Cinema/TV, Film Notes

FrightFest review – Let The Wrong One In

My notes on Let The Wrong One In

A vampire bites Sheila (Mary Murray), who is on her hen party in Transylvania, and she returns to Dublin with her now-transformed hen friends … terrorising the night life, and planning to open her own vampire club.  Deco (Eoin Duffy), a waster in an ugly jacket, is one of her casual snacks, and he manages to convince his long-suffering younger brother Matt (Karl Rice) to invite him into the family home … from which he has been barred by their stern mother (Hilda Fay).  As the brothers try to cope with Deco’s new condition, things are complicated by Sheila’s taxi driver fiancé Henry (Anthony Head), who has become a vampire hunter, and Deco’s girlfriend Natalie (Lisa Haskins).

Writer-director Conor MacMahon has racked up a run of genial, gory, heavily-accented Irish comedy horrors – Dead Meat, From the Dark, Stitches – and continues him ramshackle path here, paralleling the vampire/family themes of Boys From County Hell but with a 1980s video sensibility, stressing sloppy physical effects and broadly silly bat transformations, and a sense that if one fart jokes falls flat then another two or three will eventually bludgeon a laugh out of the audience.  There are plenty of pratfalls and gags with misapplied stakes, ripped-out veins and holy water acid burnings.

There’s the sketch of an idea in Ma’s warning that Deco has always been a user (in several meanings) even before he shows up at the family door as a vampire, sizzling in the sun and happy to shuck off every shred of morality to get blood.  One of the weirder, sillier ideas is that on his first blood high, Deco hallucinates an idyll scored by Dana’s ‘All Kinds of Everything’.  Rice, who finally gets fed up with being a doormat after being repeatedly doused in blood and blamed for everything, gets to be the emotional centre of the film, as everyone else goes off on their own private jokes.  Another nice element is that the vampire hen party consists of young middle-aged tough Dublin women rather than wispy goths, and there’s quite a bit of funny business with their gruesome club night (Murray’s vampire bride is funny character, but also remembers to be a genuine threat).  It runs to a nice cod-Hammer score from Liam Bates.



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