Let Me In (2010)
Directed By: Matt Reeves
Where to get it: Anchor Bay
I will admit that when news broke that they were going to remake, Let the Right One In, I wasn’t too happy. I mean to me, that movie was about as perfect of a story as you could tell. It was different, it was in ways heartwarming, and it’s always a plus when vampires are killing people and not impregnating them. But when the news broke that, Let Me In, was going to have both Chloe Moretz as Abby and Kodi Smit-McPhee as Owen, I did warm up to the idea slightly more. Still, I hesitated watching it. I sit on a copy of this film from the very first day it was made available and didn’t seem to interested in watching and reviewing it, even after hearing people praise it and knowing full well it would have even gained my site hits to review it at the time. I just simply had a lack of interest due to how much I loved the original. But finally I decided to watch it..and I’m happy I did.
Owen is a troubled twelve year old boy. He doesn’t seem to have a friend in the world, his parents are getting a divorce, and he gets picked on at school by bullies. Owen’s life is however changed when a little “girl” named, Abby, moves into an apartment next to his. Going from a reluctant friendship at first to something a little more lately, we follow as Abby slowly lets Owen in on all her secrets as the two ends up helping each other out time and time again. It’s pretty much a shot for shot remake (more or less) of Let the Right One In. But don’t let that shy you away too much from seeing it because it still tells a very good story that is only made less in my eyes due to the fact it’s a remake of a film I rated a 10 out of 10 to begin with.
If you’ve seen the original film this film was based on (which in return was a film originally based on a book), you will find it very hard to talk about Let Me In without comparing it to Let the Right One In. And while I did give the original a perfect score, I must say the chemistry between Chloe Moretz and Kodi Smit-McPhee, as subtle as it may be, really jumps off the screen in a way that I feel tops the original actors in these roles in the original. Chloe Moretz is quickly becoming just a gem in any movie that she takes part in and to think she’s just fourteen is astonishing. This little girl is a very big actor on screen and she really takes the role of Abby to places that just seem overall better than anyone could have imagined. The anchor of this story no matter what format is the relationship between Abby and Owen. It’s better here in this movie than it is anywhere else.
I loved the look and feel of Let the Right One In and while this movie does kinda follow along those same lines and style, it still did come across a little less spectacular to me viewing it. Also, as I’m sure you’d assume, being an American version of this story there are a few things that get changed. Some are for the best. I like the American music inserted in. I like the references to some classic American stuff like Ms.Pacman and the candy, Now and Laters. I however didn’t care much for the All-American CGI and computer generated gimmicks. Seeing Abby scale trees and a building in CGI wasn’t a good thing in my eyes. It looked too fake and was the major flaw of this film. She’s a vampire not Spider-Man after all. I could forgive the CGI blood because it at least didn’t look too bad or mess with the vibe and the flow. But when Abby scales a building or something of the sorts it just briefly takes you right out of the story.
I also think the “swimming pool” scene at the end was better in the original. But as I sit here right now that’s pretty much it as far as complaints. Everything else I either seen it as on par with the original or perhaps even better (*gasp!* Shocking I know). Like the “Dad” of Abby. I felt that part of the film was much better done here. The bottom line is, this thing had people with pitchforks in hand just waiting to attack from the moment we heard it was being made. I was ready to attack it myself. And with the wrong actors ect. this one could have been a disaster. And at the end of the day I feel the child actors really REALLY make this thing work. And while some things (when compared to the original) are hit and miss in this, they shine through and shine bright. But that’s not all we get with this one. We get a combo of good acting, good pace, and good story. I guess in conclusion I could say that we have a very VERY good film that will be considered just that in the eyes of people who haven’t seen the original.
In a world where Let the Right One In has never been made, you’d have a film I’d strongly consider giving a 10 out of 10 to. Maybe it wouldn’t be perfect due to the CGI moments I spoke of, but I’d be a little more forgiving. Now don’t get it twisted here, I really did like this movie a whole lot. I think it’s one of the better American horror films that has come out in a very long time. That being said, I still have the blessing and the curse of having seen the original and knowing that while great in its own right, this is still more or less a live action tracing of the original. If you’ve never seen the original, I think you’ll love this. If you have, I still think you’ll like it.
The Rating (9/10)