Childhood can be a very difficult part of a person’s life. A family usually has such high expectations and aspirations for their children. You have to deal with leaving the house to go to school, try and make friends with the other kids at school and possibly deal with bullies. Now imagine you were cursed to be a child for all eternity, and a vampire child at that. Would you be able to handle such a life? Would your mind always be that of a child? How would you care for yourself? Could you trust anyone enough to be friends or would your thirst for blood alienate you from all humanity and contact? These are just some of the questions I asked myself while watching the new film “Let Me In”.
This is a remake of the Swedish film “Let the Right One In” that was released in 2008. I saw the original about eight months ago and thought it was a fascinating foreign horror film that puts a new spin and perspective on a vampire tale. Did this original film need to be remade? Absolutely not, but since it was and I enjoyed the original, I wanted to see how this tale is told through the lens of an American film maker. This American remake was directed by Matt Reeves who’s only other film credits as director is “Cloverfield”.
The story revolves around Owen, a young boy who is prone to being bullied. Owen doesn’t have many friends and spends a lot of his time alone. He lives with his mother and it seems that his father is not in the picture as they never show or mention him. His life seems pretty solitary until he meets his new neighbor Abby. They meet out on the playground of their apartment complex. It’s snowing outside and Abby approaches Owen only wearing shorts and a shirt. No shoes. No coat. Not much to keep her warm. He questions her about this and she just states that she doesn’t get cold. Thus begins the brief and unique friendship of Owen and Abby.
Although they really don’t spend much time together, they connect and seem to be kindred souls. Both of them are always alone, they are both quiet and have difficulties at home. Owen lives with his mom and Abby seems to only live with an older man, though what their relationship is we don’t know. The bond they have formed through their similarities bring about a turn of events I’m sure neither of them could have predicted or anticipated. Wait until you see what they will do to keep their friendship.
It’s hard to discuss this film without completely ruining the experience for those who don’t know much about the plot or who have not seen the original. This is one of the few remakes I’ve seen that actually is equal in quality to the original film or source material. I don’t think I could pick a favorite between the original and this film. I would recommend both of them equally. This is a vampire film unlike anything I’ve ever seen, and it will give you the unique perspective of the vampire world as lived by a child.
J.Chandler : A-
Many cultures around the world have ghost stories, myths, fables and tall tales. Whether or not these stories are based on any real events or evidence is anyone’s guess. What if you heard a story that said the devil takes human form from time to time to collect the souls of those who have done wrong and feel no remorse for their actions? Would you believe this story or just chalk it up to stories told round the campfire. This is the premise of the new film “Devil” which is based on a story by M. Night Shyamalan.
M. Night Shyamalan has been in a slump for the past few years. His movies have been less and less interesting and the stories have been nothing to write home about. So, going into this movie I was a little skeptical, but still interested because some of his films have been amazing and I was hoping to see a return to form. This movie is only based on a story that he came up with and is the first concept of his that he has not directed himself. Surprisingly enough, this might be the reason that I actually enjoyed this movie.
Like I said before, this movie is about the devil returning in human form to capture the souls of those who have done wrong and feel no remorse. The people that he is coming for get trapped in an elevator and one of them turns out to be the devil. Little do they know that not only is the devil among them, but there is a connection between them and the people that are trying to save them from the elevator. What is fascinating most about this film is the interconnection between all of the characters. There is a common thread that runs among almost all of the characters that is slowly revealed throughout the film that really kept my attention.
None of the performances really stood out to me, but in a way that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The acting comes second in this film to the story itself. That’s a bold thing to say about a horror film, but in this case I think it’s appropriate. It’s not about the scares, but about belief in things that most people think unbelievable. There were moments that made me jump and set my nerves on edge, but that’s what I look for in a good horror film.
Is this the best film you’ll see this year? No, definitely not. However if you are a fan of the horror genre, you might want to give this one a chance. I certainly enjoyed this film far more than M. Night Shyamalan’s “Lady in the Water”, “The Village” and “The Happening” which were all terrible to me. October is about to start and if you want to start getting into the Halloween spirit, you might want to go and check this out. After you see it, you may be weary of elevators and wonder if you’ve done anything that might warrant the Devil to come looking for you.
J.Chandler : B-