Early Review for ‘Let Me In’

Published 5 years ago by

Let Me In Early Review for Let Me In

Cinema Blend has received a review from one of their “longtime, utterly reliable” sources of the upcoming American remake of the hit 2008 Swedish film Let the Right One In, now titled, Let Me In.

Given the details unveiled about in this early critique of Let Me In, it sounds as though the writer did in fact see the film at a secret test screening this week.  Mind you, this article will be essentially devoid of spoilers – as is the review in fact – but those not wanting to know ANYTHING about this new vampire/horror film from director Matt Reeves (Cloverfield) are warned to not read on.

According to the review, the basic plot of Let Me In is all but identical to that of Let the Right One In.  As such, the movie revolves around a young boy (Kodi Smit-McPhee) who is bullied by his peers and largely ignored by his single mother.  He eventually befriends what appears at first glance to be a young girl (Kick-Ass‘s Chloe Moretz) but is in fact a much older vampire, forever trapped in the body of an adolescent female.

let me in moretz smit mcphee Early Review for Let Me In

Moritz and Smit-McPhee in Let Me In

Although the setting shifts from Sweden to New Mexico, Let Me In reportedly retains the snowy winter landscape and 1980s setting of Let the Right One In.  It additionally recreates several scenes from the Swedish film almost shot-for-shot, including that of a revealing exchange between the two leads that involves a Rubix cube (see above).  Thankfully, the film also remains true to traditional vampire lore in that Moretz’s blood-sucking creature cannot be exposed to sunlight nor enter a home without invitation.

So, how does Let Me In distinguish itself from its Swedish predecessor?  According to the reviewer, the American film’s mise-en-scène – which is the pretentious man’s way of saying visual design icon wink Early Review for Let Me In – is much more subjective and tends to “put the audience’s focus entirely on the main character most of the time.  You won’t find yourself wandering in the background or caring about characters that are only there because they have to be, like [Smit-McPhee's character's] mother.”

Let me in moretz Early Review for Let Me In

So what is the early consensus on Let Me In?  Well, here’s how the reviewer put it in their own words:

“It’s a taut, thrill ride that will have you going from jumping with fright to heart tugging compassion.  It’s visually arresting too, even run of the mill scenes being more interesting by putting the camera in the action rather than watching it from the sidelines… There are no missteps in this remake.  Every part is essential.  ‘Let Me In’ is a suspense movie of the type we rarely see here in America.  It grabs your attention and keeps your interest right up to the end, while doing a great job of telling an unusual vampire story.”

For more, including some slightly spoilerish bits about specific scenes in the film, you can read the full review by clicking HERE.

Am I personally onboard for this remake yet?  Well, some of the concerns I expressed in my post about the first images from the film remain but – if this review is indeed accurate – it at least sounds like Let Me In could be a decent vampire tale in its own right.

What do you think?  Did this review get you excited for the remake?  Does it sound like the filmmakers are on the right track?  Sound off in the comments section below.

Let Me In will arrive in theaters in the U.S. on October 1st, 2010.

Source: Cinema Blend

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  1. “Let the Right One In” is one of my favorite vampire flicks of all-time. I’m looking forward to this with guarded anticipation. I hope they really did do make a good movie and not a hack-job of a remake, like usual.

    • Wendell- My thoughts exactly. ;)

  2. I hope this has the emotion like the original. I didn’t see it as a straight vamp movie. In a way it was romantic and sad all at the same time. I think they casted it right but I’m hoping this is great. Probably unwatched by many cause it will be too smart for some.

  3. Spoiler ahead if you haven’t seen the original film.

    Uh, what about the part where it is revealed that the “little girl” is actually a little boy? I wonder if that would be translated into this version… To me, that was the most disturbing part of the entire movie, not any of the blood stuff, that was fine, lol.

    • Ken J – Well, that’s kind of a spoiler-ish detail, so I left it out of my article. But yes, I am curious about whether or not Let Me In will include that bit. Or the bit about the young boy being obsessed with fantasies of murder-happy revenge.

      • I’m sorry, I thought this was for people who have seen the original. If you can edit my comment, can you add a “SPOILER WARNING” thing on there so I don’t spoil it for anyone??

        • @ken j

          spoiler ahead for those who haven’t seen the original
          One thing that actually took me out of the film completely was the swimming intructor, not sure if you noticed this but he was speaking spanish… It was just wierd. I’ve seen like 3 different versions of that movie and in all of them he’s speaking spanish. I’m guessing maybe its one of those teachers that teaches two things at a time… Swimming and spanish maybe ? Also hopefully they show the scene with the kid getting hit with the stick in the face… That was hilarious.
          End of spoilers

      • Nope. She’s not a boy. Castration and youthful homosexuality were deemed too much for American audiences.

        • Too bad the American audiences wouldn’t realize that the relationship between Oscar and Eli has nothing to do with sexuality.

