I’m a huge fan of the original 2008 Swedish horror film, Let The Right One In and have been since the DVD came out in the states. It’s a mesmerizing story of adolescent love, a gothic look at some remarkable character studies, and just an outright magnificent vampire film (Especially with the HORRIBLY shitty Twilight series convincing audiences what Vampires really aren’t).
For those who haven’t heard of Let The
Right One In, I’ll give a brief synopsis: Oskar is a 12 year old student who keeps to himself in fear of being bullied, mostly by three boys at school. His mother barely pays much attention to him and would probably blame it on the current divorce between Oskars’ father and herself. Once a new girl moves into the apartment next to his, Oskar finds a new and unique friendship in the form of Eli. Eli does not get cold easily, doesn’t wear shoes outside and immensely enjoys puzzles (I.E a rubix cube). As the friendship grows into more, Oskar soon finds there’s more to Eli than she has let on. Meanwhile, local authorities are investigating a recent string of grizzly murders.
With Matt Reeves’ 2010 American remake, Let Me In, he brings all of the aforementioned qualities to the eyes of those who otherwise never would of watched a foreign film that could of well been the sequel to The Little Vampire (Somewhere, Jonathon Lipnicki just got paid in assorted candies). A lot of people, including myself, were skeptical when announcements were made about the remake. I mean, why remake a film that was fairly perfect as it was? Well, that’s the glory of Let Me In: Matt Reeves did everything right.
Let Me In is something audiences
haven’t seen in a very, very long time. It’s an American Gothic about
children, self-love and finding love. Oskar is now Owen (Kodi-Smit McPhee) while Eli is now Abby (Chloe-Grace Moretz). The main reason the film stands on it’s on so well is the acting that McPhee and Moretz bring to the table. I actually didn’t think of them as children while watching the film more than just the story of a beautiful relationship, something that isn’t easily done. Moretz is something close to genius in her role as Abby. A friend mentioned to me that during conversation, Moretz spoke with aging pain in her voice and facial expressions. And he’s right. Kick-Ass proved that Moretz could be a bad-ass girl with no remorse for injustice. Not a hard feat, but impressive none the less. But with Let Me In, she brings pain and seduction in the most powerful senses of the words.
Richard Jenkins plays Abby’s “caretaker” and he is nothing short of incredible. I’ve seen Jenkins in a few films before and am aware that he was nominated for his performance in The Visitor, but I never thought he was capable of capturing the beauty in pain as well he did in this film. The other reason I love Reeves’ vision of this story is that he shed more light on Jenkins’ character than Tomas Alfredson did with the original. It’s truly cinema at it’s best.
Speaking of cinema at it’s best, please let me mention the cinematography in Let Me In. There’s some scenes in Let The Right One In that are, to date, some of the most iconic scenes in cinema history for me. And that was one my main worries for a remake. Matt Reeves has my undying love for what he accomplishes. He captures all of those moments with a little bit of style added in. I won’t mention them in fear of the moment not meaning as much to first-time viewers of the story. But Reeves captures one exact emotion that Alfredson did 2 years ago: Leaving the audience breathless.
Let Me In is a true horror fairy-tale and proves that vampires aren’t a blessing or even normal (like other shows and films would have you believe). Abby is cursed with this demon and it couldn’t be more of a blessing for us, as an audience.
If you haven’t yet, make sure to pick up Tomas Alfredsons’ swedish original, Let The Right One In.
I guess I should also mention that The Little Vampire is available on DVD..