MOVIE: Let Me In (2010)

I was definitely a little wary of this movie, an American remake of an absolutely stunning 2008 Swedish film called Let the Right One In.  As I’m sure all fans of the genre know, Americans who remake foreign horror movies almost always botch them, loading them up with extraneous gore and special effects, as well as tons of unnecessary exposition (cuz us ‘Mercans is too dumb for nuance, see?).  In essence, they take out all the brains and scares and replace them with guts and gotchas! instead.

Man, I hate it when that happens.

Nevertheless, despite my trepidation, I had to go see this film.  It had to be done.  Because. . . what if?  What if it didn’t suck?  What if it was good?

And hey, guess what!  It IS good.  I mean, yes, certainly, it commits all of the sins I listed above (man, that tunnel scene?  RUINED.).  But surprisingly, it only does it occasionally and not too terribly obtrusively, and balancing out the weak spots were two beautiful, talented young actors in the lead roles.  They make this film exactly what it ought to be:  sad and pretty.

For a description of the story, you can go back and read my reviews of both the original film (here) and the novel it was based on by John Ajvide Lindqvist (here).  Elements of this movie are quite different from the original, but also, in a few places, more true to the book.  To me, all three feel like solid companions to each other, each one worth exploring.  My heart, in all three cases, was pulled painfully and immediately towards the young boy (Owen here, Oskar in the original), whose loneliness beats off the screen and pages with a pulse you can feel throbbing in you for days later (one nice touch in this film, which I didn’t remember from the original, is that we never once see Owen’s mother’s face.  She is as missing for us as she is for Owen — oof, *beat beat* goes my heart).

Though this version of the story is definitely not as good as the original, which I listed as one of my favorite films seen in 2009, it is still well worth your time.  Take in all three and I promise you these characters will become absolutely unforgettable.

A beautiful, wrenching story, told three times well.  Recommended!

[Prequeue at Netflix | View trailer]

Genre:  Horror, Drama
Cast:  Kodi Smit-McPhee, Chloe Moretz, Richard Jenkins, Cara Buono, Elias Koteas

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2 Responses to “MOVIE: Let Me In (2010)”

  1. Liz Says:

    I KNEW, when I saw a trailer for this, that it was the “Americanization” of “Let the Right One In!” Glad you DIDN”T think it sucked! (It’s a new Stephen King title, “Sometimes They Don’t Suck.”) I’m definitely interested in this movie, as well as the book. AND I may have a way to be able to watch a movie AND read subtitles at the same time!

    I’ve already watched two movies from Netflix on my iPad, plus two eps of “Psych.” And, since I was able to spot the pineapple on one of the eps, I’m thinking maybe I can see BETTER when I hold the iPad right up to my eyes, and have the nice earphones in! I checked, and “Let the Right One In” IS an instant play movie from Netflix, so I think I’ll give it a try. I’m thinking I’ll ask for the book for Xmas!

    Hooray for vampires and zombies!

  2. briantoohey Says:

    Stephen King: “Let Me In is a genre-busting triumph. Not just a horror film, but the best American horror film in the last 20 years. Whether you’re a teenager or a film-lover in your 50s, you’ll be knocked out. Rush to it now. You can thank me later.”

    John Ajvide Lindqvist: “Let Me In is a great American movie. There are notable similarities and the spirit of Tomas Alfredson is present. But Let Me In puts the emotional pressure in different places and stands firmly on its own legs. Like the Swedish movie it made me cry, but not at the same points. Let Me In is a dark and violent love story, a beautiful piece of cinema and a respectful rendering of my novel for which I am grateful. Again.”

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