Let Me In (2010)

Children are creepy and not just ones from Sweden either.

When 12-year-old Owen (Kodi Smit-McPhee) befriends his mysterious next-door neighbor, Abby (Chloe Moretz), the two outcasts form a tight-knit bond that gives Owen the courage to stand up to school bullies. But he slowly begins to suspect his new friend has a secret.

After checking out the original Swedish classic, ‘Let the Right One In‘, I got all of these people just saying I need to check this out and what not and I have to say that having director Matt Reeves (‘Cloverfield‘) didn’t really spark too much of my interest but it doesn’t do much to make me hate it anyway.

The one thing I have to say that Reeves does and he does it well is that he doesn’t try to eff around with the original, and instead gives us everything we practically saw in that one but with his own little slight takes on everything as well. Reeves creates a lot of tension within this film that got my blood really tingling and also isn’t afraid to let loose on the blood and gore when it came to the actual “action” of this film. It’s a good thing he made this flick R and didn’t try to go for a lame-o PG-13 rating, which he could have easily used as a cash grab.

The highlight of this whole film was probably my favorite car wreck I think I have ever seen in a film for a long time. Reeves keeps the camera in the back of a car, while it’s toppling over and it was a really cool thing to see because I almost felt like I was watching a video of someone on a roller-coaster, but instead I had Blue Oyster Cult playing in the background. Now adding a little bit of Blue Oyster ain’t so bad either and that scene just totally rocks.

The problem with this flick is that a lot of this is also Americanized which means instead of being a very subtle teen-horror romance there’s a lot of loud noises, driving score, and some unneeded special effects that look so bad. There is a score playing in just about every scene, just so we know that something crazy is about to go down and it was getting pretty annoying considering that it was only used to build-up tension, which it sort of did, just not as an effective way as the original did. The scares here were also pretty cheap because I constantly felt a lot of the annoying jump-scares, people jumping out of darkness, and silence-to-loudness kind of scares happen just about every time and I was less and less scared by it every time it tried to creep me out.

A lot of the scenes here that worked in the Swedish film, don’t really work all that well here because of the terrible CGI and special effects this film showed up on the screen. To put it kindly, they look cheap, and almost like they came off of a really crappy PS2 game that was around when the console first started coming out. Anytime Abby ran up a tree, attacked someone, or turned into her evil werewolf-like self, it all looked pretty crummy and although the Swedish version had its fair share of bad effects, this one had too much of them and therefore lessened my impact of the film originally.

However, as much as I may talk shit on this film I still do have to say that the story still works here even if it doesn’t feel as original as it did the first time around. The story of these two falling for each other and basically creating their own little world together, still feels genuine and beautiful without ever feeling like it was forced or taken directly from another film (which it was, but still it somehow worked).

I think the real reason why this story works so well again is because of the amazing leads they have in these roles. Kodi Smit-McPhee is very good as the silent, and sad type as Owen, and Chloe Moretz does an even better job as Abby. These two work great together and right from the beginning you can feel their chemistry just popping right off of the screen and you start to feel this little innocent and sweet love they build together. Basically, if you need a great chemistry between two young actors, just cast kids with some funky first names (Chloe and Kodi, come on!).

Richard Jenkins has about 15 lines of dialogue the whole film but is very good as the strong and silent dude who’s looking over Abby. The guy has a lot more development as a character this time and it also helps that Jenkins is just a perfect actor for the role as well. Elias Koteas is also very good as the cop who’s investigating all of these little strange murders that keep happening around town. Both aren’t really the high-lights of the story but they still show why they deserve these roles.

Consensus: Let Me In may not be as great as the Swedish classic, but it still features great performances from the cast, a surprisingly good direction from Matt Reeves, and just a great idea of not trying to mess around with the original too much but still standing on its own terms.




  1. Enjoyed the original and this American follow up. Another great scene in this version is the pool scene at the end of the movie. @empiremagazine had a great article in one of their past magazines when they showed how Reeves rigged up a special rig to allow the boys to be dragged through the pool and then filmed it under water. Major technical accomplishment.

  2. I have a confession. I haven’t actually seen the original. I really must get around to seeing it but it keeps getting pushed back and back,

    I must get around to it.

    Great write up matey

  3. good review Dan.

    I gotta say that I like Matt Reeves’ far more than the original! (*GASP*)
    I saw it first and then watched the original and was bored. I felt more connection between the 2 leads and enjoyed the chemistry between them that Edward/Bella/Jacob could only ever dream of having!

    didn’t see the “Shock-and-Scare” moments or the score as distracting, as much as additions that helped a really slow original story to move along!

    A fantastic film! and that crash was amazing! You’re right! Nice review!

  4. I loved the Swedish original – Let the Right One In, which I consider as one of the best movies of the last decade. Hence I was apprehensive of its bastardization in its American remake. But I watched Let Me In nonetheless courtesy the positive word of mouth surrounding it, and I must add, I was pleasantly surprised by it. Though I don’t consider a superior version vis-a-vis the original, I really liked it as a standalone work.

  5. I did like the original and this one was great too. When I heard they were going to film it in New Mexico I was a little skeptical, however.

    And I’m glad they didn’t try to make the kids older, I think that was the plan at one point.

    I agree, the car crash scene was great!

  6. Great review. I completely agree with you that this film put a bunch of great touches onto all of the scenes that it copied from the original. However, I disagree with you on the CGI/effects part. While the effects were nothing special in this version, the original had some pretty bad effects too (the cat scene). Despite being an almost complete copy of the original, I liked this one.

    • I liked this one as well but the effects were pretty lame here just like they were in the original, however, the film here focuses too much on those special effects. However, it was good. Thanks Ryan!

  7. Actually enjoyed this more than the original and definitely enjoyed both a hell of a lot more than the book! I think Matt Reeves is a real talent to watch.

  8. I remember planning on seeing the original before I saw the remake… didn’t work out that way. Still haven’t seen the original. But I’m told the remake is almost a frame for frame remake.

    I enjoyed this film. Loved the dark feeling about it and the little revelations and ultimately the tragic, if somewhat, cyclical ending. Loved the scene in the swimming pool with the massacre!

  9. Nice, sounds about like what I was expecting.
    Seen the original but not got around to this one yet, wanted to give it a gap and let it feel not quite so blatantly fresh and comparable in my mind.
    Basically I assumed the kids were the highlight, Moritz in particular, but have to say Im surprised they buggered up the CGI – normally Hollywood does the CGI heavy and overdone movies while others produce movies less dependant (not as a rule, but generally) and this movie got enough hype and stuff that i figured they’d at least visually go all out.

  10. I absolutely loved this movie. It was stylish, mean, respectful (as you say), and in my humble opinion one of the best mainstream films to come out last year. And I think we all know what a poor year last year was for movies. I thought this was one of the best remakes I’ve seen.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s