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‘Let The Wrong One In’ (review)

You’d think that the vampire genre would be, pardon the pun, dead by now, but nope, it keeps rising up from out of the grave and continuing on year after year. Every once in a while one of these films dedicated to the myth of the bloodsucker will separate itself from the herd and give you a little nip that will leave you feeling a bit tingly. Let the Wrong One In is one of those films

In this horror comedy, a young supermarket worker named Matt (Karl Rice, Sing Street) finds out that his deadbeat, druggie brother Deco (Eoin Duffy, Pixie) has been turned into a vampire after getting throat molested by a bride-to-be (Mary Murray, Love/Hate). Will Matt try and help his brother through this mess or should he take a spurned vampire hunter’s (Anthony Head- Buffy the Vampire Hunter) advice and stake his brother before it’s too late?

While not a groundbreaking synopsis, there’s something kind of endearing about this dysfunctional family dynamic and the chemistry between Rice and Duffy make these characters work better than they should.

It also helps that this is an Irish production and brings with it a very strong and dark sense of humor that is simultaneously harsh and loving (think Boy Eats Girl or Extra Ordinary) as well as highly gory, reminding one of a very early Peter Jackson film where the blood is a little TOO red and the special effects a little over-the-top (which is a good thing).

It also helps the film that the Vampire hunter/taxi driver is none other than Anthony Head, whose previous work as Giles on Buffy the Vampire Slayer makes this feel like a homecoming in a way. And yes, like Giles, Head’s vampire slayer Henry often gets his ass kicked enough to make it feel like a warm nostalgic hug from an old friend. It’s also a nice nod to Giles’ horrible love life that Henry’s vampire slaying began when his fiancé Sheila (Murray) was turned into a monster while on her drunken Bachelorette party in…you guessed it…Transylvania (because the fares were cheap). Seriously, it’s almost like Giles went to Ireland to retire and ended up spending his golden years right back in a deeply depressing Sunnydale where life did not go well for him.

Murray’s Sheila is also a great character that we don’t often get to see in the movies: A hard and wild middle-aged bride-to-be who dumps her non-vamp betrothed in order to turn her bridesmaids into a girl gang and fuck up Dublin. It’s almost an allegory for perimenopause and I loved it. Murray obviously relished her character and committed to the craziness of her. In someone else’s hands Sheila would most definitely have come across as just a one-dimensional “Bitch” character but Murray gave Sheila something and someone to sink her teeth into. She is pure fun with just a hint of “Hot Flash”.

Overall, Let the Wrong One In is a fun film that doesn’t break any new ground stylistically or story wise but still manages to entertain you with good performances and an adherence to your traditional vampire mythology. It is definitely a movie to watch with friends or when you want to see a bloody flick that doesn’t tax your patience. It’s a solid, low budget monster movie that pairs well with family issues and maybe a beer or two.

Let The Wrong One In is playing in select theaters and on Digital

* * * * *
Produced by Trisha Flood, Ruth Treacy, Julianne Forde, Michael Lavelle
Written & Directed by Conor McMahon
Starring Karl Rice, Eoin Duffy, Hilda Fay, David Pearse, Mary Murray, Anthony Head

 

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