Although it is entertaining enough, and there is a lot packed into its 79 minute running time, there are also a lot of dumb scenes in Don’t Let Him In involving mobile phones that try to explain why four seemingly capable adults don’t call the authorities when their weekend camping trip goes badly wrong.
The script eventually runs out of ideas and resorts to the old ‘no signal’ routine, even though it was working perfectly well in all the other scenes. There is a bit of an obsession with mobile phones in this film to be honest; but let’s put them aside or it will be all this review consists of.
So to the story, a stranger appears at the lonely cottage, where the campers are staying, late at night and bleeding profusely thanks to a nasty stab wound that clearly needs stitches. One of the four is, of course, a nurse, and the train of thought that they follow for the next 24 hours, which doesn’t include calling the police or an ambulance, has to set a new record for absolute absurdity, especially as this is a film that takes itself very seriously.
The theme of this film is that whenever the movie maker ran out of ideas he got somebody to pick up their mobile phone, as if it would give them the divine intervention they need to create an okay film. Anyway, rant over and back to the story.
The four young Brits who have decided to go for a weekend away are Paige and Calvin, who are a couple, Paige’s promiscuous sister Mandy and her reluctant one night stand Tristan.
The family cottage they go to for their break is, naturally, in the middle of nowhere, and from the outset there is something shifty about Tristan, who is clearly trying to hide something, in that oh so subtle manner that has the audience pointing and muttering “there’s something going on with him, he’s guilty of something”.
It will come as no great surprise either that our cosy foursome don’t get along too well either. The nice couple routine going on between Paige and Calvin doesn’t sit well alongside the stupidity of Mandy and Tristan’s testiness. 90% of the British population would have run a mile at the thought of such a weekend break, but then we wouldn’t have had this….erm….film.
Even a creepy hitchhiker, a wandering gypsy and an over the top in the geniality stakes cop who warns them of danger lurking in the words isn’t enough to scare off this quartet. These hardy holidaymakers brush off the tales of the serial killer nicknamed the Tree Surgeon, due to his penchant for cutting people up, and head further into the woods for their holiday from hell.
Whilst Don’t Let Him In fails in both its logic and characterisation, the graphic intensity and occasional flashes of dark humour will win you over, at least a little bit. The climax is better that expected, but on the whole this firmly belongs on the ‘could have been so much better’ shelf.