Before you roll your eyes and yell at me for not reviewing the original, let me direct you to another excellent review of both the original LET THE RIGHT ONE IN and LET ME IN, by one of our recent guest posters, Albert Muller. He wrote an impassioned piece about both films that is absolutely fantastic and you can read it HERE. I agree with every word of his review right down to slightly preferring the remake over the original for personal reasons. Additionally, for the purposes of this series, to review both on the heels of Muller's piece teeters on overkill. LET ME IN was already at the top of my list for this series before I read Muller's and I chose to not cut it, because of how highly I regard the film and how much I wanted to write about it too. I think there's enough room in the world for heaping piles of praise on a good movies anyway.
Directed by Matt Reeves, who loved both the original film and the book it was based on, LET ME IN
LET ME IN, at heart, is a coming of age story of friendship between two outsiders. The vampire angle adds that level of tension and visual interest that sets the movie apart from a normal character drama. It's rarely excessive, even in an intense attack scene where we see Abby (Moretz) attack and kill a man in a tunnel-which is one of the film's most startling moments- Reeves is able to ramp up the tension with subtly, where most horror films would take the viewer into more visceral territory. Not that the film is lacking blood and gore, it's just doled out in a methodical pace, making those scenes more horrific, where they could have been cartoonish.
LET ME IN is such a lovely, slow burn descent into both friendship and the horrors the world lays
The winter setting itself is almost a character in the film. Every out door shot really telegraphs just how frigid it is and may also be seen as a metaphor for Owen's life. Especially, the frozen loneliness of the playground at night where he encounters Abby. Before she appears to him, Owen is like the moon, alone in the cold darkness (Muller also notes a reference to the moon, just pointing that out lest one thinks I lifted an idea). Reeves and company did a great job with the setting and bringing the winter chill into the audiences' theater/home. I've rarely found a movie so engrossing that even the sets can trigger emotions and physical reactions.