Let Me In

It is difficult to imagine the movie Let Me In without thinking of the 2008 Swedish original Let the Right One In, and as such reviewing it without referring to the original is difficult, if not impossible. The original had certain things going for it, the setting for example. It is somehow difficult to replicate the late Soviet Era feel for a movie, in continental United States. That said, the movie does a remarkable job of staying true to the original while adapting it to a different place and time.

The movie revolves around a bully victim, Owen, who is unable to get any support at home from his divorcing parents. Then a new girl moves in next door - Abby, who is patient, helpful, supportive and, as he discovers later, a vampire. As the relationship between Owen and Abby deepens, Owen slowly realizes the true nature of the one person he is able to lean on. Abby, meanwhile, loses the one other person who knows her secret - her father. The two children with no supervision and control, find themselves hurtling towards a destructive ending.

Abby (Chloe Moretz), turns in an unsettling performance as the young vampire, managing the thin line between the vulnerable and the monstrous. Owen (relative newcomer Kodi Smit-McPhee) does a really good job as the confused and vulnerable boy.

The atmosphere is another key cast of the movie. Shot mostly under artificial light, the yellow cast of the sodium vapor lamps brings a sense of hopelessness and loss. The playground with its abandoned merry-go-round under snow accentuates the despondent mood.

As a horror movie there are a few cringe-worthy scenes, but no where close to a what a classic horror flick would demand. And even in the couple of action scenes with the vampire, the movie chose to use CGI, doing so very badly. The tempo of the movie is a slow ponderous exploration of the world from a child's point of view, with brief blocks of mystery and horror.

Do not watch if you are looking for an action horror flick. If you liked the original, you should probably have a go at this as well. And if you are looking for an alternate intelligent vampire movie, with no glistening, this is a must see.

October 03, 2010

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