...and the trouble she discovers.
Let Me In serves as an English answer to the brilliant 2007 Swedish film Let The Right One In. In the same fashion as REC, a 2007 Spanish film, and its English companion Quarantine there was no need for a remake other than the simple fact that people don’t enjoy reading subtitles.
Let Me In can be described as a horror romance between 12 year old Owen (Kodi Smit-McPhee of The Road) and Abby (Chloe Moretz of Kickass). Set during the 1980’s in a New Mexico town Owen is brutally bullied at school. So bullied by an older boy, in fact, that Owen purchases a small knife in a desperate attempt at possibly defending himself. While outside practicing with the knife Owen is approached by a new neighbor within his apartment complex. Abby, also 12 years old, is barefoot in the newly fallen snow when Owen gets his first look at her. The budding friendship between the oddly placed girl who is only seen at night and the insecure boy flourishes despite odd murders that are taking place close to home. It’s not until a blood pact is formed does Owen realize that his very first love is extremely blood thirsty.
The atmosphere that is created for this movie is tense. It’s rare that I feel full anxiety as a scene unfolds, hardly able to wait for the next scene just to find out what happens next. The amount of concern that is set up for Owen as the main character makes him personal for the audience. You’ll feel his humiliation and pain with every heart beat. The shame and secrecy is a living and breathing character within this movie. I don’t believe that direction alone could have provided the performance that Smit-McPhee was able to give. His meek but determined portrayal of Owen shined brilliantly throughout the movie without fault. He truly has mastered the art of opening himself up for the camera.
Chloe also gives a great performance in this vampire genre film. She completed the task of balancing the innocence of a child while also carrying the anger of a hungry beast. Chloe did a nearly perfect job embodying her character who is torn between her hunger and sentiment for the boy.
While a remake wasn’t required this is one of the few times that insult has not been added to injury. Director Matt Reeves understood what made the original so eerily frightful and used that to his advantage. There are some key scenes and plot points from Let The Right One In that did not translate to this version but I wont bore you with the details. I do highly suggest the Swedish original however if subtitles aren’t your cup of tea then you can’t go wrong with Let Me In.
4 out of 5 stars.
Title: Let The Right One In
Genre: Romantic Horror
Favorite Foreign Film
A most beautiful movie of bloody, young, love.