Let Me In
Owen is a shy, lonely little boy who’s mostly ignored by everyone except the bullies who pick on him at school. When a strange girl (who turns out to be a vampire) moves into his building, the two become close and Owen’s lonely world slowly begins to change.
I remember coming out of Blockbuster back in early 2009 and picking up the “coming soon” movie news magazine they have at the door. Glancing through it, I came upon a flick called LET THE RIGHT ONE IN and a caption going on about how it’s “the best vampire movie ever.” I’d already heard some buzz about it at that point and though I didn’t dislike the film, I can easy say as a vampire fan it was a far cry from the best vampire movie out there. LET ME IN isn’t exactly a carbon copy of its original Swedish counterpart but it looks pretty damn close. I’m not particularly crazy about remakes (especially when done like this and so soon, something they’re also doing with THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO films) but this version was indeed neater and easier to watch.
Personally, one of the very few things that cause my suspension of disbelief to stumble is watching kids who are written as adults. I dug the storyline for what it is (something that no doubt looked better on paper) but most people (myself included) aren’t terribly into stories that revolve around twelve year old kids, vampire or no vampire. INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE killed the idea of kid vamps for me with Kirsten Dunst’s whinny little character running around like a spoiled brat (I was so happy when she got burnt to a crisp). That said, Chloe Moretz was phenomenal as Abby which isn’t surprising after her work as Hit Girl and Kodi Smit-McPhee also worked well as Owen. Their chemistry was genuine and that in itself was the key to holding this film together.
Thankfully this version didn’t suffer from the mess of subtitles or horrendous dubbing, something that really hurt the original’s fun factor for me. They really toned down the intimacy between the two kids here as well, something I was also relieved to see (I held my breath during the scene when she comes in the window and strips down praying they wouldn’t show anything and they didn’t). The only real drag here is the pace, something a little more time in the editing room could have easily fixed. The CGI is my only real complaint as it looked silly as hell and just plain lazy. Also, I don’t remember there being so much “Jesus” talk in the original, it stuck out here like a sore thumb.
LET ME IN is not a bad film but there are things to consider before forking out your hard earned cash to see in theaters; the most important of these being that only true (hardcore) vampire fans will have any use for it. I enjoyed what this film tries to do. I liked the story, the tense mood and there were more than a couple cool effects and dark scenes (looooved the pool scene as well as Abby showing Owen what happens if she’s not invited in) and the ending was pretty cool too despite knowing that it’s all going to come full circle again down the road. A great way to look at this film is by comparing it to the first couple Harry Potter films, yes they were cool stories but they were a little hard to take seriously due to the age of the actors. LET ME IN is by no means campy, nor does it feel like Disney territory, but there are more than a couple moments that may cause you to squirm uncomfortably in your seat and it won’t be due to the violence.