Aug 11, 2011

Let Me In Review

image from Amazon

The year is 1983, and little boy Owen (Kodi Smit-McPhee) is getting a terrible bullying at school from three punks. Life begins to change for the better when another outcast, a mysterious young girl named Abby (Chloe Moretz) moves into the apartment next door with her dad (Richard Jenkins). Little does anyone know that Abby and her dad kill people for their sweet, sweet blood. But while Owen and Abby bond together and quickly fall in love, a police detective (Elias Koteas) is hot on Abby and her dad's trails investigating the bizarre and horrific murders around town.

I thought this film was going to be a lot scarier, but it was really more of a drama with a horror subplot. While it wasn't what I expected, it was very impressive in a lot of ways. The acting talent in this film and the depth to the characters really blew me away. Chloe Moretz continues the hot streak in her career generated from Kick-Ass, and newcoming Australian prodigy Kodi Smit-McPhee has generated interest in me to check out his other big name film, The Road. While I can applaud director Matt Reeves for his work on this, which would likely rebuild his credit with any fans who were critical of Cloverfield, there was one major pain in this movie that I feel I have to put either on his shoulders, or the shoulders of the producers.

Whoever was in charge for how Abby attacks people really let me down. Abby's father's method was brilliant and left me a-gasp. Abby's method was just so over the top CGI that I felt like I was watching a spider-monkey rather than a vampire. Also, I would have preferred more backstory on how Abby became a vampire because it's never really gone into. Sometimes having a character shrouded in mystery is beneficial, but if they're going to go to the lengths to humanize a creature of the night to Abby's degree, I felt like I should have known more about her. And while it may come off intolerant, I'm still thankful they didn't go with the backstory from the book, because I think it would have added a large degree of uncomfort for viewers based on the way they were portraying Abby and Owen's relationship.

My Highlights:
The first murder of the movie, any scene where Abby pushes the envelope of what her species can and can't do, Owen standing up for himself, and the big pool scene at the end.

Overall Rating:
The film has a lot of highlights and great scenes that will stick with me for a long time. I like that it was more along the lines of Interview With A Vampire starring children with hormones rather than Twilight or Fright Night. The very last scene of the film put me on the fence, and there were a handful of negative standouts, but it was still a solid film that kept me entertained. 4 *'s out of 5, or 8 *'s out of 10.

When You Should See It:
This is probably one of the better horror films I've seen from this decade and deserves a lot of credit. If you were a fan of Interview With A Vampire, put this film toward (if not at) the top of your queue (it's currently on Netflix Instant Watch). If you're really looking for a film with less emotional attachment and more random teenagers getting sexed then slaughtered, there's no rush for you to see this. It's a thinker-horror film. Still, everyone should eventually get around to giving Let Me In a chance.

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