I decided to check out an American remake of a foreign favorite called Let The Right One In and renamed here to Let Me In.
The most accurate single word I can use to describe the movie would absolutely have to be “dark”. Everything about this film is dark, subdued, shadowy, etc. It’s essentially the story of a pre-teen boy who befriends his strange new 12 year-old neighbor only to come to find out that she’s actually a brutal vampire. Given that narrative, the word dark seems like a good fit. However, for me dark here often meant muddy and non-distinct. Much of the visuals are heavily muted and so gray that they’re often just boring.
The leads (the two kids) do a fantastic job with the material. Kodi Smit-McPhee as Owen has a look that’s perfect for this kind of film and he nails the role wonderfully. Chloe Moretz, best known for her great job as Hit Girl in Kick-Ass, likewise turns in a terrific effort here as Abby. She’s got star power written all over her.
Sadly much of the supporting cast (including the lead police officer on the case) are pretty forgettable (at best) or distracting (at worst).
It’s also another film that moves along at a snail’s pace. When we left the theater a friend looked at his watch and commented that the movie was two-and-three-quarters hours long and no one disagreed. I would have easily gone for three hours. Turns out it was just under two hours.
There’s a very large subplot involving bullying that’s often quite haunting but, like a lot of other scenes, has elements that inadvertently come off as comedic.
You’ll also encounter a few key elements that get briefly referenced but never actually explained and they really should have been.
I also found the opening scene to be entirely confused and unnecessary. Many movies will open a movie with the final scene of the film in pseudo-flashback fashion. Here the opening left me confused for a good while and, oddly, picks up again about two-thirds of the way through. The film’s allure is in the friendship between Owen and Abby. Becoming engaged in that relationship is where the pay-off is. Instead we’re presented with a macabre opening scene that sets entirely the wrong tone right out of the gate.
All-in-all this is one of those tough movies that I ended up feeling entirely indifferent about. It’s not a bad movie but for a film that boasts lots of action and gore it’s really fairly forgettable.