Review - Let Me In

Let Me In (2010), R, 115 minutes - Let Me In is the first in what seems to be a wave of American versions (remakes, adaptations, take your pick) of recently made excellent Swedish films (see the upcoming David Fincher versions of The Millennium Trilogy). Whether or not these American versions are necessary is an entirely different discussion/debate that I won't get into here. Having seen the original (highly acclaimed) Swedish version - Let The Right One In - I thought that Let Me In was quite good in its own right.

Set in the early 1980's, Let Me In is about the relationship between Owen (Kodi Smit-McPhee), a twelve year old boy, and Abby (Chloe Grace Moretz) a seemingly twelve year old girl who moves in next door with who we believe to be her father (Richard Jenkins). After proclaiming 'I can't be your friend' when they first meet, she warms up to Owen, eventually encouraging him to fight back against the school yard bullies. After a few awkward conversations Owen puts two and two together and realizes that Abby isn't your typical twelve year old girl, but a vampire, and that her father isn't really her father. Despite this realization he continues associating with Abby. They have a lot more in common than other kids his age, which is odd since she has 'been twelve for quite a while'.

Let Me In is quite faithful to Let The Right One In. It is still dark and drab, despite having a bit of a Hollywood sheen to it compared to its Swedish counterpart. It also takes a deeper look at the relationship between Abby and her 'father', helping to illustrate a couple themes from the original that were left more to interpretation. There are a couple other fairly minor differences in how the directors of these films decided to bring the story to life, but both films work well. I'm still not sure that an American version was really necessary at this time, but Let Me In is a well done adaptation, that, worst case scenario, exposes a larger portion of the population to an excellent story.

If you're a fan of the vampire sub-genre of horror (I mean real vampire movies, not Twilight), this is definitely a must see. And if you have the time, I highly recommend taking in Let The Right One In as well (now available as a 'watch it now' on NetFlix). They are both based on the same source material - the book written by John Ajvide Lindqvist (who also wrote the Swedish screenplay) - and between the two add more depth to the story being shown on the screen. I have not read the novel, so I can't speak as to how faithful either film is in regard to it, but I'd like to think that if the author also wrote the screenplay that it's pretty close.

Bonus Trailer - Let The Right One In:


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