Fantastic Fest 2021 Review: LET THE WRONG ONE IN Lets Audience in On Joke
This is the most fun I’ve had in a vampire comedy since What We Do in the Shadows.
The comparison needn’t stop there but this is no imitator. Full of original characters, hysterically gross practical effects, and a take on vampire lore that exists in a world all its own, Let The Wrong One In provokes belly laughs, “Ews", and even earns some pathos in the process.
Matt (Karl Rice) has a problem. His no-account brother Deco (Eoin Duffy) has just shown up at the house, having been turned into a vampire during a night out with the boys. He’s literally starting to catch fire in the sunlight. Against his better judgment, Matt lets him in. Thus is set up the primary conflict of the movie. Should Matt stake Deco or not?
Not helping matters is the arrival of Henry (Anthony Head), a vengeful cabbie combing the city for the vampires created by his fiance Alison (Laura Murray). Into this mix add the brother's pissed-off mother, pissed-off girlfriend, and an ever-growing bunch of new vamps posing as a bunch of drunken bachelorettes.
It would be understandable if the film didn’t pull all of its threads together by the end. But it does it, and it does it effortlessly. I’m loath to comment on specific scenes, and recommend simply going to this expecting a good, self-referential time.
Director Conor McMahon has truly achieved something here that was only hinted at by his previous films, like Dead Meat (2004) and Stitches (2014). This is quite simply a comedy-horror classic. It moves from one inventive moment after another. Just when you think the film will run out of ways to engage the vampire myth, it picks up a thread you had forgotten about.
To begin with, I wonder if there has ever been a vampire as pathetic as Eoin Duffy’s Deco. I could barely look at him without wanting to laugh. His mix of general awkwardness, lack of common sense, and hang-dog self-loathing, sets up one memorable gory sight gag after another.
Anthony Head's casting as the crazed vampire hunter pays off big time. The actor seems game for whatever the film wants to throw at him, fluids and otherwise. This isn’t a straight, Giles-type character though, and Head infuses Henry with a genuinely cruel edge.
Perhaps the real accomplishment of the film is how it manages to provide such a zany rollercoaster ride without going off the rails. There’s no dead time but nothing but an undead good time.
Let the Wrong One In
- Conor McMahon
- Karl Rice
- Eoin Duffy
- Anthony Head
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