Gemma Creagh welcomes in Conor McMahon’s horror comedy film. 

With brilliantly ridiculous dialogue, outlandishly hilarious set ups and lots and lots of cartoonish gore, there is much for horror fans to sink their fangs into in Let the Wrong One In. Casting Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Anthony Head as a vengeance-seeking, train loving, vampire hunting taxi driver, well, that’s merely the cherry on this blood-soaked nerd-feast.

Let the Wrong One In begins as all great stories do – on a hen’s do in Romania. There, the rambunctious bride, Shiela (Mary Murray) and her crew of loyal hens escape from a hefty bouncer, only to run head first into another threat – with grave consequences.  Back home in Dublin, Matt (Karl Rice) tries his best to keep the peace between his demanding Ma (Hilda Fay) and good-for-nothing, absentee brother, Decco (Eoin Duffy). As usual, Decco’s overindulging has led to trouble, only now, his present condition shows all the classic traits of vampirism. Garlic chips are forever off the menu.

To complicate things even further, Decco narrowly escapes an attack from Sheila’s jilted ex Henry (Head), and as the two brothers argue about what to do with their cantankerous hostage, Decco’s on-and-off-again girlfriend, and Twilight fan, Natalie (Lisa Haskins) arrives, furious.  As these two brothers attempt to navigate Decco’s new blood thirst, it’s all left on Matt’s shoulders once again. Can Matt keep his brother from murdering innocent bystanders, deal with Natalie’s snarkiness, and save the city from the sinister planning of Sheila’s hens – and avoid angering his Ma in the process. 

From killer clowns to RTE political sketches, humour has been at the core of everything Conor McMahon has done to date, and he’s getting closer and closer to perfecting that special formula of his. Between Harry’s deadpan delivery, Matt’s “Straight Man” exasperation, Decco’s larger-than-life affectations and Mary Murray’s maniacal yet charming laugh, all teamed with the punchy dialogue, visual gags and physical comedy, Let The Wrong One In stays funny right through to that final set piece.

Even the location choices add a certain flair… It’s Dublin as you’ve never seen it: posing as Romania, from the POV of a half-bat flying across the Liffey; and where the The Criminal Courts of Justice in the Phoenix Park have been converted into a sensual, murder, basement club. For anyone looking for a deep introspective piece about shifting identity in a modern era – look elsewhere. Let the Wrong One In delivers a well-crafted love letter to vintage 80s horror, with that modern local twist. 

Outrageously camp craic.

Let the Wrong One In is in cinemas from 20th January 2023.


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