22 August 2011

Let the Right One In (film review part 2)

Part 2

"Let Me In"
USA, 2010

Coolness: 7/10

This movie was based on the book "Let the right one in" by John Ajvide Lindqvist and also the original film.

The Looks:
The movie title differs a little, but it does no harm.
The two main characters in the movie are Owen (Kodi Smit-McPhee) and Abby (Chloë Grace Moretz).
In the first instance I had noticed that lots of details in the movie are different.

Owen is not only dark-haired, but skinny. So skinny. The bullies in school call him a little girl, rather than a pig.

And Abby has dark blonde hair instead of black, but her childlike appearances are more profound in this version.

The Feel:
The film started in a very interesting way, almost as though grabbing you by the throat, putting you in your seat, and then taking you 2 weeks back and showing you what happened.

It all takes place in a different location in a different year (1983 instead of 1981), with wintery settings that reminded me of long nights and Christmas.
There is definitely a lot more horror elements in this one, and in certain scenes I'd guarantee that you wished you had looked away. I mean, I learned stuff in this movie that I wouldn't want to.

The film's generous delivery of suspense and thrill makes this one quite enjoyable to watch. And what I fancy too is having seen more details in this one coming out from the book, as compared to its swedish counterpart - Owen suffers a little more, Abby kills harder and is a lot scarier, the school bullies are meaner, and everything seems somehow a lot more american than european.

As much as it is very well produced, somehow I feel as though lots of details have been 'renewed' in the film that it somehow loses touch on the original 'feel' of the story. The effects and all are very impressive, don't get me wrong, it's just more focused on exactly that. Even the way Owen looks at Abby, cannot be compared to how Oskar looks at Eli - that attraction, love, and affection in his eyes. What this story is all about.

I think the only character who kept her name in both film versions was Virginia.

The Effects:
The acting wasn't too bad either in this version. The conversations don't differ too much from that in the book, only that Owen and Abby seem to rush through their conversations without that 5-second awkward silence that seemed to be such a norm in this story.

This film won't make you fall asleep that easily. Abby's transformation into a monster is a lot more profound in this version and that pretty much made me sit up straight. She knows she has to feed and kill, and does not for a moment think about washing herself as she stands in front of Owen drenched in nothing but blood. Indeed a female character who gives no shit about how she looks in front of the guy she likes.

This movie will make you see that a vampire, even a child, is far from being helpless.
In the end, the thought that was left in me was: What becomes of Owen?...

What I'd say:
I'd recommend this one to not just to fans of vampire movies but those who honour friendship and love. Especially to those who have been waiting a hell of a long time for a movie that stays true to the ideals.
It was a breath of fresh air to have seen the sort of friendship and love between human and immortal that's not about a man and a woman.

It reminds me that Claudia, from Anne Rice's The Vampire Chronicles, although only 5-6 years of age when she was made, might have finally found one of her kind.
And who knows, there might just be more child vampires out there waiting for their stories to be told.


  1. For your references, here's my review that I wrote last year: http://familiarfantasy.blogspot.com/2010/11/let-me-in.html

    And here's a deleted scene, which was really good. I wished they kept it in the film :http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DldCB7VkDIw&feature=related

    I agree with you on a lot of things. Yes, it's a horror film, but the horror is more of a secondary element compared to the relationship between Owen and Abby, which is probably one of the most real things I've seen on screen in a long time. It's a pity Kodi and Chloe weren't nominated for Oscars, they earned it.

    It's a great story that transcends anything the Twilight films could ever do. Unlike those films, being a vampire isn't glamorised at all, and the downside of it is well shown here. And indeed, what becomes of Owen? Most likely he'll be what the old man was.

    Good review, Ira.

  2. That's an intense deleted scene. And if you read the book, this scene is even more detailed and brutal.