Knock, Knock -- Who's There?
In the past few years we have been inundated with "vampire" films and TV shows. There are the romantic Twilight types and the satirical and comedic ones. It seems when it comes to vampire stories there is nothing new left under the sun. Wrong! Let Me In is a new film that smashes the concepts of what vampire movies are supposed to be and have become. It is based on the 2008 Swedish film Let the Right One In and opens up that film's story to a much broader audience.
Owen (Kodi Smit-McPhee) is a lonely twelve year old boy living in Los Alamos, New Mexico. His parents are divorced and he lives in an apartment complex with his mother. He hates school because his life there is made miserable by the class bully Kenny (Dylan Minnette).
One night he sees a girl and her father moving into the apartment next to his. Later he meets the girl and learns her name is Abby (Chloe Grace Moretz). She is a little reclusive but they become friends. She is also twelve years old but as she says she has "been twelve for a very long time."
The film dwells on the unlikely friendship between this strange young girl and the lonely boy. It is a fascinating story that unfolds slowly but in a totally interesting way. Owen suspects Abby might be a vampire but he is so taken with her that it doesn't matter. Plus she seems more a protective force than a danger to him.
Both Smit-McPhee and Moretz are amazing in this film. He has the perfect look and demeanor to play the put upon young boy. His character's relationship with Abby is tentative and awkward as it should be. As Abby, Moretz is mysterious and eerie. She unfolds the secrets of Abby's past with hesitation which again is perfect for the part. Minnette is menacing and hateful as the school bully, projecting terror with just a look.
Richard Jenkins and Elias Koteas are the two adults in the film and add solid support with their performances. Still the movie belongs to the two young actors and they make it the entertainment success that it is.
The movie is rated R for violence and profanity.
Hopefully, not that many people will have seen the Swedish version of this story. Let Me In needs to be seen with no preconceived notions or ideas about what is about to transpire. The implications of the story will stay with you long after the film has ended. There is the whole issue of the sexual connotations which are never shown in this movie but lurk silently behind the scene.
Let Me In is a dramatic and strangely moving story about a girl who is a vampire, and the young boy who befriends her. It is an intelligent and beautifully acted film that should gain a wide audience as people learn of its entertainment impact.
I scored "Let Me In" an open doored 7 out of 10.
Jackie K Cooper
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