Helen (Alanna LeVierge) suffers a head injury following a traumatic bike accident, but her nightmare is only just beginning in Cody Calahan’s psychological, body horror, Let Her Out.
Following her hooker mother’s attempt to murder her in the womb twenty three years previously, it soon transpires that Helen has a tumour growing in her skull that is the remnant of a twin she never knew existed. Helen soon experiences terrifying hallucinations where she has no recollection of where she’s been and what actions she has committed. An eerie presence then manifests placing Helen’s life and those around her into further danger.
Let Her Out depicts the theme of “Vanishing Twin Syndrome” which is an intriguing concept to explore, particularly within the sub-genre of body horror allowing a balance between unnerving psychological fear and the grotesque physical impact. Visually, the film takes on a stylish, 80’s inspired aesthetic similarly to Adam Wingard’s “The Guest” and David Robert Mitchell’s “It Follows” in recent years with the neon title font and deep, intense lighting.
The film plays as one psychological trip that builds up its sense of dread effectively, utilized by the jarring sound effects. The notion of Helen’s confusion is portrayed as nauseating as she struggles to recall her whereabouts and battles with what’s happening to her. Alanna LeVierge balances Helen’s two sides well, providing the character with both viciousness and vulnerability.
The relationship between Helen and her best friend Molly (Nina Kiri) is also at the film’s core with Molly developing anxiety and hurt over her best friend’s changing behaviour, leaving the audience wondering if Helen will turn on Molly and what lengths Molly will go to help her friend. It’s refreshing to see a strong female friendship in horror, which is a credit to Adam Seybold’s script and both the actresses share a believable chemistry.
Let Her Out takes the subjects of mental illness and pregnancy anxiety and darkly twists them into a horror context, which is exactly what a horror film should do, exploring real life fears in a fantastical setting.
The gore effects by Shaun Hunter and Carly Nicodemo are visually nasty as well as satisfying for gorehounds. There are some genuinely unnerving set pieces with nail-biting tension that will put the audience on the edge of their seats, in particular a scene involving a car during the film’s climax.
While the concept is by far from original and is essentially somewhat of a Jekyll and Hyde story, Let Her Out is atmospheric, suspenseful and character driven. It has something for those who enjoy horror that seeps under the skin and those who love blood and gore.
Let Her Out receives it’s World Premiere on August 25th at The Horror Channel’s Fright Fest at the Vue Cinema in Shepherd’s Bush, London. It will play on the Horror Channel Screen at 10:45pm, The Arrow Screen at 11:00pm and The Splice Media Screen at 11:15pm.