Wonderfully spooky performance pairs well with October festivities


Matthew Tamez/ISLAND WAVES – : “Let the Right One In” will continue throughout the week, with a Sunday matinee to cap it off.

With the month of October already halfway through, TAMU-CC’s Department of Theatre and Dance put on a play to go with the time of year. “Let the Right One In,” by Jack Thorne, is a stage adaption of the Swedish book of the same name by John Ajvide Lindqvist. The play will continue to be shown through Oct. 19 at 7:30 p.m. with a 2 p.m. Sunday matinee.

TAMU-CC’s production of “Let the Right One In” is directed by Kelly Russel and stars Davis McDaniel as Oskar and Allison Major as Eli. “Let the Right One In” tells the story of Oskar, a boy bullied by his peers, and Eli, a mysterious young girl that Oskar befriends. However, with a mysterious murderer on the loose, Oskar doesn’t realize that Eli hides a dark secret, and that she has been around for a very long time.

“Let the Right One In” is a very interesting take on both the horror genre and the romance genre. While the play was first shown to audiences in November of 2013, the book it is based on was originally published in 2004. As a horror movie, it eschews jump scares and loud noises and instead opts for buildup and suspense. The mystery surrounding Eli and her past is one that is displayed throughout the story as she befriends and becomes closer to Oskar, much to the concern of her caretaker Hakan (Luke Steele). The tension the different characters show throughout the story as the murderer’s body count rises is also noticeable as the adult characters try to keep things under control.

Although initially the acting was at times stilted during the beginning of the play, the actors quickly found their stride. Special mention goes to Major, who’s mannerisms, speech and movements gave the proper impression of someone who is not what they seem. McDaniel’s and Major’s performances during emotional scenes was spot on, with both actors showing emotional distress, sadness, happiness and even anger in believable and even at times uncomfortable ways. As a play that is supposed to be both a horror story and a coming of age love story, these feelings the production elicited are quite welcome indeed. It is a shame though that the audience became loud during some of these scenes as the cheering, awing, and laughing during scenes that were not comedic in nature made some of the dialogue hard, and at times impossible to hear. It is this reporter’s belief that unless it is an interactive production, exclamations, applause, and cheering should be kept until the end of the production.

Overall, the TAMU-CC production of “Let the Right One In” was wonderfully acted and produced. The stage design and lighting worked perfectly to add to the atmosphere and even the bully characters, Jonny and Micke played by Andrew Pfeffer and Jacob Martinez respectively were wonderfully and terrifyingly portrayed. The play will continue until Oct. 19 with a matinee the following day. Tickets are still available for purchase from the Department of Theatre and Dance’s webpage.