Well, this movie IS better than WatchUsDie.com, so at least there's that! Faint praise, but at least the bar was set fairly low...Anyway, settle in, crank up your DVD's and let's start watching Don't Let Him In! SPOILERS dead ahead...
Wow, a cast of nobodies. Awesome. There's a red hand(Quick, everybody sing "Red Right Hand"!) holding a syringe, in a room where surgical tools are literally dangling from the ceiling. A woman appears to be just waking up in this chamber of horrors, and she immediately pukes. Fun gal.
She watches as our mystery nutcase saws a hand off of a corpse at the wrist, and the woman tries to stand up. The killer speaks to her, but the words are verrrrrry distorted, probably because whatever he sedated her with is still in effect. She crawls away, and the killer begins a 10-second countdown. She gets outside, where she's surrounded by trees(Tree Movie!!!), and tries to stagger to a safe place before he follows her. He arrives outside, and he's clutching a cleaver in one hand. Then the titles comes up: DON'T LET HIM IN. Ooh, scary!
The next scene begins with a generic-sounding pop ballad, and we meet a young British couple, Paige and Calvin. He's some sort of accountant or banker, based on their quick chat. They're preparing for a little weekend getaway, and just waiting for Cal's sister to call to say that she's ready to go. Small group for a slasher flick: Let's hope they meet some folks along the way!
Anyway, Calvin calls his sister, Mandy, who looks hung over. He tells her to get her ass in gear, and she lies, telling him that she's ready to go. Next to her, a guy with a bad squint also wakes up. Yay, 2 more potential victims! Calvin hangs up the phone and cuts his finger at the kitchen sink, revealing that Paige is a nurse. Both of them seem to think that Mandy is a major flake.
Mandy gets off the phone, then prepares her latest boyfriend a fresh cup of coffee. She fumbles her way through an invitation to bring him along for the retreat in the countryside, but he seems reluctant. A quick text message telling him to make himself scarce, however, changes his mind in an instant, much to Mandy's delight.
When Calvin and Paige pull up to the curb, Mandy gives them the "good news". It turns out that the "boyfriend" is actually just some dude she met the previous night named Tristan. Calvin hesitantly allows her to drag him along, and they both pile into the car. As Calvin and Paige try to introduce themselves to Tristan, he rudely keeps checking his text messages. Sheesh, they're going to have a loooong weekend.
The trip to the country is to a secluded village, where Calvin and Mandy were raised. Along the way, they spot a bearded hitchhiker, but Tristan abruptly announces that he won't travel in the same vehicle as the stranger, so they keep driving. He's an ass; I hope he dies early on.
Mandy complains that she needs to pee, so they pull over. While she darts into the woods, Calvin asks Tristan what he does for a living. Tristan says that he's in the stock market, then he gets interrupted by a phone call. While he barks orders at the person on the other end, Paige and Calvin agree that he lacks people skills, and that Mandy will soon grow tired of his attitude.
Speaking of Mandy, she hears something approaching her spot while she's urinating. A cute brunette appears suddenly, then Tristan also pops up from out of nowhere. So much for privacy. The new girl is a wanderer with the unlikely name of Emer. She goes back with them to their car, and they all learn that she's been living in the forest for a year. Emer, the woodland nymph. Sure.
They ask her how the locals are, and Emer admits that she doesn't see the townsfolk very often. She also claims that there's been a negative presence in the forest, which makes the cynical Tristan laugh. She offers to read his palm, then has a bad reaction to what she sees. She abruptly advises them all to return to the city, and she marches back into the woods without another word.
At the cottage, The women realize that they forgot to pack some things, and Tristan offers to hike up the road to a store they passed on the way. Mandy offers to accompany him, but he asks her not to "crowd" him. Wow, this romantic getaway sure has cooled off in a hurry, huh?
While they unpack the kitchen, Paige and Calvin insult Mandy's taste in men and refer to her as a slut. She's standing in the doorway, listening to the whole thing. As Calvin lamely tries to explain that he was just kidding, Mandy runs out of the room. Right on cue, a police officer arrives on a bicycle. A bicycle.
