Let Me In (2010)

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7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 7/10

Good cast, good looking

Lives in the shadow of a far superior Swedish version, unnecessary opening sequence

 
Movie Info

Movie Name:  Let Me In

Studio:  Overture Films

Genre(s):  Horror/Drama

Release Date(s):  September 13, 2010 (Toronto International Film Festival)/October 1, 2010 (US)

MPAA Rating:  R

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If I decide not to eat you, I still can’t be your friend

Owen (Kodi Smit-McPhee) is a bullied odd boy with no friends and a mother going through a divorce.  When a strange girl named Abby (Chloë Grace Moretz) moves into Owen’s apartment, Owen thinks he might have found a friend…despite Abby’s demands that they cannot be friends.  Abby has a secret…she isn’t a little girl and the man she lives with (Richard Jenkins) isn’t her father.  Abby is a vampire who constantly hungers for blood.  Abby’s budding friendship with Owen will be tested and Abby’s friendship could change Owen’s life forever.

Directed by Matt Reeves, Let Me In is the American adaptation of John Ajvide Lindqvist’s 2004 novel which was previously adapted as Låt den Rätte Komma In (Let the Right One In) in 2008.  The film was met with both criticism for being remade so soon and praise for the results.

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A “girl” has got to eat!

I loved Let the Right One in and was very worried when they said they were remaking it (in the movie’s defense, since it is based on a novel, it is more of another adaption).  The movie did a lot right but the idea that the original version was so perfect leaves an aftertaste that hurts the movie when it shouldn’t.

The story was originally pitched as a film that was going to remain closer to the source material but ended up being closer to the first film.  The movie does have an odd (and unnecessary) opening which flashes forward to Richard Jenkins’ death and then starts the storytelling.  It disrupts the flow of the narrative and doesn’t add anything to the film.

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Beevis would love this part of the movie!

What does work in the movie is the odd relationship between Abby and Owen.  Both characters are broken and both cannot fit in to society.  The bond is unique and odd but has a destructive force that leads to the bloody ending.  The story fortunately dropped the idea that Abby really wasn’t a girl and actually started out as a boy.  It was odd in the book and the other film did not develop it enough either.

The movie also did a great casting job.  The actors cast for the original film were perfectly weird and instead of going completely Hollywood, the actors cast were unique and very good.  Kodi Smit-McPhee is an odd looking kid that could easily be the victim of bullying and Chloë Grace Moretz could easily be one of the better young actors right now.  I would have liked to have seen more Richard Jenkins and Elias Koteas, but the story didn’t really allow that.

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You still taste good…

The movie looks good.  I loved the original setting of Sweden and it worked better with the light/dark aspect of the story, but it still works as a cold winter story.  The pool scene at the end is generally the highlight of the film, but I don’t think it was done with as much class and style.  In general, the movie is strong, but just not to the level of the original.

Though Let Me In should be judged on its own merits, the movie cannot help but be compared to the original film.  If Let Me In had come out before Let the Right One In was released, it would be a great film…instead, it is just a good film that is overshadowed by a better film.  I recommend seeing Let the Right One In first (do not let subtitles scare you off!!!) and then check out Let Me In as an interesting comparison.

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Related Links:

Let the Right One In (2008)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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