The black-eyed children are a paranormal phenomenon that has captured the imagination of terrified people across the country. The mere mention of their name stirs immediate terror in the hearts of those who know the mythology behind this creepy urban legend. Now we get the first movie dealing directly with the supernatural beings in the new horror thriller Let us in. And if there’s one person who can save us from the threat of the black-eyed kids, it’s horror legend Tobin Bell.
Tobin Bell stars in Let us in as the scary neighbor everyone fears, who may be harboring some deep, dark secrets that the rest of the world isn’t quite ready for. We recently spoke to Tobin Bell about his bad turn as Frederick Munch in director Craig Moss’ intense thriller.
Let us in follows a feisty 12-year-old girl and her best friend, who begin to investigate the sudden disappearances of several missing teens in their small town. Emily and Christopher realizing that something deeper may be going on, they may be faced with powers they can’t even imagine. And evil Mr. Munch may be the only one who can save the city.
Let us in is based on the black eyed kid phenomenon. As Google tells us: “Black-eyed children are an American contemporary legend of paranormal creatures resembling children between the ages of 6 and 16, with pale skin and black eyes, who are said to be seen hitchhiking, begging, or encountered on the thresholds of residential houses.” As the legend goes, Black Eyed Kids like to stand at the front door and ask to be let in. As long as they stay outside, you’re safe. That’s why you never invite them inside. As aggressive as they get with their moan of “Let Us In”.
Let us in is now available on Digital and On Demand. To celebrate the release, we chatted with Tobin Bell, who is perhaps best known as John Kramer, the Jigsaw killer in the saw franchise, to discover his own experiences with the black eyed kids and why he decided to get involved with this ghostly phenomenon.
You make some strong accusations against the black-eyed kids in this movie. I’ve seen enough evidence to support that they may be real. Do you ever worry that she might not like some of the things your character has to say in this movie?
Tobin Bell: What do I say about them in the film? No, I’m too old to worry about that. I’m not worried about them. Hopefully, if this works out with the younger generation… I think it will be… That’s the least I have to worry about. Plus, I like the black-eyed kids. I like the whole concept, that they come back every 10 years. They’re not looking for me anymore. They’ve already taken the love of my life. They took the love of Mr Munch’s life. They’re interested in kidnapping a teenage girl… Well, I don’t want to give too much away. I don’t think Mr. Munch really cares about them. As you’ve seen… If you’ve seen the whole movie… you’ll understand why.
Do you live in a remote area?
Tobin Bell: You’re talking about Mr. Munch?
No. I’m talking about you. Because the real black-eyed kids might show up at your door. You will not expect them. And they could be mad at how they are portrayed in this movie.
Tobin Bell: No, no…I don’t live in a remote area. I honestly wouldn’t do it. I live very close to Times Square. And it doesn’t get any less remote than that.
I think you are safe. I don’t think the real black-eyed kids in Times Square are coming to prey on you.
Tobin Bell: Well, I’m glad to hear that. I am reassured.
Mr Munch. He is a man of many layers. I don’t want to say too much about the ending. But what do you think his real goal is, in terms of what he’s actually trying to accomplish in this story? Because there is a twist. What is the true purpose and intent of Mr. Munch?
Tobin Bell: Well, he has lived in this town for a long time. He really just wants to be left alone. He lives with bad memories, the pain, since this grave loss when he was a young man. When they took his sweetheart. I think if you watch a scene between the kids, when they knock on my door… you have a feel for the texture. What his life is like when he talks to them. I think he just wants to encourage them. Do not stand in their way, but encourage them to continue on their chosen path. And I think his attitude provides a very good contrast… Until the end, I think.
You’re not in the movie too much. Coming from an acting standpoint, that works in your favor if you’re not around the kids too much. And they just come into this little world you made for yourself? Unlike a band with kids on set. You have to be cool with these kids, and a little on the grumpy side.
Tobin Bell: Yes. He treats them as equals. I don’t think he talks to them. And he calls a spade a spade. He speaks directly, he does not spoil them. He tells them the truth as he knows it. Or want to tell them. At that point, I think what’s interesting about this kind of role is that you don’t want to go in the obvious direction. Because when you do, it becomes a small note. So you’re trying to create a sense of humanity in the character. And that helps people to be interested in the character. And it’s in the relationships he has in the movie, in this case with the kids when they come in. uh huh. It raises questions and those questions are eventually answered.