          • Sad when people have to simplify things with generalizations in order for their arguments to make sense…

            • That’s exactly what I was thinking Ken J.

    • Seen the original how was she a he when there was no genitalia at all? And please don’t say tucked cuz I rewound that part several times to get over my wtf is this moment.

      • ****SPOILER ALERT****


        It wasn’t that she had male genitalia, in the scene where she was changing, and the boy takes a peek, he sees her genitalia, but instead of a vagina, you see basically nothing in between her legs except a horizonal scar. I knew it had to have significance, so I looked it up online for input from people who have read the book, and in the book, the explanation for that was that she was actually a little boy that had his “junk” cut off while he was really young right before being turned into a vampire. Then he started pretending to be a little girl so he can make men, like the guy in the beginning and the boy that is the main character, do things for her.

    • In the original novel, which some say is a deep allegory for the political/social history of Sweden during the Cold War, Eli and her ambiguous sexuality are said to have some deep allegorical meaning related to the notion of America, Britain and the Soviet Union.

      …Or so the critics say. In the movie, it was a truly jarring moment. They can stand to leave it out of the remake – Chloe Moretz has shocked us enough for one year, I think (See: Kick-Ass).

      • I suspect i don’t understand what they mean by that although I believe that such an allegory are percieved from a foreign non-swedish perspective.

        In the book it all happens during the wisky-submarine crisis. a point when Sweden and the Sovjet union were at the brink of war(well as far as we’ve gone). And i think it might be a time many swedes who experienced it remember as a time of big uncertainty(sort of like our cuban crisis).

        I think it might be a way for the author to connect the story to reality. Making us remember what we did at the time and imagining this to have occured then.
        In all making the story more plausable and real.

        The notion of ambiguous sexuality somehow connected to superpowers seems a bit farfetched though. And i don’t think America or Britain is even mentioned in the book.

  4. After seeing Chloe playing Hit Girl, I now feel confident she will pull this off. She stole every scene in Kick Ass, now she will be the intended focal point of the film. Even in the original, Eli was the focus for me because I did not know what to expect from a preteen vampire. In response to an earlier comment, until I read the book, her sex identity felt mysterious. I’m glad they did not explicitly reveal it in the movie. When I read the book, that revelation sucked (no pun intended) the coming of age romance from the story. I have a feeling that the fans of the original (includes me) will be in for a pleasant surprise.

  5. They should never have remade the original; it was a masterpiece!

    I’m a sucker for movies so I’ll still prolly see it. :)

  6. no glittering in the sun vampire? that sound good enough for me!!

  7. The original (except for basic story) sucked. Pun intended. I cant wait to see the remake.

  8. I know that I’m in the minority when I say this,but I thought Let The Right One In was pretty much pure trash,and before I get lambasted,NO,I’m not a Twilight fan.I just thought that it was slow,laborious,and an utter pain to watch.I felt that there were too many scenes that were very disjointed from what the story was trying to tell.I do feel like there is a good story there,but the pacing of the movie is one of the things that I had a huge problem with.

    Hopefully,with a tighter narrative and better pacing,I think that I will probably like this version,otherwise,this one will be trash as well.

    • Nope you are spot on with that “perfect” movies problems. I cant see why so many “fawn” over it.

  9. While I severely disagree with Longshanks, I do agree that it isn’t the “masterpiece” people claim it is. I really do hate when people just throw that word around.

  10. I loved “Let the Right on in”; one of my highly-regarded horror films _although it’s more drama than horror_; thought it was a beautiful movie. I think i’m a bit of a snob in this respect, because no matter how good this remake is, i’ll hate it. Just because it’s a carbon-copy of the original, remade for the lazy (m)asses who refuse to read subtitles. I felt that way about Quarantine (I angrily turned it off after 20 minutes), and I’ll this way about this film.

    That said, I hope it’s a great film and not lacking what the original does so well.

    • Like you, I prefer the original in most instances. However, I won’t say I’ll hate it automatically because occasionally the remake can outdo the original. I think that was the case for “The Departed” which I thought was better than the movie it remade, “Infernal Affairs.” True, that doesn’t happen often, but there’s always a chance.

  11. Spoiler Alert……………………….
    I for one am against a remake because Hollywood cinema has become too PC…”I own Let the right one in” greeeatt movie refreshingly original. but I dont think American Cinema will be as open to showing kids getting their heads ripped off and naked pre teen girls.(which bothered me, but i understand it was important to the story) And i dont remember her having male genatalia.

    Overall its an amazing vampire story…possibly one of the best ever. I just cringe that so many people are going to walk out of the theatres thinking it was a truly american movie idea…and not give credit where credit is due.

    • Spoiler alert
      Iceman09, you shouldn’t feel bothered, ’cause in the shooting of that scene they used a doll.
      Also, the important fact was not that Eli had genitals (which she hadn’t), but that she had a scar and ‘no vagina’.

