Tag Archives: horror

Film Review: Let Me In

7 Oct

Let Me In, the Americanized remake of 2008’s critically acclaimed Swedish vampire film, Let the Right One In, opened in theaters nationwide Oct. 1.

Before you start rolling your eyes at the thought of yet another romantic vampire film, know that this is not like your little sister’s dreamy Twilight saga. Let Me In is more like the cult classics the goth crowd (who dressed like vampires before they were cool) would watch.

This dark indie thriller is filled with gore, violence and scenes that will make you tense up and hold your breath. But it also has a tenderness to it that makes its story very human.

Written and directed by Matt Reeves (Cloverfield), this intense film is the story of 12-year-old vampiress Abby (Chloe Moretz from Kick Ass), who moves into a small New Mexican town in 1978 and befriends her recluse neighbor Owen (Kodi Smit-McPhee from The Road).

Contrary to its slasher-like film portrayal in advertisements, Let Me In is a coming-of-age drama about a young boy who is bullied at school, caught in the middle of his parent’s crumbling marriage and yearning for companionship. The plot revolves around the growing relationship between the two adolescent outcasts and Owen’s discovery of his unusual new friend’s true identity.

Let the Right One In is based on John Ajvide Lindqvist’s best-selling Swedish novel of the same name and is the story of Lindqvist’s childhood, minus the vampire. Reeves said he initially didn’t think the film should be remade “because it was fantastic,” but later decided to rewrite the film in an American context because he related so much to Owen’s character. He also felt he and Lindqvist shared the same story in the same era, but in different parts of the world.

Reeves said he intentionally shot many of the scenes in soft focus and through barriers like glass to give the film a sort of voyeuristic, intimate quality.

“The orginal film has a kind of Skandinavian remove,” Reeves said. “I wanted the world to look the way it would to Kodi’s character. That’s why you don’t see the mother’s face – because it’s all sort of the emotional state that he’s in and the distance that he feels.”

Reeves, who is a big Alfred Hitchcock fan, said that the genius of Hitchcock (known as the “Master of Suspense”) was that he was able to make his audience identify with the killer, which he did with his own characters in Let Me In.

“I was trying to come up with a method that you would meet a character who was doing reprehensible things and you would meet them in the scariest of possible ways,” Reeves said. “…The film was a process of tearing those layers down and starting to sort of feel for him.”

Let Me In is the vampire film that girls who can’t get enough of the fad can finally take their boyfriends to (without wondering whether he’s starting to resent their taste in movies). Despite some moments of unconvincing computer-generated imagery effects, this low-budget thriller is skillfully filmed and has enough blood, love and insight into the human experience that it successfully appeals to even the most avid boycotter of vampire movies.

Originally published at The Daily Titan

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