Let Me In: Let This Movie In, Give It A Key & Invite It To Stay

1 10 2010

Fans of the original Swedish film, Let The Right One In, were nervous when director Matt Reeves announced his English-speaking adaptation, Let Me In. The foreign film was hailed by critics and audiences and many wondered how a remake could ever measure up. But Let Me In has exceeded expectations, even winning over fans of the original, and, perhaps, even becoming the preferred version…? Here’s the breakdown:

Owen is a young boy dealing with divorcing parents and bullies at school. He soon befriends a neighbor girl, Abby. But Abby’s dark secrets will change Owen’s life forever.

The Monkey: Matt Reeves has catapulted to the top of my list of favorite directors. Let Me In was beautifully shot, using out-of-focus, wide, close-up, still – all kinds of shots, in unique and artistic ways to convey this story. From the opening scene, audiences know they are in for a visual feast. Each frame of the movie felt like a painting, painstakingly staged and lighted, then strung together. A book of prints from this movie would be a worthwhile investment. The script and content of the movie required such a deft and delicate hand, and Matt Reeves proved he has what it takes.

The acting was superb. Chloe Moretz as Abby and Kodi Smit-McPhee as Owen were perfectly matched. And don’t let their ages fool you. This is no kids’ movie, and these actors don’t act like kids. They tackled their characters with a surprising amount of maturity, putting many adult actors to shame with their performances.

I can’t get over the ending of the movie. While dark, it was deliciously satisfying, and equally unnerving. Any movie that makes you question your own reactions, that makes you contemplate motivations and the very nature of love and revenge – whew, that’s pretty heavy. But it means the movie has transcended the theatre, has followed the audience home – something all art should strive to do.

The Weasel: I was disappointed with the use of CG in the film. While it didn’t bug me so much at the time, the more I thought about the brilliant shots and mood-setting that Reeves was able to accomplish with simple camera techniques, I became increasingly disappointed at the CG scenes. Used to emphasize certain brutal and particularly violent moments, I wish Reeves would have reconsidered relying on this rather obvious method. It would have been nice if he could have conveyed the same brutality with the creative and breathtaking filmmaking he employed throughout the rest of the film. I have no doubt he would have been successful.

There was also the element of tone. Let Me In is very one note. And while the note is pure and wonderful, a little variety is always nice. Some of the darkest movies have moments of light, but Let Me In refused to let up. A bit of tonal variation could have helped make some of the darker moments of the movie that much more impactful, in contrast.

A beautifully shot, directed and performed film – a vampire film so good, it’s almost able to wipe clean the memory of all the recent Twilight swill.

4.5 Death Stars out of 5

What do you think? How does Let Me In compare to the original version? Did Matt Reeves actually pull off a successful vampire movie? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine




One response

5 10 2010
Tom Baker

I haven’t seen the movie just yet and I don’t plan on seeing it until it comes out on DVD. I’m a die hard Let The Right One In fan and I’m skeptical about the merits of Let Me In. I am hoping to be proven wrong. I want this movie to be good. Good review.

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

%d bloggers like this: