Kids—they grow up so fast these days. One moment they’re taking their first steps and the next moment they’re making fast friends with the neighborhood homicidal monster.
Kids—they grow up so fast these days. One moment they’re taking their first steps and the next moment they’re making fast friends with the neighborhood homicidal monster. Good times to cherish.
Gory, startling and morbid, Let Me In offers a depth and sensitivity not commonly found in horror films. In fact, the movie borders on a few genres, making it quite a unique gem for October’s Halloween zeal, yet it can stand on its own in any season.
Let Me In—the American remake of the Swedish Let the Right One In—tells the story of Owen, your average 12-year-old growing up in snowy 1983 New Mexico. And by average, I mean he’s a scrawny little guy who gets picked on daily at school, while at home his wino mom pays very little attention to him before passing out. With no friends, and basically no real family structure, Owen spends his time lonely in the frosty playground outside his apartments.
Understandably, Owen might be emerging into his teenage years as a bit of an oddball—and a twisted one at that.
Then, one evening, Owen notices his mysterious new next-door neighbors moving in—a little girl named Abby and her father. As it turns out, the girl is a bit of an oddball as well and the two strike up a friendship. But things aren’t always as they seem, as the mysterious neighbors hide dark secrets and murderous habits.
Chances are you already know the eerie angle here is vampirism—one look at the film’s trailer will tell you that. But before you write the whole thing off, bear in mind that it is a kind of vampirism that would make Twilight fans cry shortly before vomiting. This film will not bring about any angered blogs about who should be with whom, or cause middle-aged women to fantasize about 17-year-old washboard abs.
Rather, Let Me In may surprise you with its layered characters, in-depth story and overall originality—a lot is going on in this film. However, it does suffer from the bane of modern movies—CGI, a constant disappointment. Unlike the Swedish original that uses good old-fashioned effects and stunts, Let Me In utilizes CGI as a substitute and therefore displays subpar visuals that always take me out of a film.
The film’s two child stars, Kodi Smit-McPhee and Chloe Moretz, give seasoned adult actors Elias Koteas and Richard Jenkins a run for their money. These two kids give me hope for the future in the craft of acting. The chemistry and delivery these two provide is impressive, and despite this movie working within the realm of horror, I would be surprised if award talk isn’t sparked from this.
Devoted film nerds will be revisiting Let Me In as the American remake of its 2008 Swedish counterpart, which in turn is the adaptation of the popular novel published in 2004 of the same name. Those familiar with the internationally popular original will find this new version a near frame-for-frame copy. There are a few differences, of course, but none that strike as straying so far that they set the film apart.
The film is so close to the original that one might even wonder why a remake was needed in the first place. Why? Look, we’re Americans. If we wanted to read subtitles, we’d actually invest in things like reading or education.
One noticeable difference in Let Me In is the depiction of the vampire, who is far more monstrous and pronounced in the latest edition.
Despite bad CGI, the new version is worth a trip to the theatre. A complete film geek experience might include a viewing of the original that made the story so popular in the first place. However, as the films are damn near identical, the newest shall suffice nicely for the newcomer.