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Let Me In is a remake of 2008’s Let The Right One In – a haunting, quiet film that instantly garnered international acclaim. Going in, I expected the Hollywood remake to be a completely butchered version of the Swedish original, but I was actually pleasantly surprised. There are a few small changes, some choppy CGI and slightly overdone special effects – but the overall mood, tone, and most of the pivotal scenes felt right. The film is grainy, dark, wet and cold, with lots of blue and white tones and blurry selective focus.

Let Me In centers on Owen (Kodi Smit-McPhee, The Road), a scrawny 12-year-old whose favorite activities include eating Now & Laters outside at night by himself, and spying on neighbors with his telescope. At home, his mother seems to be gone or passed out most of the time. At school, he is tormented by bullies. He imagines standing up to his bullies by stabbing a tree with a pocket knife, when he notices someone watching him. So he meets the mysterious Abby (Chloe Moretz, a.k.a Kick Ass‘ own Hit-Girl), who just moved in next door with her father (Richard Jenkins). She is not wearing any pants or shoes in the snow, smells funny, tells him they cannot be friends, and disappears.

We soon learn that Abby is a vampire, the man she is living with is not her father, and she says she is not really a girl. Complications, creepiness and some bad CGI ensue when Abby gets hungry and her caretaker, (who, as it’s suggested, was once in Owen’s shoes) fails to provide her with fresh blood.

This is not a vampire romance movie. This is a child who was made vampire against her will and is tortured by the need for human blood. Like Owen, she is really all alone in the world, so their fast friendship makes sense. Unlike Owen, she can rip people apart if need be. She can protect him. She gives him the confidence to stand up to those bullies – whose actions prove to be more monstrous than Abby’s, because while she is forced to kill to survive, they abuse him for fun.

Overall, I enjoyed this movie. The two child actors have already proven themselves in their previous work and they give pretty great performances here. However, for a slightly more raw and quiet experience, and a few really moving and disturbing scenes that didn’t make it to the American version – I would recommend checking out the original – available on Netflix Instant.

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