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Let Me In John Ajvide Lindqvist's celebrated vampire novel makes the leap to the big screen once again with the second feature adaptation in so many years (Tomas Alfredson's critically acclaimed 2008 hit Let the Right One In, being the first). The sensitive target of vicious bullying at school, 12-year-old Owen (Kodi Smit-McPhee) is a social misfit from a broken home. By day Owen dreams about laying waste to his classroom tormentors; by night his attentions turn to his reclusive neighbors in their austere apartment complex. One evening, as Owen takes out his pent-up aggressions on a tree, his new neighbor Abby (Chloë Grace Moretz) appears over his shoulder. A young girl wise beyond her years, Abby just moved in next door to Owen with her stoic caretaker (Richard Jenkins), who seems to harbor a sinister secret. Compelled by Abby's apparent imperviousness to the harsh winter elements, her frail disposition, and the fact that she's nowhere to be found before the sun falls, Owen senses a kindred soul, and strikes up a friendship with the girl, despite her repeated attempts to maintain an emotional distance. Simultaneously, their community grows vigilant following a series of vicious murders, and Abby's caretaker vanishes without a trace. Later, as Abby begins to grow vulnerable, her bond with Owen strengthens. By the time Owen begins to suspect that his evasive new friend is something other than human, it starts to seem as if Abby could use a good friend after all. Given that his bullies are growing more emboldened by the day, so too could Owen. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi
A great remake and an amazing film
Posted by: AntoNEO from: Redwood City, CA on
It was with some amount of trepidation that I first heard about the impending release of Let Me In. Like many others, I was quite taken by the Swedish original, Let the Right One In, which easily secured a spot on my Top 10 of that year. I feared that a remake would only excise the poetic nature of the story in favor of a by-the-numbers vampire film. The attachment of Matt Reeves as writer and director didn't do much to assuage my fears. Cloverfield was entertaining enough for what it was, but its gimmicky shaky-cam aesthetic didn't say much for his directorial abilities. Once the good reviews of the film started pouring in, I figured I'd see it just to say that I did and then forget about its existence shortly thereafter.
Could I possibly have been more wrong? I ultimately saw the film five times in theaters during its brief theatrical run. It's been three months since then, and I still can't stop thinking about it. Never before has my reaction to a film been so contrary to my preconceived notions. Not only do I prefer the remake, it has fast become one of my all-time favorite films, and Matt Reeves has shot to the top of my "directors to watch" list. While there is much that can be said for how Let Me In compares to its Swedish counterpart, I'm going to try and keep comparisons to a minimum, because Let Me In stands firmly on its own two feet as a film. The wonderful thing is that one film doesn't have to supplant the other. Let the Right One In is a beautiful film in its own right, and Let Me In is another faithful and unique cinematic take on the same story.
Reeves' adaptation of the material is respectful, thoughtful, and personal. In rendering his version of the story, he draws on the overall structure of the original film, various details from the novel, as well as some of his own ideas and experiences growing up. Reeves clearly has a firm grasp on the complexities of the material, and he crafts Let Me In as a poignant coming-of-age story, tender love story, and devastating horror story all at once. By thoughtfully transplanting the proceedings to 1980s Regan America, Reeves uses the social context of that era as a backdrop for Owen's upbringing, resulting in a subtle exploration of moral ambiguity and duality. Whereas most horror films these days rely on excessive gore as a substitution for intelligence, Let Me In is one of the select few that brilliantly utilizes its horror premise as a multi-layered metaphor to explore a variety of thought-provoking ideas.
While Reeves' literary adaptation is impressive in its own right, his directorial style is just as powerful and artistic. Simply put, Let Me In is one of the most elegantly directed horror films I've had the pleasure of watching in a really long time. Reeves' controlled and careful direction is a revelation in today's frenetic cinematic world. Let Me In is one of those rare films where virtually every shot helps reveal character and drive the narrative forward. Reeves is clearly an ardent admirer of Alfred Hitchcock, and his point-of-view driven visual storytelling does an admirable job of cementing the audience in the perspective of the central characters. Furthermore, he injects his film with a sense of dread and tension that would have made the Master of Suspense proud. Between Reeves' crafted cinematic approach and his cinematographer's haunting gothic visual palette, Let Me In is a breathtaking and beautiful film to behold.
Finally, a discussion of Let Me In's strong suits isn't complete without addressing the power of its two lead performances. Kodi Smit-McPhee and Chloe Grace Moretz may have only been 12-years-old at the time of filming, but their performances exude a sense of depth and maturity far beyond their years. Let Me In may revolve around two children, but it is a dark and complex film for adults, and the fact that McPhee and Moretz are able to shoulder the weight of the film with such a sense of grace speaks volumes for their talent as actors. Richard Jenkins and Elias Koteas turn in excellent supporting performances, but the central story of Let Me In lives or dies by the success of its two leads, and McPhee and Moretz play a huge part in Let Me In's overall effectiveness.
Although it didn't do nearly as well as it should have at the box office, Let Me In deserves to find a larger audience on DVD and Blu-ray. It's a rare and precious gem that got unfairly swept aside in the chaotic rush of awards season, despite its strong critical reception. In a cinematic climate where countless films are created solely to cash in and make money, it comes as a startling surprise that such a moving, layered, and crafted piece of cinema would come in the form of a remake. And yet, Let Me In is all of these things and more. Anyone who likes their films to have equal doses of artistry, emotion, and intelligence owes it to themselves to pick up a copy of Let Me In. Don't let the genre deter you; it's not just an amazing horror film, it's not just an amazing remake, it's an amazing film, plain and simple.