He introduces himself as Sergeant Utley, the local law enforcement. Who rides a Huffy 10-Speed. Hell, I'm surprised by the lack of a pink basket, or training wheels! He's obviously a bad-ass.
After the lighthearted introductions and banter about fishing prowess, Utley turns serious. It seems that there have been a string of killings in the area lately, and the press has dubbed the murderer The Tree Surgeon. Why? Well, he apparently likes to dissect his victims, then hang the remains in the trees. Nice.
Then Utley describes the most recent crime scene: A teacher was having her art students drawing nature scenery in the woods, and one lonely girl was illustrating a gory crime scene, complete with a severed torso and entrails. The teacher was about to reprimand the girl, but then realized that she had stumbled right into The Tree Surgeon's latest display.
Mandy gets back as Utley finishes the tale, and he leaves the trio to argue over whether or not they should head home. Against Mandy's wishes, they decide to stay for the weekend. Good thing, otherwise there wouldn't be a movie to watch.
Night falls, and we see Emer humming as she lazily strolls past the trees. A log rolls toward her, and she stops to look around, clearly hearing the sound of heavy breathing. Emer continues on her way, hears a loud growl, and removes a knife from her pants. As she makes a hasty retreat she trips, and the growling seems to be coming from every direction. A hand raises a blade in the air, and it's bye-bye, Emer.
Calvin's now chopping up some firewood. He hears Emer's scream, then nervously returns to the small house, where Mandy begs him to go out and search for Tristan. He kids her that Tristan's probably already dead, and she forces him to go searching with her, leaving Paige alone in the secluded cabin.
While they walk, Mandy yells out Tristan's name, and Calvin jokes that The Tree Surgeon will hear her. That Cal, he's quite the kidder! (He sort of has a good point, though I hate to admit it.) As if to prove his point, they both see a bloody hand print on a nearby tree. Mandy urges Cal to keep moving.
A fog bank rolls in, and they creep ahead. Tristan then jumps out from behind a tree, and calls them "pussies" when they get scared. He holds up the grocery bag, then just grins like an idiot. Calvin moves toward the tree for a closer look at the hand print, and confirms that it is actually blood on the tree.
Back at the house, Paige builds up the fire, completely unaware of a presence lurking just outside the nearest window. A series of low thumps cause her to go have a look. I'm going to just assume that this is the last we see of Paige.
Mandy whines that the men are moving too fast, and insists that they wait for her to catch up with them. Then Paige calls, and begs them to hurry back, because someone is trying to break into the house. They pick up the pace.
Paige hears more frantic noises at the front door, and finds an ax to wield. Lucky for her, this time it's her friends. She lets them in, and shows them another bloody hand print on the front window of the house. Then the owner of the bloody hand stumbles into the house, where he collapses onto the living room floor.
He's the guy they drove by earlier. He has a nasty open wound on his left abdomen, and Paige lets her instincts as a nurse kick in. His wallet informs them that his name is Sean, and Paige has Mandy fetch her some boiling water, a first aid kit, some sewing needles, and a reel of fishing line to use as thread.
The only person who refuses to help Sean is Tristan, who simply eases back on some furniture to watch the scene play out. Sean indicates that he wants a nearby bottle of liquor, and takes a good, long swig from it. Then Calvin offers his belt to bite down on, and the procedure begins.
Sean struggles and moans, but they hold him still long enough for Paige to sew the gaping hole shut. Pretty painful, if his scream is any indication. Eventually, they all find a way to fall asleep.
Paige and Calvin discuss the possibility of getting him to a hospital, but Paige isn't convinced that his condition is stable enough to make such a journey yet. Then we see Esme trapped in the killer's weird cave, and she appears to be dead. Then she loudly gasps for air.
The next morning looks downcast, and Mandy is in a mood to bitch and moan about how rotten the weekend has become. Tristan agrees, but attempts to make her calm again. He then ruins the moment by answering another mysterious business call. While they're having so much fun, let go see how Sean is doing.
