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Let Me In (Blu-ray / DVD)

Let Me In on Blu-ray and DVD (click for larger image)Reviewed by Uncle Creepy

Starring Chloe Moretz, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Richard Jenkins, Elias Koteas

Directed by Matt Reeves

Distributed by Anchor Bay Entertainment


The debate over remakes is seemingly endless, and there’s no middle ground. Some hate them, some love them, and in all honesty most kind of suck. For a remake to work, it needs to bring something new to the table while paying homage and respecting the source material that has come before it. At the very least someone may stumble upon a movie, find out it was a remake, and then dig up the original film. That’s never a bad thing. The original film here, Let the Right One In, was a pitch perfect cinematic telling of the vampiric tale written by John Ajvide Lindqvist. Fans embraced the foreign film immediately, and it has become a true favorite within the genre.

As expected, given its popularity, an Americanized remake wouldn’t be far behind, and before you could say bite me, word came that Matt Reeves (Cloverfield) would be directing and that the film would now be known as Let Me In. Immediately there was fan rage, public outcry, and overall confusion. Fears ran rampant. This had to suck, right? Wrong. Reeves’ Let Me In comes extremely close to matching the greatness of Tomas Alfredson’s first film adaptation and, more importantly, completely reveres Lindqvist’s book.

Let Me In on Blu-ray and DVD (click for larger image)For those of you living under a rock — in a nutshell and without giving away any spoilers — Let Me In is the tale of Abby (Moretz) and Owen (Smit-McPhee) and the unique bond which develops between the two. Both of them are outsiders and for the most part loners who together find happiness in each other. However, being that this is a horror tale, you can pretty much guess that their relationship is far from all sunshine and rainbows.

With Let Me In young Ms. Moretz proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that she is going to be an acting force to reckoned with and that Reeves is anything but a one-trick pony in terms of filmmaking ability. Nearly every scene is captivating and has the power to scare up some genuine chills. The only real issue to be had with the movie is that the use of CGI takes away from the intense subtlety of the film. Instead of shocking, some scenes come off as more distracting than anything else. Then there’s the infamous pool scene. Let Me In holds its own very well in terms of stacking up to what has come before it, but this? The main setpiece of the film? It all feels semi-rushed and somewhat forced. Still, those things do not take away from the overall experience of what ended up being one of the year’s best horror films.

The Blu-ray looks simply amazing, and the Dolby 5.1 TrueHD soundtrack will knock you straight on your ass. The DVD will do if you don’t have the tech, but really, people. Blu-ray players are fairly inexpensive right now. I was apprehensive at first, too, but I’m so glad I took the dive. You will be also.

Let Me In on Blu-ray and DVD (click for larger image)In terms of supplemental material each package sports the same stuff with the exception of the Blu-ray exclusive Dissecting Let Me In Picture-in-Picture track, which sprinkles in the extra bits while the movie itself plays. When sifting through the goodies, one thing becomes refreshingly apparent: Everything, from Matt Reeves’ commentary to every single featurette present and accounted for (of which there are three spanning from around seventeen minutes to about five minutes each), shows that the people behind this flick actually gave a shit about where it came from and what they were doing here. They took responsibility to make it good and please not only the fans but Lindqvist himself, who calls the film “a beautiful piece of cinema and a respectful rendering of [his] novel, [for which he] is grateful“. Could you ask for a better stamp of approval than that?

Once you’re done with the commentary and the featurettes, there are also three deleted scenes, a poster and trailer gallery, and even a collectible comic book with an exclusive cover designed by award-winning comic book artist Sean Phillips. Really good stuff. If the featurettes were just a bit longer and more in-depth, this would have been a near perfect package.

Let Me In pulls off the impossible by defying the odds and kicking a copious amount of ass. It’s a remake done completely right and beyond that a movie you simply must have in your collection. Leave your apprehensions at the door and jump in … the blood is nice and warm.

Special Features:

  • Audio commentary with director Matt Reeves
  • From the Inside: A Look at the Making-of Let Me In featurette
  • The Art of Special F/X featurette
  • Car Crash Sequence Step-by-Step featurette
  • Dissecting Let Me In Picture-in-Picture Blu-ray exclusive
  • Deleted scenes
  • Poster gallery
  • Trailer gallery
  • Digital copy
  • Comic book pack-in

    Film:

    4 1/2 out of 5

    Special Features:

    4 out of 5

    Discuss Let Me In in our Dread Central forums!

  • Steve Barton

    You're such an inspiration for the ways that I will never, ever choose to be.

    12 Comments

    1. I’m 100% on the same page as Creepy. I said it when I first saw it, and I’ll say it again, this is definately one of the better remakes to come out in the last decade. I’ll be adding the Bluray to my collection.

