Let The Wrong One In Movie Review An Assignment X Horror Comedy

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By ABBIE BERNSTEIN / Editor

Published: April 8, 2022 / 1:50 p.m.

LET THE BAD IN Poster | © 2022 Dark Sky Films

Evaluation: Unclassified
Stars: Karl Rice, Eoin Duffy, Hilda Fay, David Pearse, Mary Murray, Anthony Head, Lisa Haskins
Writer: Conor McMahon
Director: Conor McMahon
Distributer: dark sky movies
Release date: April 1, 2022

LET THE BAD IN is a vampire film, but not, as its title might suggest, a direct parody of the 2008 Swedish film LEAVE THE ONE ON THE RIGHT INand/or its 2010 American remake, LET ME ENTER.

In reality, LET THE BAD IN begins in Hammer Horror style, with lightning crackling around a castle, menacing orchestral music, and the title in dripping red letters.

But no, it’s not a Hammer send-off either. After a prologue in present-day Transylvania, here we are in Dublin, Ireland. Matt (Karl Rice), a fairly friendly young supermarket worker, lives here in a reasonably sized house with his mom (Hilda Fay).

Ma and Matt have a warm parent/child relationship. Not so with Matt’s older brother, Deco (Eoin Duffy), who isn’t on good terms with Ma. Ma is mad at Deco for being a drug addict and warns Matt not to let him in. the House.

By the time Deco shows up at the door asking for entry, Matt has an even better reason to keep him out. Deco has been bitten by a vampire and begins to burn in the light of day. Matt lets Deco in and actually realizes earlier than his brother what is really going on here.

Meanwhile, Henry (Anthony Head), a vampire-hunting taxi driver, is on a mission to rid Dublin of bloodsuckers. At the same time, Deco’s alternately loving and menacing girlfriend, Natalie (Lisa Haskins), is desperate to find him, and local high-vampire Sheila (Mary Murray) plans to paint the town red.

LET THE BAD IN writer/director Conor McMahon seems to be aiming for an Irishman SHAUN OF THE DEAD, with vampires instead of zombies. There is nothing wrong with this notion.

McMahon has great slapstick fights, often with more than two opponents involved. We often can’t guess if the result will be a draw or a death, which makes it even better.

The plot of LET THE BAD IN is a bit haphazard, with so much time spent on Matt and Deco that the narrative points feel rushed when they arrive.

However, this is not the main problem of the film. This would be the representation of Deco. We must feel at least a pang of sympathy for Matt’s sibling situation. Deco is presented as so selfish, whiny, confused, and lacking in empathy that what should be a huge emotional and ethical conflict for Matt just doesn’t grab us. When Deco gets aggressive, we understand on a meta level why Matt doesn’t stake him (the movie would end), but that doesn’t make sense story-wise. Actor Duffy follows the dictates of the script vigorously; it’s just that these dictates force him to be particularly off-putting.

Likewise, Matt is supposed to be such an Everyman that he doesn’t get the kind of moments that highlight his dilemma. It’s not the fault of Rice, who commits to Matt’s bewilderment, resignation and straightforwardness. It just seems like we’re supposed to find it all funny because of the broad strokes, not because of the details.

Casting Head – as indelible as Giles on BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER – as, well, vampire slayer has its own meta potential. However, the performance and character are both so different here that it’s surprisingly not entertaining. Head is fully committed to the spirit of LET THE BAD INand we accept him as Henry.

LET THE BAD IN revels in the comedy genre that requires not all characters to be very bright. Some people love it and will probably enjoy the movie a lot more than others. Either way, the action is inventive, the gore is plentiful, and it ends exactly as you’d expect.

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Article: Movie Review: LET THE BAD IN

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