Well, that’s what I find interesting. What you’re saying is that in a relationship like this usually the older person befriends the kids. This man, Mr. Munch? I wouldn’t necessarily say he’s a friend. And by the end of the movie, we know he has ulterior motives. It is certainly not what the viewer expects. It’s refreshing to see things moving in the direction they end up doing.
Tobin Bell: Yes.
There’s a cold space between these two kids and mean Mr. Munch. This is not the neighbor we might expect.
Tobin Bell: And did you feel it worked?
Absolutely. Because I could never quite figure out what this guy was about. All the way to the end. It’s about surprises.
Tobin Bell: He still got his word, I think. Yes, he lets them in as far as he wants them. I don’t want to give too much away. As the film progresses you find out what his real motivation is.
Not to push the end, but is there room for more black-eyed kids movies? Because this definitely feels like a franchise that you should definitely be a bigger part of.
Tobin Bell: Really? I do not know. Could be. You never know. It all depends on the legs of the film. And how popular the film becomes. And how it is received.
Now it’s just really weird.
Tobin Bell: What is that?
It seems strange to me now. Because a movie comes out and it falls silent. Seven months later, people are watching it on a particular streaming service. It suddenly becomes huge. Even if it’s been out for a while. So you never know when or how something will strike. It must be a bit of a strange feeling when you release a movie these days.
Tobin Bell: Yes. I think in the next month or so we’ll see a lot about how the film is being received. Where it fits a bit. I think Craig Moss and the guys behind it, Golden Studio, are always thinking, those guys. They are creative people. I know Craig is a great director and producer. If there’s anything left to say, he’ll find it.
I think this is the first black-eyed kids movie. Did you know about the urban legend and who these kids were? Do you know the truth behind this phenomenon?
Tobin Bell: No. Honestly not, I wasn’t aware of the urban legend of the black-eyed kids. I was born in Queens, New York. Spent thirty-nine years in New York. Was raised in Massachusetts. Northeast. Everything. But since then I’ve been told by people who live in New Jersey, and places like that… There’s these questions about the black-eyed kids. And frankly, they even exist in states like Utah and Nevada now. Where there is so much open countryside. Sometimes you drive on the road late at night. There’ll be a creature standing there, you know… So I didn’t know growing up in Massachusetts. I knew more about the Salem and Lizzie Borden witches than anything else. I really wasn’t raised with all that other stuff. As a kid I loved westerns.
If you didn’t grow up with horror, what’s it like to be known as one of today’s biggest horror icons?
Tobin Bell: I don’t think about that. I am an actor and I act. I honestly don’t think about all those other things. Horror icons and stuff. That’s somewhere in the marketing world. Somewhere in the PR world. Somewhere in the minds of others. I do the same whether I play astronaut or priest or cowboy. I have approached my work the same way. I ask the same questions. Of course, depending on the road, you ask different questions. You add questions. It’s a great adventure. It runs parallel to human life. Our body is our instrument. We don’t have a trumpet, we don’t have drums or guitar. We just have ourselves and our soul. And trying to bring things to life, moment by moment, as if it were happening for the first time. When in fact it could be the 30th take. So it’s beautiful, beautiful, pretty amazing.
DECLARATION OF THE DIRECTOR:
Inspired by a very popular online urban legend, we created a story that brought back many of the elements of the great Family Sci-Fi Adventure Thrillers from the 80’s and 90’s. In addition, we cast the film with some of the most talented young actors out there, including Makenzie Moss, Sadie Stanley, O’Neill Monahan, Siena Agudong, Makenzie Ziegler, along with horror/thriller master himself Tobin Bell. All these great actors playing these interesting characters living in this fictional town that became a character in their own right. And although the city is small, we wanted to make this location bigger than life, because we shot the film with a wide lens, which not only gave the audience information-packed images, but also enhanced the tense moments throughout the film.
Also, having a 12-year-old female protagonist in the middle of our story was something we haven’t seen in a long time… not to mention a 12-year-old girl turning into a bad ass who ends up being a true hero. Our hope is to inspire generations of young girls to believe in themselves and always do the right thing.
finally, Let us in wants to be the gateway to Sci-Fi Thriller for a younger audience that combines the great Family Sci-Fi Adventure Thrillers from their parents’ childhood and implements a modern take on the genre… all things we haven’t seen in quite some time .