but they are also completely out of place. They are even
incoherent from scene to scene without any reason. Some scenes like "do
not draw these things" might belong maybe to some horror parody, but
they definitely should not belong to serious movie.
It is such a shame to observe such descent of British horror which was really good in fifties and sixties. One observation from the older movies: It is definitely not beneficial if characters must constantly babble some nonsense or "perform emotions". Less talks might be actually helpful in building of the tension. If the characters would spent less time babbling the resulting movie might be at least average. Unfortunately any possible thrill is completely lost there, making the movie almost unwatchable. I was unable to finish the movie because the characters were way too much annoying and the story was too naive and childish.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This film is simply one of the most childish, pathetic pieces of
nonsense I have ever had the misfortune to view. My other half and I
watched this awful drivel in its entirety purely to laugh at the
juvenile nature of the plot and the disgraceful performances of the
By far, the greatest scene in this movie is the final one. This is because you know that the characters are all dead and this awful, awful, stupid 'film' has ended. None of it makes sense, the 'characters' are wooden and totally removed from reality. The 'acting' in itself is totally unbelievable, ridiculous and bordering on absurd. I have never seen anything like it. To think that somebody has even looked at this script without laughing worries me.
Watch only to waste your time, or laugh at the shocking reality that this film received funding to begin with. Drivel. Dross. Balderdash. Listening to a high pitched fire alarm screech for 24 hours would give you more enjoyment than this ludicrous piece of dung.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Well, I always try to find something positive in any movie, but here my
empathy is really stretched to it's outer limits (and beyond). This is
just one very bad movie! Even for a non-pretentious slasher flick like
this, there's no other qualification.
Okay, maybe the premise, albeit far from original, is not totally wrong. Four persons spend a night in some forlorn cottage while there's a warning for a serial killer on the loose in the vicinity, and when some of them are getting attacked and murdered we start to wonder if maybe one of the group itself is the killer. but besides the premise, virtually everything else is wrong.
To begin with: the script is just terrible, it's like the school-project of some first grade high-school kid, it's just SO lame and childish and unrealistic!
For instance, who in his right mind would take an utterly unknown one- night-stand of one's sister with you on a weekend-trip to a cottage, while this guy is totally obnoxious from the start and behaves to his hosts in a revoltingly rude way?
Then we see a police-officer (or is it? it looked like the late Benny Hill in disguise), who cheerfully tells the four that there's a sexually deviant maniacal serial killer on the loose who cut's off his victim's body-parts, and then he concludes with: "but don't worry, we have everything under control, just keep your doors and windows locked". I just couldn't believe he said that! What's worse: they actually buy it: "hell no, why go home, the police says they have everything under control !"
A complete stranger stumbles into their cottage, his belly mutilated with a knife. Do they call an ambulance? Or 911?? No way, our fearless female hero turns out to be a nurse and without any hesitation sows the guy's flesh-wound up with fishing rope! Without anesthesia! Do they call for an ambulance after-wards? Or bring him to a doctor themselves?? Not so, they put this total stranger in the marital bed. And behold: the next day the guy get's up, eats a rich breakfast and soon starts to help out (cooking meals!) in the cottage. Mind you: all this as if he's the most sound and crisp man alive, in stead of a recently mutilated and operated patient. Oh, I almost forgot: the guy doesn't want to make a fuzz about his being stabbed by a stranger in the woods (as if such trivial things happen to him all the time!) and doesn't want the police involved. Do they grow suspicious? No way!!
This miracle-cured guest offers to go and look for the missing husband in the middle of the evening and returns with the horrendous report that he found the husband dead and mutilated somewhere in the woods. The wife is devastated for at least three seconds. Does she doubt it, like anyone else would? Does she run out to look for him herself? Does she turn hysterical?? Not a chance. She believes it on the spot and reacts almost as casual as if her soufflé sagged-in.
There's some kind of twist in the end, okay, that could have been interesting. But the switch from endearing and grateful guest to a devilish, rambling and drooling maniac is just too big to swallow. He drags our heroine to some cave-like hole in the woods, but apparently for reasons of a good sport sets her free, to chase her again. She runs for her life, comes up to a farm (hey, the cottage wasn't that secluded after all!), picks up a rake to punch it into the first man that leaps from behind the hay-stack. Alas, it's Benny Hill, the copper. I could swear I heard her whisper "Oops...!" in his dying face, before she drags out the rake and turns into this epic (just being ironical!) final battle with the maniac. Here the script turned out to be so weary of it's own tedious cliché's that they decided for an original ending: she pushes the killer backwards into a conveniently present colossal razor-sharp wooden stick (that for some unfathomable reason protrudes out-off the hay-stack) and in the process pales herself too. Thank god she has enough breath left to utter some Famous Last Words, something like: "the last laugh is on me .!" The last image is the two of them hanging belly to belly together as a perverted couple of rag-dolls.
Well, all this may seem like the ideal ingredients for a hilarious horror-parody, but it's nothing like that. Everything is brought to us dead-seriously without even the least tongue-in-cheekness. And to boot it all, the acting is over-all abominable, and apart from the last surviving wife everyone looks unattractive and dreary. The surroundings are grey and boring, the photography is uninspiring and the special effects (if any) look cheap. Oh, and for a wannabe horror-flick it lacks the most important ingredient: it not even a tiny bit scary.
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