LET ME IN is a bloody tale about young love

 

  Remade from the 2008 Swedish film Let the Right One In, Let Me In is one of the best horror remakes that have come out in recent years. 

  Owen (Kodi Smit-McPhee) is a lonely and isolated young boy that is bullied and tormented everyday at school. When he learns that he has new neighbors, a young girl named Abby (Chloe Moretz) and her father (Oscar-nominee Richard Jenkins), he develops a close friendship with Abby that soon turns into a romance. However, what Owen does not know is that Abby has an unquenchable thirst for blood.

  Let Me In is boosted by terrific performances from Kodi Smit-McPhee and Chloe Moretz. Smit-McPhee, who made his screen debut in The Road with Viggo Mortensen, plays his character as a sympathetic and isolated character with the combination of innocence and sadness. Moretz made an impact earlier this year with her breakthrough role as Hit Girl in Kick-Ass. Her performance in this film not only captures the innocence of a child who has been 12 for hundreds of years, but the screen presence of her character is often ominous as her behavior pattern is influenced by her hunger.

  While the two child actors are the main focus of the story, the adults are substantial key characters in the film. In order to provide food for Abby, her father hides in the backseat of his impending victims in order to drain and butcher them. Elias Koteas plays a police detective investigating in the crimes committed by Abby’s father. Ultimately, his investigation eventually leads to a quiet and nerve wracking scene inside Abby’s apartment.

  Director Matt Reeves (Cloverfield) captures the tone and atmosphere of the original film with certain scenes that are reprised almost shot-for-shot. There are a lot of elements that are carried over from the Swedish film whether it the rubix cube that Owen gives to Abby for her birthday or the use of Morse code the kids use to communicate through the walls next to each other. Reeves also shows that he has the ability to frame action sequences, including a P.O.V. shot from inside of a car during a spectacular car accident.

  Reeves also co-wrote the screenplay with John Alvide Lindqvist, who was the author of the novel that the original movie was based on. Thanks to Reeves and Lindqvist, Let Me In has significant changes besides the obvious change of setting from the suburban setting in Stockholm to 1983 Los Alamos, New Mexico in the midst of the Reagan era. In the original movie, there are subplots that involve the neighbors in apartment complex that Oskar that detracts from the main story. The absence of that certain subplot is one of the reasons the American remake is superior to the 2008 Swedish film.

  There is plenty of blood and gore to spare on this film with the make-up department doing a great job creating cool moments, along with the kill scenes that get more gruesome as the movie progresses. The CGI work on this film is the weakest link with the scenes that involve Abby displaying her superhuman abilities whether it is climbing up the walls of a hospital or attacking a person bigger then her with sheer ferocity.  

  Let Me In is a great remake that is better than the original film. Even though the film’s only weakness is the spotty and noticeable CGI work in some scenes, the performances by Kodi Smit-McPhee and Chloe Moretz is the emotional core in this dark and unusual tale of young love.

Let Me In: 4.5 stars out of 5

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