The human body is capable of some pretty remarkable things. Tasks as simple as breathing or blinking our eyes can boggle the mind once you begin to consider the natural automation of it all, but that’s only scratching the surface of what our genetic makeups can do. For example: did you know that there’s a rare phenomenon where the fetal tissue of a twin can be absorbed by the other while inside of the mother’s uterus? This rare event, known as “Vanishing Twin Syndrome”, is a grim reality of child birth, and I’m not sure I would have pegged it for prime horror movie subject matter. Then again, I suppose that’s why I’m writing about movies rather than making them, because Cody Calahan and Adam Seybold’s LET HER OUT is both refreshingly bizarre and downright shocking.
The story follows Helen; a bike courier who suffers a traumatic accident. As she recovers, she begins to experience strange episodic-black outs, hallucinations, and night terrors-that lead her to discover that she has a tumor; a benign growth that is the remnants of a “vanishing twin” absorbed in utero. Over time, the tumor manifests itself as the dark and demented version of a stranger. As Helen’s emotional and psychological state begins to deteriorate further and further, she begins to act out in psychotic episodes that make her a danger not only to herself but to others as well. It’s a hell of a setup; one that leads LET HER OUT into a rarefied space in the modern horror scene. Lucky for us us, the film’s edgy concept is just the tip of the iceberg.
Director of Photography, Jeff Maher, and Writer/Director Cody Calahan deserve massive credit for some of the visuals here. Shots are excellently framed and exude a vibrant style that far exceed, what I assume was, a less-than-optimum budget. The same can be said for the cast. I’ve been watching Black Fawn Films for several years now, and the trio of Alanna LeVierge, Nina Kiri, and Adam Christie deliver performances that set a new standard for the Canadian production team. I found myself completely immersed not only in the universe of LET HER OUT, but the lives of those who reside in it as well. That’s no easy task. Couple that with some outrageously effective FX work and a climax that left my jaw sitting in my lap, and we have ourselves a genuine sleeper hit of 2016.
Every year around festival season you hear various publications (like this one) deliver one grandiose claim after the other about films that rarely live up to the hype, so I’ll try my best to avoid that here. Instead, I’ll leave you with my own simple, yet apt, summation: LET HER OUT is original, well shot, pretty gross, and super fucking entertaining. If it’s in your area for a screening, buy a ticket. When it hits home video down the road, buy a copy. Best believe I’m buying a shirt or a print or something if they become available.
Yeah… it’s like that.
Let Her Out premieres at the London FrightFest on August 25th.
Let Her Out [Review]