Let Her Out (2016) [FrightFest 2016]

let-her-outAfter Helen, a bike messenger, gets hit by a car, she awakens in the hospital and soon finds herself haunted and taunted by her twin who she absorbed during her development in utero.  As Helen seems to lose her mind more and more, her evil twin makes more and more appearances and damage.  Or does she? Written by Adam Seybold based on a story by himself and director Cody Calahan, the film explores the evil twin subject in an interesting manner as the viewer is almost never sure if it’s a twin, a ghost, a possession, or simply mental issues that are causing all the mayhem.

They create strong female characters that are not just there to support male ones, but are good leads and baddies, something of a theme in Black Fawn Films produced films (Bite, Bed of the Dead).  The lead of Helen is interesting to watch go through all of this while her best friend Molly is a good supporting character that actually does feel like a long time bestie, she cares while also being rather blunt at times, she wants what’s best for her friend even if she needs to get mean to get to it, they are more like family than just friends. In the lead role of Helen, Alanna LeVierge shows confusion and fear of what is happening to her and inside her very well.

The way she switches personalities creates questions as to what is up with her character: has she lost her mind, is she possessed, or even haunted?  Did she make up the twin or is this really something that is happening to her?  She switches back and forth effortlessly, truly bringing the crazy in some scenes and being super sweet in others.  Playing her best friend Molly, the other character getting most screen time, is Nina Kiri who shows concern and frustration, not always being the best bestie possible but deep down she shows she cares, something that comes through Kiri’s performance well.  Her performance has fewer extremes than LeVierge’s but it work.  The two of them have good chemistry and when they back and forth, the deep-rooted friendship shows.

The film has its first effects heavy scene near the start and then the effects almost stop to slowly ramp up until the effects heavy last reel with a blood soaked sequence that should make even some of the biggest gore hounds wince at least a little bit.  The effects by special makeup effects artist Shaun Hunter are flat out gross, which is high praise for effects in a horror film.  The way that last sequence of effects is handled is beautiful.   It makes one shiver and be irked out at the same time which is fabulous.

Let Her Out is well written with themes of mental illness and the supernatural, led by strong female leads, and supported by fantastically gross special effects.  Some of the scares are effective, very effective even, not all simple jump scares.  It keeps the attention with a good evolution, effective and building suspense, and some nicely tense and intense scenes.