Don’t Let Them In (2020)
At first glance ‘Don’t Let Them In’ looks like a low budget UK home invasion film like so many we’ve seen before. But fear not, this is no lameo run of the mill invasion horror film and I’ve got to say while both the lead characters aren’t particularly likeable (however, Karl played by Aidan O’Neill, the asshole with an obnoxious personality, this actually becomes his saving grace and calling card as a character by the end of the film).
The plot follows the brutal murder of a young girl fifteen years ago, as a reformed David Pierce (the assumed murderer of the girl) is released from an asylum and returns to his family home: The Twelve Bells Inn, a long-abandoned pub. When two social workers, Karl who tags along with colleague Jenna to pay a routine visit to check in on David after his release, things very quickly become clear that they are not what they seem nor are the people involved.
David insists there are intruders trying to get in the house to get him but cannot articulate who or why ‘they’ are trying to get in. Eventually, after lots of freaky noises and lurking about the creep Inn, the masked intruders instigate a savage confrontation, which leads to an all-out assault. The social workers torn between their own safety and the duty of care for their client, they must untangle a mystery, outsmart and fight relentlessly to survive the night.
However, things take an unexpected turn when the true villian is revealed. ‘Don’t Let Them In’ is a shake em up invasion story whilst not all twists and turns are surprises, theres plenty of sarcastic comedy from Karl’s character and entertaining curiousity and blood and guts to keep your attention. I’ll be the first to admit I expected little from this film but in fact I really enjoyed it, flaws and all and Karl fast becomes the likeable unlikeable character and hero of the film.
It becomes increasingly clear these are no regular intruders and that Daniel’s story is much more than meets the eye. What seems like a pretty basic plot takes whilst a classic horror trope turn does so brilliant and with a cocky prowess. Director Mike Dunkin and co-writer Daniel Aldron take what could have been a run of the mill invasion story and add elements of the demonic and satanic and it works…well. Even with a small and limited cast ‘Don’t Let Them In’ manages to achieve exactly what it sets out too all while delivering plenty of blood, severed heads, shotgun blasts, stabbings and jumps.
By far one of the most entertaining parts of the film is the well cast character of Karl, who is both annoying, an asshole and a real shit head but one that brings a realistic, comedic and sarcastic character arc to the film. All round, it’s a thumbs up from me! I havent seen many horror films lately come out of the UK as enjoyable and with so little to work with.