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Film Review – Let Me In

Let Me In - feature film poster

Staring: Kodi Smith-McPhee, Chloe Moretz, Richard Jenkins, Elias Koteas.

Director: Matt Reeves

Although it could be said that this remake was a little premature (the original Swedish film “Let the right one in” having premiered just two years previously), it must also be said that this is a well scripted, well crafted and an intelligent addition to the horror genre.

The story revolves around a young troubled boy named Owen (Smith – Mcphee), who lives with his mother who has just gone through a turbulent separation. The boy’s life is further complicated by a bully who picks on him incessantly. Then a young girl, Abby (Moretz) comes to live in his neighbourhood with a mysterious old man, the girl is distant and strange, when he first sees her she is walking across the snow in her bare feet. What follows is a gripping tale of loyalty and love thrown against the sinister background of vampirism.

The film is excellently shot in an unnerving bleakness, the score never lets the mood lighten and there is heavy heft throughout the picture. The two leads are excellent, acting out their respective roles with a sincerity that does not betray the fact that they themselves are just 13 and 14 years old.

“Let me in” brings a new take to what was quickly becoming a stale genre thanks to the never ending series of “Twilight” movies. The story’s take on the vampire legend is innovative and interesting, Abby, though prone to viciously attacking randomers, is almost a sympathetic and likeable character and at one point you actually find yourself rooting for the vampire.

Unlike other remakes made for the Anglophonic world, the depth and darkness is not lost in the translation. This is not a cynical commercially driven piece with all the flavour removed to appeal to a larger audience, rather a faithful copy for those who Swedish is not their first language and who came to watch not read.

Though violently graphic at well thought out points, the film should not be described as a shock horror, in fact, it’s almost more accurate to call it a romance then a horror at all. The movie is worth the admission and highly satisfying…for anyone who appreciates a good vampire yarn and not the Calvin Klein underpants ads that have been masquerading as the genre in recent times.

Fountain News DigitalThis article was originally published in:
Fountain News Digital – December 2010 (Issue 2)

We are re-publishing all articles from our past newsletter, Fountain News Digital, and you can view all completed newsletters here. There were nine issues published in total between 2010 and 2012.

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