The Flick Chicks

Judy Thorburn's Movie Reviews

Let Me In

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Let Me In

Forget the Twilight franchise with its wooden acting and slow moving storyline. If you really want to see a good, worthwhile tale about the love connection between a human and a vampire, then don't miss 'Let Me In' which reverses the genders. The Twilight stars can also learn a lesson or two about real acting from the young stars of this new film.

'Let Me In' is a remake of the 2008 Swedish horror film 'Let the Right One In' that was released with subtitles in the United States. Unfortunately, I have not yet seen the original (based on the novel by John Ajvide Lindqvist) which garnered rave reviews, but judging this film version on its own merits, witer/director Matt Reeves (Cloverfield) has meticulously crafted one of the best films of 2010.

The location has been moved from Sweden to Los Alamos, New Mexico and is set during the Reagan era of 1983 with occasional references about good and evil, which we soon find out may not be so cut and dry.

The story centers on Owen (Kodi Smit-McPhee, the son in 'The Road') an emaciated looking 12 year old boy who appears like he is not only hungry for food, but attention and love, as the result of a broken home. Owen lives with his depressed mother (played by Cara Bueno, whose face is always obscured) in an apartment where he spends much of his time alone in the complex playground or in his room fantasizing with a knife about seeking revenge against the bullies at school led by malicious Kenny (Dylan Minnette) who repeatedly torment him both psychologically and physically.

Soon, the young outcast comes in contact with a mysterious barefooted young girl named Abby (Chloe Grace Moretz) that moves into the complex with an older man (the wonderful character actor, Richard Jenkins, whose work once again looks effortless) thought to be her father. One cold night, Owen meets Abby in the snow covered playground, and although she perks Owen's interest, Abby warns him they could never be friends. That is because she harbors a deadly secret. Proving that appearances can be deceiving, unbeknownst to Owen, Abby is a centuries old vampire with the uncontrollable need to feed on human blood to survive. It is up to her “father” to go out at night on a regular basis to seek, kill and drain the blood of innocent victims to quench her appetite. As the result of the gruesome murders, a crime investigation is set in motion led by an unnamed detective (Elias Kotias) who thinks the ritualistic killings are committed by a satanist. But, after something goes terrible wrong during one of her “old man's” killing sprees, Abby is forced to fend for herself and go on a night hunt to satisfy the hunger.

Meanwhile, a codependent relationship slowly but surely develops between Owen and Abby, drawing them closer and closer together. Both have a deep, yet different, hunger that needs to be filled. Their budding connection is the heart and soul of the movie and director Reeves illicits stellar, Oscar worthy performances from his two young leads whose facial expressions and subtle nuances speak volumes. Moretz, who stole the outrageous, funny superhero comedy Kick Ass, is brilliant as the sweet looking preteen incapable of quelling her vicious, blood sucking nature within. No disrespect to the very talented Dakota Fanning, but I think Moretz is the most gifted young movie actress to come along since Jodie Foster and I expect her career to skyrocket. I can't wait to see what role she takes on next.

Other than the less than credible CGI effects employed showing Abby unleashing her monstrous powers upon her unsuspecting victims, every aspect of this stylish vampire horror tale/love story is superb including the score by Michael Giacchino, and dark, dreary and ominous atmosphere befitting to the mood and perfectly setting the tone.

No doubt, over the years there have been countless films about vampires, but 'Let Me In' is a different and unusual story that is like nothing I have seen before. More than letting me in, I was drawn into this haunting, beautifully acted thriller, one of the few movies this year that shouldn't be missed.