Makenzie Moss stars as the bright and intelligent Emily in the family horror film Let Us In, directed and written by her father, Craig Moss.
Let Us In is about a spirited twelve year old girl and her best friend look to uncover the sudden disappearances of several missing teens in their small town. Realizing there might be something deeper happening, Emily and Christopher might be up against forces they can’t even imagine. Based on the urban legend “The Black Eyed Kids.”
The film also stars Sadie Stanley, Mackenzie Ziegler, Siena Agudong, O’Neill Monahan and Tobin Bell.
Check out my Q & A with Makenzie.
How does it feel now that it’s all done and people are actually going to get to see it?
Makenzie: I’m very excited because, you know, it’s been in production for a while. There was a lot of preparation and a lot of editing and CGI, so I’m very excited that it’s finally coming out and people could finally watch it.
How would you describe this movie, what would you say this movie is about?
Makenzie: I would say that it is based off of the urban legend of the Black Eyed Kids, where these aliens come and abduct kids with their black eyes. And they take these teenagers god knows where and then my character, Emily. plays this protagonist character, who’s kind of a loner and doesn’t have many friends. She tries to save the day by finding out where all these people go missing and ends up being a hero.
She does have a best friend, Christopher. What was it like working with O’Neill?
Makenzie: Oh, he’s great to work with. He’s so fun. He’s great and it’s so easy to work with him. On screen, it’s really easy to act like we’re besties, and he’s just so cute and fun to hang out with. He’s so fun.
Did you have to hang out and create that special bond or was it just instant friendship chemistry?
Makenzie: When we first met each other, it was easy to talk to him because he is such a sweet kid. We didn’t have any preparation or any, you know, hanging out before, it just kind of happened and then it just ended up working.
You got to work with some other kids around your own age, like McKenzie Ziegler and Sienna Agudong, what was it like working with them?
Makenzie: Oh, it was great! Both of those girls are so sweet. I loved hanging out with them. It was like I was hanging out with my friends all day. They were great to work with and we all have fun off and on set. We’re kind of all around the same age and I’ve never really worked with kids my own age before so it was definitely different and something very fun for me that I haven’t experienced before.
Have the people you worked with always been older?
Makenzie: Yes, or dogs.
Dogs are the best co-stars! What was it like actually getting to work with people your own age?
Makenzie: I love working with kids my own age. I have fun on sets without kids my age, but I feel like I have even more fun with kids my age because I feel like I could do more normal kids stuff with them on and off set.
What was your favorite part of filming this movie?
Makenzie: Oh, definitely one of the highlights is working with my dad. I loved hanging out with him. I felt like I was at home all the time. And, I mean, being with the kids, too, was so much fun. I loved working with Sadie Stanley. She is one of the sweetest girls ever. I love hanging out with her even though she is much older than me. I still had a blast with her.
What was it like playing a character that your dad created?
Makenzie: I really enjoyed it because he knows my voice. The way that he wrote my lines was like how I usually speak, so it was easier for me to memorize them and to know them.
Do you see a little bit of yourself in Emily?
Makenzie: For sure. He definitely put some of me in that character.
What was it like having your dad as the director?
Makenzie: I actually loved it. I think I was more comfortable working with my dad because, you know, he could be honest with me. If he wanted, you know, to change something, he would be like, ‘listen, this isn’t working. Let’s do something else.’ Also, we worked together before on two other projects when I was a little bit younger, so it was definitely fun working with him now that I am a little bit older.
Did you get any say with this project?
Makenzie: Yes, both of us actually got to collaborate on my character. I added slang in there because, you know, he kind of isn’t with the trends, he’s a little bit older. I also helped with some of the other girls’ lines and I also helped out the wardrobe as well. The wardrobe stylist had pictures and I approved of them to make sure it was on with the trends and everything. I also helped out with casting some of the kids. It was so much fun. It was definitely one of the best experiences I’ve had.
So, are you a fan of scary movies?
Makenzie: Just recently I’ve started getting into them. One of my favorites is I, which is great. I love that movie. And the Goonies is a great one, I don’t know if it’s really horror or more sci fi, but I’m definitely into that stuff.
What do you think sets this film apart from all of the other horror movies that you’ve seen?
Makenzie: I definitely think that it’s a family movie. Kids, parents, anyone can watch it and could all be entertained by the movie. There are some, you know, heartwarming moments but also some jumpscares and some creepiness and some scariness, but it’s fun and the whole family can enjoy it.
The Black Eyed kids are very creepy. Were there ever moments on set where you were scared?
Makenzie: The guys that play them, they’re stunt guys and they were very sweet. They were very nice and I got along with them. They’re great to work with. They didn’t have the black eyes in, they were CGI’d in so they only wore black hoodies and made their faces really white so it wasn’t that scary. I did get a little scared when they started chasing me. Because like, if someone’s chasing you at night, you would get a little bit scared. I did get a little bit creeped out in a couple of scenes where they chase me on the stairs and like in the woods.
Is there anything that you would like to add that you want viewers to know?
Makenzie: I’m really proud of this movie and you can go see it on digital platforms everywhere soon!