Well, he's awake. Paige is sitting with him, and they have a talk about his injuries. She tells him to move slowly at first, and come downstairs for breakfast when he feels up to it. Then Tristan rudely tells her that she should be charging Sean some type of rent.
At the breakfast table, Sean enters wearing Tristan's bathrobe. They make general introductions, with both Mandy and Tristan grumbling about Sean living in THEIR bedroom. Oh, just grow up, you two.
Calvin gets right to the point, asking Sean how he received his injuries. He tells them that, while he was hiking, a mysterious attacker stabbed him, leading into a scuffle. Sean got away, but the altercation made his pain worse, so he found the house as a last resort for assistance. Heck, maybe he survived a meeting with The Tree Surgeon!
He doesn't want to report the incident to the police, because he avoids the locals. Tristan interrogates him about his personal background, and Sean admits that he quit a lucrative insurance job. While mocking him, Tristan confesses that his recently-deceased parents left him a large fortune.
Calvin invites Sean to fish with him while he rests up, but Paige manages to rope him into taking Tristan instead. Neither of them seem pleased with that prospect. Isn't this a fun weekend trip?
The guys end up at a body of water that looks like someone had a fit of diarrhea. They should name this scene "2 guys, 1 pole", if you know what I mean. If they catch anything, they better not eat it.
Mandy sits next to Sean on the couch, boring her with pics from her camera. Paige finally rescues the poor guy, asking him if he'd like to take a leisurely stroll outside. He happily agrees, leaving behind a very angry Mandy. Oh well.
Sean asks Paige how she met Calvin, and it's not a fun tale. He had been choking in a restaurant, and she leaped forward to perform an emergency tracheotomy. Love at first stab.
Sean removes a photo of his wife from his wallet, and shows it to Paige. He tells her that his wife's name is Cathy, and that she and their kids are waiting for him to return home. Awwww, how sweet! Wait...so why would he be wandering around in the woods, if he was supposed to be heading home? Strange...
Calvin gives Tristan pointers on how to fish, and Tristan looks like he'd rather be having a root canal. As they fish, Tristan tells Calvin that his parents recently died in a house fire. Then his stupid phone rings again. He hands his fishing pole to Calvin, then just starts wandering away to take his call.
The caller needs a password from Tristan, something about covering up his tracks. The fire was no accident, and the voice on the phone is someone trying to help Tristan stay out of prison for committing arson. Sadly, the phone goes dead before he can give the needed password.
He goes back to Calvin, and requests the use of his phone to send the text. Before he can complete the message, the phone rings. It's Paige, telling them that Sean has offered to make them dinner that night.
Calvin finishes the call, then sees the unsent text message. He asks Tristan about it, then Tristan moves away to go find a place to pee. When Calvin tries to call Paige with a warning, Tristan strangles him with some fishing line. Then he bashes Calvin over the head and shoves a pile of rice down his throat. Before he dies, Calvin coughs up a wad of rice onto Tristan's face, so he bashes poor Calvin's head with a rock.
Night falls, and still no sign of Calvin and Tristan. As Paige makes up her mind to go find them, Tristan stomps into the house. He lies to her, saying that Calvin stayed behind to continue fishing, and that he caught several large fish already. Paige secretly confides to Sean that she's worried that Tristan is lying. To set her mind at ease, Sean agrees to go do a quick search for Calvin. "Hey, Calvin! Here, boy!" *whistles*
Anyhoo...Armed with only a flashlight, Sean calls out Calvin's name while he wanders around in the dark. He hears Calvin's phone ringing, finds it, and answers it. It's Paige. As he explains that he found the phone but no sign of Calvin, he runs into quite a sight: Calvin's body, with his mouth crammed full of maggots. Sean rushes back to the house.
While Paige and Mandy fret over what Sean might have discovered, Tristan tries to sow seeds of doubt in their minds, implying that perhaps Sean might have harmed Calvin while he was outside. However, when he states that they don't even know who Sean is, Paige points out that the same could be said of him. Ha! Take THAT, killer!
Sean bursts in, and just tells them that he found Calvin dead. As Tristan tries to sound defensive, Sean suggests that Paige should call the cops. She gets through, but then the call gets disconnected. She tries to call them back, but the call won't go through.
Mandy goes into a sort of rambling shock, and Tristan attacks Sean. As Tristan starts to rant and rave about dead bodies and maggots crawling out of Calvin's eyes, Sean quietly responds that the maggots were actually in Calvin's mouth. Then Tristan starts to sway and moan, and the others watch as a maggot crawls out of his eyelid, then drops into his drink. Whoops.
Paige instinctively snatches up the ax, and strikes the wall, because Tristan manages to dodge out of her way. He knocks her to the ground and gets the ax, but Mandy stabs him in the leg with her trusty knife. On his way to the floor, he lands on Sean, who gets the ax right in his back. This movie suddenly took a left turn into Apeshitville!
Paige maces Tristan in the eyes as he attempts to stand up, and she pushes him out the door. She swiftly locks the door behind her, and then checks to see if Sean is still alive. Then Paige gets a kitchen knife, gives it to a sobbing Mandy, and tells her not to let Tristan in.
She pauses for a minute to mourn her boyfriend, then goes upstairs. While she's gone, Tristan urges Mandy to open the door. He tells her that Sean is the real threat, and then he swears not to harm her. Being a complete dumbass, Mandy believes him and opens the front door.
Shock of all shocks, Tristan murders Mandy, stabbing her sloooooowly after a big hug. He then drops her body onto the couch, and goes after Paige. She ambushes him, then stabs him in the shoulder. After a brief fight, she thinks that she knocked him out, but he gets up again. He raises the ax to kill her, but then Sean jumps on his back, and manages to slit his throat.
With Tristan now dead, Sean crumples to the floor again. Paige offers to call his wife, and finds his wallet. A closer look at his wife, "Cathy", reveals that the pictures were folded in half. The husband in them isn't Sean at all...
Oh crap. Paige drops the pictures, as well as the driver's license of the man that "Sean" murdered, and he rises up behind her. As they stare at each other, The Tree Surgeon begins to laugh...
He knocks her out, and she comes to her senses in that cave we saw in the first scene. He drugs her, she eventually gets free, blah blah blah we saw this part already. He tells her that lives beneath a hollowed-out tree that he worships, and kills his victims as a sacrifice to the tree. Killer tree!
Then he cuts her loose, gives her that ten-count again, and she tries to stagger away to safety. He drugged her with something called ketamine, and she's pretty groggy. He emerges from his lair as she limps away, and she starts to get her energy back.
He casually strolls after her, and Paige soons emerges from the woods, into what looks like a lumber mill. It's deserted, though, and her cries for assistance go unanswered. She finds a pitchfork to use as a weapon, then hides behind some bales of hay. Paige hears someone moving in her direction and thrusts her weapon at them--only to realize that she just murdered Utley, the bike cop.
She sees The Tree Surgeon coming, and yanks the pitchfork out of the sarge, and he keels over. As the killer corners her, Paige knocks him down, then tries to finish him off with a quick stab. Nope, he still lives.
The Tree Surgeon lifts her off of her feet, then impales Paige on a large spike. She drags him with her, and they both get to be spiked to death. But before they both die, Paige laughs in his face. THE END
Yeah, low budget and a little slow, but still miles better as a movie than last week's entry. The gore was also surprisingly decent, and that weird thing with the maggot was effective. And we got 2 killers, for the price of 1! A decent effort, at the very least....And an actual killer tree subplot! 3 killer trees out of 5 for Don't Let Him In.
And what did this one teach me?
-New lovers should never be trusted.
-The English countryside is a deathtrap, filled with women named Emer.
-If your local lawman rides a bicycle, you need to live in a bigger town!
Next up on my list: the recent remake of Evil Dead!!! Sweet!