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-