40 out of 45 found this review helpful.
Best movie of 2010!
Posted by: Harpospoke from: Dallas, TX on
I only went to see this movie because I had loved Kodi-Smit McPhee and Chloë Grace Moretz in other movies and loved their performances.
What I saw in the theater was a revelation! Deeply engrossing, layered, and beautiful filmmaking! As expected, the two kids were incredible. The whole movie depends on them...and they deliver. I can't imagine any other actors pulling off what they did.
Hardly does it justice to call it "a vampire movie". It seems so much more than that. You'll find that you are asking important questions about the very nature of good and evil.
This one is a must-see if you're a fan of great acting, direction, cinematography, and story. It's taken a spot on me personal "all time" list.
24 out of 24 found this review helpful.
Posted by: averagejoes89 from: american fork, UT on
I loved the movie it was an interesting twist on a more real life version of a vampire story. It was very good the graphics were excellent the picture on blu ray beyong excellent. I would suggest to anyone to buy it because I believe what stephen king said the best horror film in the last 20 years.
4 out of 4 found this review helpful.
Posted by: LCroft from: Olathe, KS on
Purchased this movie for my niece, who's a junior in high school, off her wish list. Was a bit suprised at how dark it is. First, and really the most disturbing, is the extreme bullying that takes place at the school. It's hard to believe that the teachers don't know what's going on. Second, the vampire killings to survive. They do seem to show remorse at having to kill, and they only kill to stay alive...unlike in some other films where it seems they just kill to kill.
2 out of 2 found this review helpful.
A good remake, if not totally necessary
Posted by: ThreeDMan from: Dallas, TX on
Not too much to say here. A remake of a not-too-old movie I guess for people that hate subtitles, everything is accomplished pretty well. The surprise is Richard Jenkins, who I did not even recognize in the movie. He's always fantastic but really delivers here. Sound and picture good, decent amount of extras.
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.
One of the best vampire films made
Posted by: from: Valparaiso, IN on
Based on the novel of the same name, Let Me In, is a remake of the Swedish film Let the Right One In. While it doesn't completely blow the original out of the water, it does many things better.
I don't deal in spoilers so I won't go into anything to do with the plot, but I will say that every performance in this startlingly original film is high caliber. The two child leads draw you in to the film in a way that actors quadruple their age cannot.
The cinematography is top notch and gorgeous to behold. The music is quite and the deep bass of the terror scenes sparks the heart to beat a little faster.
The Blu-Ray is gorgeous to look at. One of the most gorgeous transfers I have seen in a long time. It really stands out on a 1080p set.
While the extras on the disk are a little sparse, they are in worth watching to gain a little insight into the making of this quiet, slow burn horror film.
I cannot recommend this title more. While the terror is not like Saw and in your face, the slow burn quality of this movie will have you on the edge of your seat and your heart beating a little faster.
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.
An excellent American remake of a foreign film!
Posted by: vampirelover from: Grand Rapids, MI on
There is not enough space here to write how I feel about this movie. I've seen the Swedish original several times and really enjoyed the different "remake" of a vampire movie. It's very dark, cold, isolated, and original. I've read the translated book to get a better "feel" of the the characters. Normally most "American" remakes of foreign films never do the original justice, but I thought the approach to this was excellent. The storyline stayed true to the original (with a few "minor" alterations). There was so much symbolism that I could go on for quite some time as to what (I felt) the movie had to say about good and evil. If it were up to me to come up with a catch phrase for the movie it would be: "If evil is the only thing that can save you, is it truly evil?" I think my favorite scene in the movie is when Owen comes to Abby's apartment for the first time and is looking around and sees the strip photos of Abby and her guardian as a young boy his age. Not only does it give a sense of history, it also gives a sense of foreshadowing to Owen as he contemplates his future relationship to Abby. Is he doomed to the same fate? Excellent performances especially by Cody and Chloe!
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.
Posted by: Rigbone from: California on
Usually remakes suffer in quality in comparison to an original film work but Let Me In is just as good a watch as the original Swedish film Let the Right One In. It helps that Let Me In also employs a precision visual style including an incredible seamless special FX shot involving a car crash. Both films are highly recommended although I slightly favor this remake.
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.
Not as good as portrayed to be
Posted by: LetMeIn19 from: Fargo, ND on
As a horror film enthusiast, I have been looking for an adrenaline boosting horror film for a while now. After finding this movie and learning that the New York Post thought it was “The scariest, creepiest and most elegantly filmed horror movie in years,” I was pretty excited to go home and watch it. After watching the film, I was so incredibly depressed and unimpressed. This film was nowhere near what they portrayed it to be. There were absolutely no horrifying parts in the entire film. The most frightening part of the movie was the case it came in. I felt it was more of a romantic vampire film rather than a heart pounding thriller I’d been seeking. So, if you are looking for that, this movie is right for you. If you are looking for a scary movie that will really scare you, don’t waste your time and money getting this movie.
6 out of 31 found this review helpful.
Great Horror and Suspense movie
Posted by: RichardV74x from: on
A must for all Horror fans that loves a good spine tingling movie night with family and friends. Great story and special effects.