Don’t Let Go Review: A mind-bending new entry from BH Tilt
With an intriguing premise and standout performances, BH Tilt lets loose another strong hit for Blumhouse with the release of writer/director Jacob Estes’ Don’t Let Go.
The film follows Jack (David Oyelowo), a Los Angeles detective who has a strong relationship with his niece, Ashley (Storm Reid), as her father (Bryan Tyree Henry) is unreliable. However, things take a grim turn when Jack finds Ashley and her family murdered by an unknown assailant. Jack is left wishing that he could get a second chance to stop it all from happening and is given his wish when he receives a strange call from Ashley. Though she’s dead in Jack’s current time, he can talk to a past version of Ashley before she was murdered. Now, Jack must attempt to balance and understand all of the details of the past and the present in order to figure out who is going to kill Ashley so that he can change their future.
The performances from Oyelowo and Reid are very strong and viewers will immediately care about them and their relationship. The film does a great job building care for their relationship with some moments of them together as well as showing how distraught Jack is when she’s gone. Oyelowo is excellent here as he makes viewers connect to his unflinching desire to change the past and the eeriness and paranoia he faces in this situation. His performance makes Jack an endearing hero that audiences will be behind the whole way through. Reid is also great here as she shows Ashley as mature, capable, and strong. Together, these two have superb chemistry and create some emotional moments that elevate all of the films twists and turns.
There’s actually a solid amount of creepiness that’s played with as Jack starts to receive calls from Ashley, and he starts to figure out the “rules” surrounding this strange phenomenon. For the most part, there’s an excellent amount detail that blends the past that Ashley exists in and the present that David is navigating through. From lines of dialogue being similar to details in Ashley’s murder coming together, there’s a sense of eeriness that comes with how well the past and present come together. There’s even a great amount of tension built from how the film cuts back and forth between Ashley and Jack. It’s also worth mentioning that I actually really enjoyed the score from Ethan Gold as it elicits a strong mix of sci-fi, horror, and mystery vibes.
Even for a premise that sounds confusing on paper, the film does follow its own rules most of the time and never overexplains what’s happening but can lose viewers with its inability to smoothly guide them through a mid-film twist. The film actually delves pretty deep into its premise and viewers will constantly be shocked and on the edge of their seats with each reveal and realization that comes. However, the film likes to throw around numbers and dates so that viewers can keep along with what’s happening, especially after a mid-film twist occurs, but it ends up just making things hard to follow. There’s also a lack of depth into certain character motivations, especially in the film’s final twist, and there needed to be smoother transition between past and present events at times. Some moments also lack believability and some of the things that Jack is able to pretty much get away with can really take viewers out the moment.
Don’t Let Go is easily another hidden gem from Blumhouse that’s definitely worth uncovering if you get the chance. It’s intriguing premise, great performances from Oyelowo and Reid, and tense mystery gives viewers the kind of thrills and chills that they would want in a late summer flick.
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