Let Me In features two of the strongest lead performances I can recall which
is all the more surprising giving the leads ages.
Let Me In is an adaptation of both the novel and screenplay by John Ajvide Lindqvistof's Let The Right One In, and is both written and directed by Matt Reeves who’s most notable previous work was Cloverfield and has since directed the fantastic Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Whilst I am no fan of Twilight, its advent has allowed for a number of vampire films that I find myself to have thoroughly enjoyed such as Only Lovers Left Alive and Byzantium. All of which are films that seemingly where only made possible by the extraordinary success the Twilight films achieved in spite of their own qualities. So is Let Me In another triumph or does it suffer the same fate as a lesser quality vampire film.
Let Me in is a film about the difficulties of adolescence and follows the young boy Owen who is relentlessly bullied at school and has not real support from home where his parents who are divorced are to busy with other matters to even notice the issues Owen is facing, let alone help him with them. Which is where Abby comes in, having recently moved into the same apartment complex as Owen she senses his loneliness and for 'questionable' reasons decides to befriend Owen. This is where Let Me In quickly differentiates itself from other films as it develops into what is a far more complex narrative then we usually see in genre films such as this as characters both young and old are well realized and have numerous reasons for their actions. At its core however Let Me In remains a film about isolation, adolescence and love.
Let Me In is one of the darkest films in recent memory and will test
even the best of displays.
Performances are simply sublime and the two child leads give far better performances then the overwhelming majority of films and are amongst the best performances I have seen let alone those by children/teenagers. The supporting cast for the most part has less to work with but are similarly impressive and the whole film is cloaked in darkness that whilst gorgeous will test even the best of displays to faithfully replicate the intended appearance. As expected from Michael Giacchino the score is similarly ominous with bursts of beauty that superbly enhances the film without becoming overwhelming or aggressive.
The main issue I expected I may have is that the film is strikingly similar to the Swedish film Let The Right One In, which whilst not entirely unexpected given that they are not only both based on the same source material but Let Me In is also based on the screenplay for the Swedish film, it was still worrisome given the .poor track record of American remakes of foreign films. At a cursory glance those familiar with Let The Right One In will find numerous shoots in the trailers for Let Me In that closely resemble one another and as one may expect the stories in both films are strikingly similar. However whilst there are certainly elements that closely resemble on another the two films are notably different. Most notably is the characters growth throughout the film being different to those in the original film and book. Likewise unlike the 'original' film, Let Me In remains aggressive and horrific throughout its entire proceedings (which ties in nicely with the leads perception of violence as the film progresses).
At it's core Let Me In is a film about isolation, the terrors of adolescence and love. Put simply Let Me In should not be missed and comes with my highest recommendation.