Movie Review: Let Me In

By: D.B. Ketting
Media Critic

September/October 2010

If you are hoping to see a vampire film about sparkly and unhumanly attractive vampires with a plot that glamorizes vampires, Let Me In is not really the film for you. Let Me In is an American remake of the Swedish film, Let The Right One In. The original movie takes its name from the Morrisey song “Let the right one slip in,” the American title refers to known vampire lore that claims vampires must be invited in to a person’s home. Both films are based on the Swedish book Let The Right One In by John Ajvide Lindquist, and while both movies share the same source material the films do have a few important differences.

The film is set in a small town in 1983 in the town of Los Alamos, New Mexico. Owen (Kodi Smit-McPhee) is the focus of the movie and his interactions set the stage for everything that happens at the end of the movie. Owen is a boy living with his mother in a rundown apartment complex, while his parents fight their way through a nasty divorce. Owen is left perpetually alone by both parents while trying to stumble through his own emotional turmoil. School is no refuge for his loneliness. A nasty bully (Dylan Minnette) constantly goes out of his way to make Owen’s life even more of an unbearable living hell.

Abby (Chloe Moretz) appears to be girl of around twelve who seems to live an isolated life with a man that everyone assumes is her father. When they first meet, Abby tells Owen that they cannot be friends.

The film tells of an unlikely friendship between two lonely, and slightly disturbed souls. This film is not so much a horror movie, it is more a thriller movie with horror and suspense overtures. Let Me In builds off the classic nature of the first, a tale of the damned living a torturous life of isolation, and then adding its own spin to it. Owen and Abby have spent so much time off in their own worlds that they need each other to remind them what it is to be human, literally and figuratively.

One of the major differences that the director, Matt Reeves, makes is to never really show Owen’s parents. It allows the audience to feel isolation and detachment that Owen faces on a day to day basis. The casting choices showed us exceptional performances by young actors. The supporting cast also does a great job. The direction and camerawork are both very good. However, the movie is slow moving at times and the CGI could have been better. To conclude, in spite of its few flaws this remake is worth seeing.


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