Is Let the Wrong One In (2022) the Right Vampire Comedy For You?
Title: Let the Wrong One In
First Non-Festival Release: April 1, 2022 (Digital/Streaming Platforms)
Director: Conor McMahon
Writer: Conor McMahon
Runtime: 100 Minutes
Starring: Karl Rice, Eion Duffy, Anthony Head
Where to Watch: Check out where to find it here
Matt (Karl Rice) is greeted to the sight of his brother Deco (Eion Duffy), shivering and talking mad after a night out at the bars. They surmise that he has been bitten by a vampire and has successfully transformed into a creature of the night. Dodging their Ma (Hilda Fay) and outwitting the novice vampire hunter Henry (Anthony Head) who is trying to kill them, the two must work together to find a cure to Deco’s condition. Things go from bad to worse when a bridal party turned vampire mob decides to set up shop in Dublin and turn the city into a vampire paradise.
Streaks of bright humor shine through in an otherwise fine vampire horror comedy in Let the Wrong One In.
The intimate setting makes it easy to learn more about the characters before the mayhem truly starts to escalate. Nearly all the action takes place in the home of Matt, Deco, and Ma. The small setting allows the indie film to keep an everyday feel to the film to where viewers can see this happening in a quaint suburb near them. As vampires, hunters, and crazy girlfriends descend on the house to satisfy their own agendas, the heart of the story lies with the reconciliation of two estranged brothers.
Leads Karl Rice and Eoin Duffy do their best to sell their strained relationship their attempts at chemistry come off as awkward more than anything. Of course, this might be wholly intentional to portray how their relationship has deteriorated but it comes across as if they have never interacted before this moment. Of the two, Duffy sells it better, and it is likely due to his characterization as the zanier and more entertaining of the two.
As a horror comedy, Let the Wrong One In doesn’t live up to the expectations of its fun premise. For every great joke and perfectly executed delivery there are at least two to three more that fail to land. Hit or miss comedy drags down the film since it is so physically and metaphorically light that it has no hope of scaring the audience. Not only does it screw with the pacing, the shoddy humor makes it harder to stay invested with the characters, story, and action unfolding onscreen. No amount of undead bridal parties and train enthusiast jokes can salvage some of the more well-tread territory offered.
Those looking for serious blood-soaked action may need to look elsewhere. Much of what is done in Let the Wrong One In is cartoonish by intention. Playfully gory, the film boasts plenty of outlandish setups to kill vampires while sticking to established lore. The effects themselves are solid enough to warrant a nod of approval or two. Only when Let the Wrong One In gets ambitious with its bat flying strength does it not hit its mark. Still, there’s buckets of blood to satiate those wanting nothing more than fun vampire carnage in their weekend watches.
The viewing experience of Let the Wrong One In is rather deflating in the end. Moments showcase comedic genius that is merely one or two edits away from something great. Too often does it squander its own potential by an actor stumbling through a delivery or for an offbeat joke to kill the mood. Hovering in a purgatory just south of camp, Let the Wrong One In finds itself pulled in too many directions at once. Middling comedy and over-the-top gore is a hard combination to sell for me personally. Thankfully, plenty of cinemagoers are more attuned to that so Let the Wrong One In can certainly find its audience. There isn’t much at stake in me recommending this to you, but if an Irish vampire comedy strikes your fancy this might be one to enter your home and on your screen.
Overall Score? 5.5/10