Let Me In
Directed by Matt Reeves
Starring Kodi Smit-McPhee, Chloe Moretz, Richard Jenkins, Elias Koteas
Release date: October 1, 2010
Let Me In is an American remake of the Swedish film Let the Right One In. Owen, portrayed by Kodi Smit-McPhee, lives with his mom in an apartment complex. Owen’s parents are divorced and he is constantly bullied at school. Things begin to change when Owen meets and befriends Abby (Chloe Moretz, a girl who moves into his apartment complex. Abby behaves a little strangely, but their friendship continues to grow. Eventually, Owen learns that Abby is a vampire and has to feed on human blood to survive.
Kodi Smit-McPhee is very believable as the pitifully frail Owen. It is hard not to feel sympathy with him when he is verbally and physically abused by a gang of bullies led by Kenny. Kenny is portrayed by Dylan Minnette as an evil, callous child. Chloe Moretz follows up her excellent portrayal of Hit-Girl in Kick-Ass with another strong performance as the eternal vampire girl Abby. Smit-McPhee and Moretz play their roles perfectly and their puppy-love relationship seems very plausible.
Richard Jenkins also gives a very understated performance as Abby’s “father.” His character seems totally committed to protecting Abby, regardless of the cost. Elias Koteas also shines as “The Policeman.” Koteas projects an aura of determination and persistence as he tries to investigate the string of murders that have plagued the small town.
Let Me In is an interesting and entertaining film. It borrows heavily from the Swedish version, to the point of lifting several lines of dialogue from that film. The American version is also set in the 80s, as evidenced by the clothes, music, and images a Ronald Reagan presidential address. However, the scenes of violence in the American version are more graphic. If you have seen the Swedish version, the American version may seem repetitious. However, Smit-McPhee’s and Moretz’s performances make the film worth of viewing. Also, the film deals with a vampire-human relationship more realistically in one film than Twilight has in three films. In this “Age of the Vamps,” Let Me In stands apart as the thinking man’s vampire love story.