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
Director: Matt Reeves
Cast: Chloe Moretz, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Richard Jenkins, Elias Koteas, Cara Buono.
Release Date: Oct 01, 2010
Rated: Strong bloody horror violence, language and a brief sexual situation
Runtime: 1 hr. 55 min.
Remaking an excellent foreign film that came out just a few years ago seems like a recipe for disaster. Let the Right One In is an artistic masterpiece, the type that would make Stanley Kubrick proud. Its direction and acting were all perfectly done, it was chilling beautiful and timeless. Matt Reeves is given the unenviable task of remaking this and he somehow manages to make his version equally beautiful but with more clearly defined themes. Reeves follows the original film very closely changing a few things here and there, changing the setting to New Mexico in the 80’s seem kind of pointless, but mostly stays true to the heart of the story. Reeves uses more CGI than the original and excises the neighbors subplot only to replace them with a detective. His cast is just as impressive as their Swedish counterparts. Chloe Moretz continues to shine here in a measure performance adding a bit more ferocity to the character. Kodi Smith McPhee is perfectly suited for the role and is appropriately awkward, frail and naive. Richard Jenkins has limited screen time but does make the caretaker role more sympathetic and Abby’s relationship with Owen more sinister. It’s a common theme in this version of this story, Reeves avoids ambiguity in general and spells out things that were left for interpretation in the Swedish film. It’s a matter of taste as to whether that a good thing or not. Still, Reeves does succeed in making a wonderful tome whose greatest achievement might be making new fans discover the Swedish film and original book.