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The Independent Critic

STARRING
Chloe Moretz, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Richard Jenkins
DIRECTED BY
Matt Reeves
SCREENPLAY
Matt Reeves, John Ajvide Lindqvist
MPAA RATING
Rated R
RUNNING TIME
115 Mins.
DISTRIBUTED BY
Overture Films
DVD EXTRAS
Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Matt Reeves
From the Inside: A Look at the Making of LET ME IN
The Art of Special Effects, Crash Sequence Step-by-Step
Blu-ray Exclusive: Dissecting LET ME IN
Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary by Writer/Director Matt Reeves
Trailer Gallery, Poster & Still Gallery
 "Let Me In" Review 
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Let Me In, Hollywood's adaptation of a 2008 Swedish film, seals the deal with co-lead Chloe Moretz serving up a mature way beyond her years performance as Abby, a young girl who moves next door to Owen (Kodi Smit-McPhee), a young boy who is brutally bullied at school in ways that are nothing short of dehumanizing and humiliating. Even though Abby announces that she can never be Owen's friend, it is apparent quite early on that these two are meant to connect on whatever level they are able.

While Let Me In isn't quite a note for note adaptation of 2008's acclaimed Let the Right One In, it is a reverent adaptation consistent in tone and structure to its predecessor. Director Matt Reeves (Cloverfield) paces the film almost painstakingly, giving Let Me In an almost overwhelming somber feeling that is constant yet never lacks in authenticity. D.P. Greig Fraser paints the film in shades of blue and gray, giving the film a feeling similar to what can be best described as emotionally immersed in the experiences of these two characters.

Both Moretz and Smit-McPhee have proven themselves able to handle heavy material before, Moretz with Kick-Ass and Smit-McPhee with the even darker and drearier The Road from last year. Here, the two young performers create what is easily one of the year's most intimate dramas, a film that so ridiculously outshines the Twilight films that they barely deserve to be mentioned in the same review.

For those of you who profess to love vampire films, Let Me In is a must see film, a darkly loving, gory and tense film in which the tale of Abby is told with an uncomfortable mix of respect and remorse recognizing the centuries long desperation that companions a vampire for whom the lust for blood is ever present and the equally companioning failure to connect on any meaningful level is all encompassing. To say that Moretz masters this role would be an understatement, Moretz offers an award-worthy performance that is sadly unlikely to be recognized given the nature of the film and the extreme unlikelihood that any organization offering awards, outside of the horror genre, would recognize a young performer in an R-rated film of this nature. It's a pity, because Moretz embodies Abby with what can only be described as a kick as mix of bravado and vulnerability, fractured longing and soul searching.

Smit-McPhee, as well, is a heartbreaking picture of a wounded soul as the young boy who becomes the chaste companion to a "girl" who becomes confidante, protector and, in a non-sexual yet stunningly intimate sense, lover. Smit-McPhee builds this character with such care, giving us a young man whose very existence seems to be fodder for the taunting of others. It's a tragic yet tender performance made all the more powerful due to his marvelous chemistry with Moretz.

Richard Jenkins, in a part initially rumored to be taken by Philip Seymour Hoffman, balances nicely the role of Abby's Familiar and, surprisingly, Reeves' interpretation is actually a touch more faithful to the original literary source upon which the film is based. While he initially presents as Abby's father, it becomes quickly obvious that he's much more than that and, for the most part, he is growing increasingly weary in his own role as her protector, feeder and constant companion.

While Let Me In may not please those who crave the usual Americanized non-stop gorefests disguised as motion pictures, the film will undoubtedly prove satisfying to those who profess to be hardcore fans of the sub-genre of vampire flicks and, as well, anyone who embraced the 2008 original films.

In addition to Fraser's stellar camera work, a surprising Michael Giacchino (Up) gives the film an original score that parallels the original film and companions the film to near perfection.

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic 
    The Official Rating Guideline
    • A+ to A: 4 Stars                
    • A- to B+: 3.5 Stars            
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    • B- to C+: 2.5 Stars           
    • C: 2 Stars
    • C- to D+: 1.5 Stars
    • D: 1 Star
    • D-: .5 Star
    • F: Zero Stars

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