Don’t Let Him In (2011) reviews and overview

‘How far would you go to survive?’

Don’t Let Him In is a 2011 British horror feature film directed by Kelly Smith from a screenplay co-written with Chris Andrews. The movie Coldwood Productions-Straightwire Films production stars Sophie Linfield (Never Play with the Dead; The Monk), Sam Hazeldine (Killers Anonymous; Cherry Tree; The Raven), Gordon Alexander (Killers Anonymous), Gemma Harvey and Rhys Meredith (The Cleansing; Loony in the Woods).


What if you invited a serial killer on holiday? Handsome, charming, and arrogant, Tristan has picked up Mandy for a hot one-night stand. The love-struck girl then invites him to a rural weekend getaway with her brother, Calvin, and his girlfriend, Paige, an emergency room nurse.

However, when the group learn a sadistic serial killer dubbed the Tree Surgeon is plaguing the area, Paige is forced to confront the deeply disturbing truth about Tristan…

Reviews [may contain spoilers]:

” …an interesting indie film from the United Kingdom that offers a few tense moments. There are a few surprises in the story as well. If you are an indie film fan, then you will enjoy this film. Yet, Kelly Smith could have tried experimenting a little more with the camera and story rather than sticking to a formulaic slasher storyline.” 28 Days Later Analysis

Don’t Let Him In is a well-paced flick that has its flaws, but also emits a very strange charm […] There are some bright techniques applied to this production, but I’m not certain the nearly inevitable wink at the camera will be enough to tip viewers off: look beyond the surface, this is a multidimensional story with some noteworthy strengths.” Addicted to Horror Movies

“When a movie makes you feel unsure about its genre, it takes you out of the movie, instead of wondering who the killer is or who is going to die next. Unfortunately, for Don’t Let Him In, I found myself laughing at parts I assumed were supposed to be funny, and discovered that the whole movie was supposed to be as serious as a 70’s grindhouse era film like The Hills Have Eyes or The Last House on the Left.Daily Dead

“A good cast do their best but are let down by a combination of weak script and clichéd direction.” MJ Simpson, Dog Soldiers and Doghouses: 21st Century British Horror Films, Volume 1 

“There are a lot of logic flaws in Don’t Let Him In that end up being much too egregious to forgive Smith and her co-writer Chris Andrews for. The ridiculous moments take over right around the time everyone shows up at the cabin and seriously weaken the credibility of the story to the point of turning the movie into a parody of itself.” Dread Central

“But it’s just so weightless, with barely enough plot to cover a Tales from the Crypt episode, let alone a feature film. I will try hard not to get into spoiler territory, but the basic plot is figuring out who the “Tree Surgeon” (a serial killer who has been working in the area) is, and there’s really only two options…” Horror Movie a Day

” …it just felt a bit too contrived with a double-downer ending that should’ve left me chilled but really just kinda left me wondering, really? Don’t get me wrong, this is not a terrible film, it’s a decent first film with a few nice moments of suspense and twists but it’s by the numbers and I found even the twists were expected.” McBastard’s Mausoleum

“…this is worn-out stuff through and through; it’s not that Don’t Let Him In is an altogether terrible film–Smith establishes some moody, even atmospheric shots early on, particularly the fog-drenched forest. However, there’s just no transcending the script, which leaves little room for surprises…” Oh, the Horror!

Don’t Let Him In is entertaining, not in the visceral fear stomach-churning sense, but in the cultish horror slasher bleeding vein. There are gypsies giving warnings and a killer in the wood with a meat cleaver.” Quiet Earth


In the UK, High Fliers Films released Don’t Let Him In on DVD on 29th October 2012. Buy via

Special Features:

•  Audio Commentary featuring Co-Writer/Producer/Director Kelly Smith, Co-Writer Chris Andrews and Co-Producer Mike Mindell
•  Behind the Scenes Featurette (41:22) 16:9
•  The Making of the Visual Effects (1:16) 16:9
•  Trailer (1:58) 16:9

Cast and characters:

• Sophie Linfield … Paige
• Sam Hazeldine … Shawn
• Gordon Alexander … Tristan
• Gemma Harvey … Mandy
• Rhys Meredith … Calvin
• Esther Bishop … Emer (as Esther Shephard)
• Jason Carter … Sgt Utley
• Katie Don-Hughes … Schoolteacher
• Poppy Grout … Ellie
• Clemmie Rubens … Schoolgirl

Filming locations:

• Catlips Farm, Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire
• Primrose Hill, London
• Marlow, Buckinghamshire
• West Sussex

Technical details:

• 76 minutes
• Super 16mm Technicolor
• Aspect Ratio: 1.85: 1

Working title:

• The Hollow


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