Let Me In

‘Let Me In’ was being critically analysed the day that Hammer announced it was to re-imagine its Swedish cousin ‘Let the Right One In’. The news was especially hard for me to understand as the near perfect Let the Right one in was only just hitting Australian cinemas.
My apprehensions eased slightly when a cast of Kodi Smit Mcphee, Chloe Moretz, Richard Jenkins and Elias Koutas was announced. Although I still wasn’t interested in an American remake there were/are no better actors to take over the much-loved characters from Let The Right One In.

Let Me In director Matt Reeves (Cloverfield) has taken a very similar approach to Let the Right One In, nearly scene for scene. Which is admirable considering the love for the Swedish original, but it makes it nearly impossible not to compare the two films. The frozen Swedish landscapes have changed to a US equivalent and Owen and Abby have replaced Oscar and Eli but John Ajvide Lindqvist’s original story remains relatively intact for American audiences.

12-year-old Owen (Kodi Smit Mcphee) is a loner and is struggling to find his place in the world. Bullies constantly torment him at school, sometimes quite violently and home life isn’t much better as he is seemingly lost in the middle of his parents divorce. Owen finds a friend and someone to bond with after the arrival of Abby (Chloe Moretz) to his apartment complex. Abby is a mysterious young girl who only seems to come out at night and her arrival seems to have been accompanied by a string of ‘cult’ murders in the area. Saying anymore would ruin the film and besides,
Let Me In at its heart is about these two loners bonding and helping each other through their troubled existences.

I have no doubt that Kodi Smit Mcphee and Chloe Moretz make Let Me In a great stand alone film. Both are perfectly suited for the roles, Owens sadness and innocence and Abbys other worldliness and maturity. Richard Jenkins also fits Abby’s ‘father’ perfectly although I found his character in Let Me In to be less engaging than his Let the Right One In counterpart. Elias Koutas Sherriff replaces the ‘drunk neighbours’ from LTROI, Koutas’s character is a welcome inclusion but his final scene leaves a bad taste and isn’t handled appropriately in the context of the story or LTROI. Nor is Abby’s ‘other side’ portrayal, which was handled perfectly and masterfully in the original, while here it is really bungled and misses the mark entirely.

Let Me Ins biggest flaw is also its biggest asset, Reeves playing it so close to the original is sure to please fans of the Let the Right One In and the genre, but it is impossible not to compare this film to its Swedish counterpart and Let the Right One In is simply superior in every way.

Verdict. Worth Seeing. Let Me In is a great stand alone film and quite an amazing horror remake in its own right. It is worth watching but its Swedish original Let the Right One In is a must see.

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