Don’t Let Them In (2020)

Don’t Let Them In is a supernatural home invasion movie, written and directed by Mike Dunkin in his feature length debut (with co-writer Daniel Aldron). It invaded our home via Amazon Prime.

I really wish there were more films like Don’t Let Them In. Quite often, when I sit down to watch indie horror, I’m just looking for an eighty minute joyride with some excitement, an actual plot, good acting, moments of humour and nice visuals. I can certainly enjoy a gruelling and dispiriting film but am not always in the mood for one. Conversely, a film like Don’t Let Them In will always hit the spot (especially on Friday night with some pizza).

Social workers Jenna (Michelle Luther) and Karl (Aidan O’Neill) visit a convicted murderer, David (Scott Suter). He’s been released into the wild after fifteen years in jail, and when they find his address, it’s a wonderfully derelict pub called the Twelve Bells. He seems unwell and holds them at gunpoint, convinced they’ll let his tormentors in.

Naturally, the tormentors are real. The film is being marketed as “You’re Next meets The Purge,” but really, the similarities are very superficial. The main point of comparison is the fact that the assailants wear Hallowe’en masks. Once the masks come off, it’s clear we’re in for a very different ride. The heart of the film is a supernatural mystery, layered with classic themes of rural horror, rather than a comment on senseless violence. You definitely want to get to the bottom of it, and the characters keep you engaged while you get there. The film isn’t an outright horror-comedy, but there are certainly laughs along the way—mostly thanks to Karl (file under “likeable dickhead”).

As a production, it’s very well put together, especially for the budget. The acting is uniformly great; the shots and lighting are great; the score is effective without being intrusive. The film makes wonderful use of the derelict pub, and the trailer (see above) is indicative of the overall quality.

My only slight reservation about this film is the finale, which features a tonal shift. I didn’t mind it but some viewers might. In either case, I had a really fun hour and a half with Don’t Let Them In, and enough minutes spare to finish my pizza. Recommended!

Still, who am I? I’m just one person. Here are some other warm reviews I found on WordPress:

The Collective

InReview


About the author

My name is Ellis. When I’m not reviewing movies, I write short stories about ghosts. If you like getting scared in the woods, you might enjoy Deep Summer Magic, which is also available as a free audiobook.

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