Let Me In (2010)
By: Victor Takac on April 12, 2011  | 
DVD
Icon | Region B | 2.40:1, 1080p | English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 | 115 minutes (Full Specs)
The Movie
Cover Art
Credits
Director: Matt Reeves
Starring: Kodi Smit-McPhee, ChloŰ Grace Moretz, Richard Jenkins, Elias Koteas
Screenplay: Matt Reeves
Country: UK / USA
External Links
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Truth be told, I made the mistake of going into Let Me In with unfair expectations. I had only seen a short trailer, yet I thought it would be an unnecessary remake of what is quite possibly one of my favourite vampire films of all time. After reading an interview with the Director, Matt Reeves where he described his film as "heightened genre" rather than a horror film, I immediately thought it was going to be a load of arrogant trash. After all, if a director is willing to insult the horror genre, whilst making a horror film, there's no way it can end well. Fortunately, Let Me In managed to surpass my expectations and wasn't nearly as horrible as one would expect from an Americanised remake.

The original setting of Stockholm is instead replaced by New Mexico, America, however there are enough similarities between these two settings to keep fans of Let the Right One In content. The snowy, sombre town is shot with a dull colour scheme very reminiscent of Tomas Alfredson's Blackeberg. Reeve's has obviously tried to do more than just film a horror film, and has created an unsettling atmosphere which plays off the often hostile environments. Each setting, be it Owen's (Kodi Smit-McPhee) school, or the park outside his house, tends to have an extremely unfriendly sense of air to it, which is how Reeves shows the viewer Owen's lonely and hostile childhood.

It is at this point that the appearance of Abby (Chloe Moretz) seems to excite Owen. The prospect of a new child in his neighbourhood is hopeful for him because she won't bully him like the rest of the kids at school. Like the original, the relationship and friendship between Abby and Owen is from here on explored as a metaphor for adolescence, but unlike Let the Right One In, it just doesn't seem to have as much emotional resonance. You can certainly see the young boys plight, but it's just hard to get emotionally attached to him. This in part due to the fact that the introduction to the boy's childhood isn't explored in the same way that Alfredson did in the original and it instead feels slightly formulaic.

It soon becomes clear that Abby and her caretaker seem to be hiding something. Disappearances and grisly deaths begin to gather the attention of the town's residents, while Owen starts to suspect that Abby isn't a normal girl. I would have liked for Abby's childhood to be explored a bit more, or at least hinted at. As it is, the viewer is supposed to understand that she is a vampire but Reeves fails to touch on certain aspects which the book that the films are based on, examines in depth. The original film at least managed to make brief nods towards the strange relationship between Abby and her caretaker.

Having said that, the stand out aspect of this film are the performances from Chloe Moretz and Kodi Smit-McPhee. Though both are considerably different from their Swedish counterparts, they provide performances worthy of extremely talented and experienced actors. There isn't a single moment in the entire film where the viewer doesn't believe that they really are the characters they portray. The fact that both actors provide such career defining performances at such a young age is incredible, and certainly makes Let Me In worth watching for that reason alone.

It's inevitable that Let Me In will be compared to its predecessor, which makes it unfortunate that it doesn't bring anything new to the table. This is largely due to the fact that there are times when it seems like a shot for shot remake. I'm not one to instantly dismiss a remake, but when it doesn't even try to do anything different to the original it enters the realm of pointlessness. Unfortunately there are far too many moments throughout Let Me In where this becomes all too apparent.
Video
Thankfully Icon have presented Let Me In in its original 2.40:1 Widescreen aspect ratio. The full HD on the Blu-Ray makes the film look extremely sharp and is definitely noticeable during the outdoor scenes. The snow falling in the foreground and background is just one example of the fantastic picture quality on this disc.
Audio
The 5.1 surround is fantastic, especially with the subdued score. The score begins effectively and fittingly, but as the movie progresses there are moments when it becomes almost comical and distracting. The main example of this is during the scene where the police officer is approaching Abby in her apartment.
Extra Features
There is a great deal of special features on this disc, including:

From the Inside: A 17 minute long 'making of' featurette with plenty of behind the scenes footage, and interesting interviews with the cast and crew. It's good to see the points of view of the two young actors in regards to the tone of the film.

The Art of Special Effects: This consists of several step-by-step comparisons of how many of the major special effects sequences were composed.

Car Crash Sequence: This is a run through of how the car crash sequence was filmed in a single shot with a voiceover explaining how everything was accomplished. This is quite in depth and informative, especially to those more technically inclined.

Picture In Picture - Dissecting Let Me In: This is a Blu-Ray exclusive which can be turned on while watching the film. Throughout the movie, parts of the 'making of' will come up on screen during appropriate moments. There are also quite a few additional interviews and facts that aren't in the 'Making of'.

Deleted Scenes: There are only three short deleted scenes here, none of which really add to the film in any way. Still interesting to see them, and a nice addition.

Poster And Still Gallery: The only thing of interest here are the few different versions of the Theatrical poster. The rest are just a handful of behind the scenes photos.
The Verdict
Movie Score
Disc Score
Overall Score
Let Me In is in many ways an inferior remake, though only because it has big shoes to fill. When constantly being compared to its predecessor, the film is going to be looked down on. Though if you take it out of context, and watch it not as a remake, but as an American vampire film, then it is extremely effective and quite a nice change from the recent Vampire nonsense that has been coming out. If you've seen the original, then there's nothing new here other than the exceptional performances, though it's always nice to watch as a comparison.

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