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.
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.
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.
4 1/2 out of 5
4 out of 5
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