Let the Wrong One In

04/14/2022 06:41

Film: Let the Wrong One In

Year: 2021

Director: Conor McMahon

Writer: Conor McMahon

Starring: Karl Rice, Eoin Duffy and Anthony Head



This is a movie that I caught part of the trailer while going to the Gateway Film Center. I let Jaime watch it and this one intrigued her. There were limited showings of it though, so she wanted me to go and report back. I did know coming in that this played at FrightFest where Duncan from the Podcast Under the Stairs saw it along with, I believe, Scott and Liam vs. Evil. Seeing the title, I figured this was a play on Let the Right One In, but just more of a comedic take. The synopsis is a young supermarket worker discovers his older brother is a vampire and must choose whether to help him or slay him.

We start this in Transylvania for a bachelorette party. Sheila (Mary Murray) is getting married and she is there celebrating with her friends. It appears that she stole a beer from a bar and didn’t pay so a bouncer is chasing her. He corners her but flees in terror. A vampire has appeared behind Sheila.

The movie then shifts to Dublin, Ireland. Matt (Karl Rice) lives with his mother, played by Hilda Fay. She wakes him up as he makes a great breakfast. While they eat, we learn that Matt has a brother, Deco (Eoin Duffy). We see him stumbling around and needing to avoid the sun. There is a funny scene of him using a broken umbrella as he makes his way to his family’s house. The problem is that he cannot enter. Ma is still upset with him. Matt has a soft spot for him and also feels a bit guilty. After their mother leaves, Matt invites him in.

Deco’s problem is much bigger than one he’s ever had. He wants Matt’s help, but he must go to work. He decides to call off when Deco vomits blood all over him. He tries to call a doctor for his older brother, but this takes a turn. Deco’s urges are getting worse the longer he goes without blood.

Complicating things even more, there is a vampire hunter searching for creatures of the night. His name is Henry (Anthony Head). Sheila is also from Dublin and returned as a vampire. She is the one who bit Deco. She is turning others almost on a nightly basis. This is becoming problematic and drawing attention, so she comes up with a foolproof plan, in her eyes, to allow her and her friends to feed more easily. As the synopsis states, Matt must decide what to do with his brother as well as this growing problem in the city.

That is where I’m going to leave my recap for this movie. Where I want to start is that this is an odd comedy. As I said in my opening paragraph, I saw this movie in the theater. I do think that hurt my viewing of the movie. I didn’t have a bad experience, but the accents of some people are a bit thick where I couldn’t understand what they were saying. That made me miss some of the jokes. It didn’t ruin the movie, but it hurt it.

Sticking with the theme of this being odd, we are blending something like Shaun of the Dead with even dumber comedy and mixing in drugs. We don’t see the latter, but that is what Deco is accused of. There is some heart in here. To explain my comparisons, we have Matt who feels guilty about Deco being kicked out of the house. Ma is so upset with Deco, she doesn’t even want to hear his name spoken. This made me think of the relationship between Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Peter Serafinowicz. The latter hating Nick, but Simon is his friend and defends him. The antics in this movie are funny. Matt wants to help Deco, but he’s bitter. I can’t fault him for feeling that way. The problem is that he’s making bad decisions that result in him being in the place that he is. We are with a middle-class family that is a step up from struggling, so there is that as well.

There is an issue I have with this film though. I was bored. Part of it goes back to not understanding what people were saying, which I think subtitles will fix. The other problem though is that we focus on the relationship between Matt and Deco too much. Some of it was funny, but then it goes on for too long. The more interesting thing to me is Sheila and what is she is doing. We get a bit of that and it is the catalyst to what starts everything. The movie almost seems to forget about her for long stretches. It is interesting though since they introduce that Henry has a connection there. I’d bet not everyone has my problems, but I unfortunately did.

That should be enough for the story so I will go to the acting. I thought that Rice was solid as our lead. It is interesting that in the beginning he feels guilty for the predicament that Deco is in. We see as it goes on that he gets stronger as a character and stands up for himself. That works as our hero. Duffy is quite funny as his older brother. He has some street smarts, but also does things that get him into trouble. Head is fine as our vampire hunter. It is funny with his role from Buffy the Vampire Slayer television series. Fay is good as the mother. She is in a tough spot so I don’t blame her. Lisa Haskins plays Natalie who is the scary girlfriend to Deco. I thought she worked. Murray and the rest of the vampires were also solid as well to help round this out for what was needed.

Then the last things are the effects, cinematography and the soundtrack. For the former, I thought the practical ones were good. There was one time with blood spray that I could tell wasn’t coming from a character’s mouth. I’ll give credit for trying. The look of the vampires is good. When we get into that a bit more, I like what they do with practical effects. The CGI wasn’t great. It did take me out to be honest. There is a moment with a bat though that had me laughing. I think they ran that gag just a bit too long though. Going from there, I’d say the cinematography was good. This movie is shot well from what I could see. There is a moment of green screen that wasn’t great, but not horrible either. Then finally the soundtrack I thought fit the movie for what it needed in my opinion. It didn’t take me out of the movie or enhance it too much.

In conclusion, I thought this movie had some promise. Not sure that it fully captures it though. We have an interesting premise with this family and their issues. Coupling that with one of them becoming a vampire, having a hunter after him while a growing menace of more of these creatures. I think that the practical effects were solid, the cinematography and soundtrack were fine. I did have issues understanding characters so not all the jokes landed during this first viewing. The CGI wasn’t great and the film is a bit boring for what they focused on. I would say that because of it, this movie is just over average for me and lacking elements for me to go higher.


My Rating: 6 out of 10