The second movie of my vampire movie day was Let Me In; an American remake of the Swedish Let The Right One In. It’s about a bullied boy who befriends a young girl he meets outside of his apartment building on the playground unaware at first that she’s actually a vampire. The Swedish movie has gotten rave reviews and is generally considered one of the best movies of the last decade. While most remakes tend to suck or success only mildly I’m glad to say Let Me In is one of the better remakes out there, but to be honest, it stays very true to the original Swedish in tone and cinematography so the the makers played it safe here.
Now I must confess I have seen the original movie probably in 2009 so it’s been a while. Research made it clear that there were some differences in the American version compared to the Swedish one but nothing that changes the story being told.
This is a dark movie, a coming of age movie about a young boy who has no friends at school and is bullied pretty badly, so badly that at one point he urinates himself in front of them, much to their enjoyment. When he meets Abby they become friends mainly because nobody else wants to befriend them. Though in the case of Abby that’s not entirely true; due to her secret she and her father (or father-figure) are constant on the move. As a vampire she needs human blood, something her father provides by killing people every so now and them and draining them of their blood. There is a revelation of his relation of his relation to Abby which made me wonder: why didn’t he studied something that would get him to work in a blood bank? Much safer to smuggle a pint out every now and then than killing people.
As you can see this is a dark, very dark story about a friendship between two kids and how this friendship will forever change the fate of a bullied young boy.
The lead characters both put down very strong characters, which should come to no surprise as both of them have a firm background. Abby is played by Chloë Grace Moretz who was simply one of the, if not the reason to watch Kick-Ass and Kodi Smit-McPhee as Owen held himself up in the similar dark The Road. But one other actor deserves a mention: Dylan Minnette as Kenny, the boy tormenting Owen. He is a guy you love to hate, the moment you lay your eyes on him you just want to… well let’s not go into that territory but you probably catch my drift.
In terms of story it doesn’t do much wrong. It’s a solid story, gripping and tragic. In the translation nothing much was lost and the makers luckily opted not to make it a light PG-13 movie with humor inserted that would no doubt fall out of place.
The only real moments I felt the movie failed was when Abby went into full vampire mode and her movements were made in CGI. An attack in a tunnel and her climbing into a tree both look very… well computer generated.
Because it stays so true to the original the movie makes no mistakes and is quite frankly a good movie. One might argue that this version lacks a vision because it’s so close to the original, but let’s not forget that this movie will speak to an audience that will probably never even see the Swedish version. Their loss, but at least their loss is a bit covered by Let Me In.