      People bitch when a movie is a carbon copy and the same clowns bitch if it’s too different. You just can’t fucking win. Let Me In perfectly walked the line and didn’t stray too far into either direction. It took the basic story, tweeked it, and actually made it better in my eyes (with the exception of the horrible CGI which took me out of the film). I loved the fact Abby was more evil in this version and clearly preying on the emotional connections she makes with those suckers needed to help her. The car crash was amazing and I couldn’t give a fuck less about the dickless crotch shot. It wasn’t necessary in the least.

      Let Me In is a solid 4/5.

    2. Great review for a great film. Seems like the other comments here are there just to be contrary. This is one remake they didn’t fuck up. Its HARDLY a tween-friendly film, nor is it a direct shot for shot of the original. HOW exactly is this “watered down” from the Swedish version? Some sequences are actually MORE graphic. Not only that, but the girl in this version is much more evil, and its alluded to even more in this version that she intends for the boy to be her servant. How is that watering it down for a teen audience? If that was their intention, they never even would have gone for an R rating. The other comment’s Rob Zombie comparison is even more baffling.

      The tone in this version is a lot more grim, while the original is more of a sweet fairy tale/fantasy. Both are fantastic, artful movies with their own subtitles to make them stand on their own feet as different films.

      Even the author of the novel thought this version was just as good, if not better than the Swedish version.

      And the car crash in this movie was one of the best, most well staged sequences in any film of 2010.

      • You just described the Rob Zombie connection for me with the words, “more graphic, grim, and evil”. All of the beauty and subtlety was stripped away in favor of a more brutal, ugly tone. The pool sequence, which was one of the most cheer-worthy moments from the original, was reduced to a frenetic piece of shit devoid of all impact. Aka the Zombie treatment. And the character of Abby is no longer someone worthy of the audience’s sympathy.

        As for your denial that the remake wasn’t shot for shot, I suggest you rewatch the original. The score sucked ass too.

        • More graphic does not = Rob Zombie. When I think Rob Zombie, I think putting a Tobe Hooper redneck sensibility in everything, which Let Me In did not. And its not like Let Me In was a gore fest or anything, it just had a little more of the red stuff. As for it being darker in tone, that’s just what sets it apart from the Swedish version. So you’re complaining that it was too different and that it was too similar all at once, which makes no sense. Which was it?

          I guess Cronenberg gave the Fly the Rob Zombie treatment too, huh?

    3. One thing I like about you, Creepy is that you’re one generous gent. I still don’t see why horror fans continue fapping to this movie. It’s a watered down, bland, and lethargic remake turned in to a conventional boy meets girl story to appeal to Twilight fans. It adds nothing to the genre. 2.5 out of 5 knives at best.
      ———-
      “We are bad guys. That means we’ve got more to do other than bullying companies. It’s fun to lead a bad man’s life.”

    4. I strongly disagree with Creepy on this one. This remake was just about as unambitious as 99% of all the other dull remakes that get released nowadays. My discontent mainly stems from the scene-for-scene replication and the underwhelming means by which they were shot. Everything that was great about the original was copied but executed in a more hardcore, lame-ass, Rob Zombie like fashion.

      And as good as the two lead actors are, I didn’t really believe that they couldn’t do without each other.

      • “Let Me In” is that horror film for people who like to have their hands held through horror films. “Let the Right One In” had ambiguity and overtones, strong taboo undertones, and the like. This one just watered down the content and turned everything in to one big conventional horror flick with an indie gloss. I’m still not seeing why movie geeks are so hard for this.
        ———-
        “We are bad guys. That means we’ve got more to do other than bullying companies. It’s fun to lead a bad man’s life.”

        • I fail to see how amping up a couple of the horrific elements of the story makes it more conventional or “watered down” (isn’t watered down the OPPOSITE of “more horrific”?)

          And this movie has just as much ambiguity as the Swedish movie. All that’s missing was the crotch shot, which wasn’t even necessary in the original. The girl not being a girl is even present in the remake. Not watered down at all.

          • So because they amp up the horrific elements according to you that makes it better? Nah. “Let Me In” is the byproduct of an easily pleased and easily satisfied audience. “Hey it didn’t suck, so that must mean it’s good!” Right. Still a shallow remake turned in to a conventional story for easily satisfied American audiences.
            ———-
            “We are bad guys. That means we’ve got more to do other than bullying companies. It’s fun to lead a bad man’s life.”

            • I never said it made it “better,” I said that its the opposite of the terminology you used (“watered down”). Sorry, but I fail to see how this movie is more shallow than the original. It hits every story beat, pretty much just as subtlety as the original. The only major difference is this one’s bleaker tone, which hardly makes it more shallow. This is a great movie that goes very well with the Swedish version. Even the author of the novel thought this movie did everything justice.

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