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Methodical Movies

Let Me In: An interesting addition to the vampire movie genre

After seeing the movie trailer by accident on YouTube, I knew that I would see Let Me In as soon as it hit theaters. It looked like a different kind of vampire movie and that intrigued me. And it was a different kind of vampire movie, but not in the way I was expecting. After leaving the movie theater, I could only think “That was interesting.” If you walk into the movie theater expecting a “vampire” movie, as I did, I think you will be somewhat disappointed. Let Me In, an American remake of the Swedish novel and movie Let The Right One In, is about more than the vampire myth; sure, the vampire in this movie is wonderfully vicious when hungry (nothing sparkly about her), but her being a vampire is secondary to the plot. The relationship between Abby, played by Chloe Moretz, and Owen, played by Kodi Smit-McPhee, is the focal point of the film.

Owen is a troubled character dealing with stereotypical parents, who are more focused on their divorce than with what is going on with their son. Being tormented and bullied at school; Owen is extremely lonely and is on an emotional or mental breakdown. The director did a good job showing the parents and their detachment from Owen. In one scene, Owen and his mother are sitting at the dinner table and while you could see him in focus, the mother was out of focus. The father is never seen, but heard over the phone; he was nothing more than a voice. This helps to set the lonely tone surrounding Owen, so when Abby enters the story, it was perfect timing; Owen had no one he could talk to or relate to. Abby, odd and awkward, seems as lonely as Owen so it makes sense for these two to develop a bond.

The relationship between Abby and her caretaker, played by Richard Jenkins, is interesting to watch. When the two characters enter the movie, their relationship is in transition. The man is growing tired, resentful of his responsibility to Abby. Their interactions are tense throughout the movie.

As the film moves along, it was easy to see where the relationship between Abby and Owen was heading. So the last scene was no surprise, but I was left feeling unsettled. Perhaps the unsettled feeling is due to the fact that I know what is going to happen even after the credits start rolling. If you see the movie, you’ll have an understanding of what I’m saying here.

Overall, I would not say that Let Me In is a must-see movie. Am I mad that I spent money to see it? No. That said, I think others can wait for DVD, Netflix, Video on Demand, whatever viewing options are available. I would give the movie a B- or C+. This could be due to the fact that I went into the theater thinking that this movie would still have a “good versus evil” aspect, even though it appeared different from the usual vampire movie. You know, the good guys fighting the bad vampire? But that isn’t the case here because I walked away from the movie not feeling that Abby was the villain. I’m not sure that there is a “villain” here. This movie did, however, make me want to read the novel (Let The Right One In). I also plan on watching the original movie. Maybe something I will be more receptive. Because of my expectations, I can say that Let Me In wasn’t a terrible movie, it wasn’t a spectacular movie. It just was.

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Oh what a day…

October 2010
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