The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Movie Review-Let Me In

By Joshua knopp/entertainment editor

Let Me In was good, but its very existence is incredibly ostentatious and, all told, it probably shouldn’t have been made.The film tells the story of Owen (Kodi Smit-McPhee), a 12-year-old boy who lives in total isolation. His divorcing parents ignore him utterly, and at school he is met by nothing but intense bullying. He then meets Abby (Chloe Grace Moretz), who seems to be a peer but, as Owen slowly discovers, is actually a vampire.

In a vacuum, this is an incredible film that pulls off the difficult and rare combination of femme fatale-style horror and Romeo and Juliet-style romance.

It portrays the effects of bullying and parental neglect to a tee. The bullying is shown with all the disturbia it fully holds, one early scene even being comparable to a rape sequence. Parental neglect is also given due attention — Owen’s mother’s face is never actually shown in focus. So the audience isn’t surprised when Owen begins to threaten a mirror with a bread knife.

Also difficult is the film’s creation of romantic tension without crossing any lines (the lead actors were 14 and 13 at the time of the film’s release). It’ll certainly make audiences uncomfortable, but in the end, everything is done tastefully.

More important than anything, however, is that this film exposes American audiences to a serious vampire story. 

Abby isn’t a high-school heartthrob — she is a creature that kills humans to survive. Sunlight doesn’t make her sparkle. It makes her combust. No one asserts that cloud cover would save her from this fate, and at no point in this film is animal blood mentioned.

This movie represents a restoration of the vampire subculture that has been so distorted by the Twilight series and even features minutiae of the mythos. The title Let Me In, for instance, is based around the part of the mythos that states vampires cannot go into a home on their own power — they must be invited.

What negates all this then? It is a shot-for-shot remake of the Swedish film Låt Den Rätte Komma In (Let the Right One In), a movie that was released to the joy of critics everywhere in January 2009. The only changes are to names, locations, languages and the removal of a subplot about Eli/Abby’s androgyny. It would almost be better if director Matt Reeves had ruined it by trying to adapt for a shaky-cam — at least it would be different in some way.

If audiences haven’t seen Let the Right One In, this is a tremendous film, but since everyone has a Netflix account anyway, why spend money on a theater ticket when the original is just clicks away?

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