  12. Alfredson deserves credit for being the first to adapt the story and set up the template for the American effort.

    All I can tell about LTROI is that the movie made me feel no other movie did. It restored my faith in cinema. And, most importantly, its portrayal of love breaking all the barriers changed my way of thinking about many things – which is a kind of impression only a true masterpiece can have on its audience. There’s no way the adaptation can re-create this effect.

  13. For me it’s not about ” being to lazy to read subtitles” as u put it and more that the subtitles ruin the entire movie going experience for me. I like being sucked in to a movie and sucked in to the story I always feel so distant and in enthralled when subtitles are involved.

  14. Remaking great movies for American audiences is only going to make us more stupid. So you have to read… get over it.

    If you want to be challenged as a movie-goer, you see a subtitled movie that draws you in through it’s character development and arresting settings. You want to zone out go see “Prince of Persia.”

    And which ever one you see honestly depends on your mood. But if you simply wait for the American remake (which will not be as good as the original because a great few are) then you are lazy.

    You want to see a great movie and challenge your movie-watching abilities, see the original. Read the subtitles. I’ll try to feel sorry that our current culture enables ADD tendencies and heaven forbid that your attention not waver for two hours as you’ll miss a plot point. I’ll try…too late. Already failed.

    • “Remaking great movies for American audiences”

      How was this a great movie? I saw/watched/read it twice. Saw it the first time and was like wait did I miss something…. so I made sure I saw it again.

      However again this was by far a great movie. Decent and better then the other “Vampire” stuff on the screen but not great IMO.

      • Of course it’s a great movie. If it wasn’t why would they be remaking it for American audiences? I’m not saying it’s the best movie I’ve ever seen. It wouldn’t even make a list of my favorite movies. But those ‘Powers That Be’ seem to think it’s a pretty great movie. Enough so that they are trying to broaden the audience to see it.

        • Not true, Funny Games is a horrible movie, and they remade it, and the remake was horrible too.

    • LOL @ the “If you want to be challenged as a movie-goer, you see a subtitled movie” comment.

      I don’t mind subtitled movies, but they are not automatically “superior” because they have subtitles either, LMAO. If this remake is just as deep and moody as the original, then I don’t see a problem with it at all. If they remade it and dumbed down the plot, then yes, I agree that the remake is trash.

      It’s about plot, acting, pacing, and editing that makes a movie good. Not whether or not you think it makes you more “sophisticated.”

      So, sorry to those who think that because they watch nothing but independent movies, french movies, and subtitled movies, that it makes them more “sophisticated.”

      For the record, I like the original, but I don’t think it is the greatest movie ever made or anything crazy like that…

      • I didn’t say they were superior to non-subtitled movies, just that its more of a challenge to watch a subtitiled movie than it is not watch one without subtitles. You don’t go into a subtitled movie thinking “Oh great! I can just turn my brain off while I watch this.’ If you want to be challenged you watch a subtitled movie. You don’t have to be challenged everytime you watch a movie. I’m not saying that subtitles are the only way to go.

        I don’t recall claiming to be a more sophisticated movie-goer. Do I enjoy a good indie movie? Sure. Do I like that subtitled movies force me to more appreciate the plot, acting, pacing, and editing? Yes. Do these movies make up the bulk of my movie diet? Hell no.

        I just don’t want to see good entertainment re-made on the basis of laziness. I like it when movies/television are seen the way they were made to be seen… I just don’t like re-makes.

        • I don’t understand how you think subtitles force you to appreciate things more. They are a tool for your understanding of the movie, nothing more. They don’t “enhance” the movie in any way, it just so happens the movie is in another language, so they have to put subtitles on it. When people in other countries watch American movies, they have to be subtitled too. Does that somehow “force” them to appreciate the movie’s plot, acting, pacing, and editing? No.

          Remaking the movie in English, as long as all of those crucial aspects of movie making are maintained, should mean a just as enjoyable, if not MORE enjoyable, movie-going experience. Because I like to get fully engaged into the movie, which means watching the actors go through the emotions, their facial expressions as they say stuff, etc. etc. If I’m reading subtitles, I understand what they’re saying, but maybe don’t fully get HOW they’re saying it. Personally, if a subtitled movie is great enough, I like to watch it more than once. The first time around I read all of the subtitles so I get the plot and the dialog, then the second time, I try to remember the dialog so I can just watch the actors’ faces.

          If I can understand them without reading, that’s even better, but dubbing is out of the question. Often they change the dialog in dubbing to match the lips, or the voice actors do a horrible job at the tones and expressions and it just sounds retarded…

          • I find that subtitles don’t put me out of the movie, but rather draw me in more. I don’t find myself focusing on the words more than the facial expressions. I see it all in one large picture. My eye is being forced to stay on the screen, lest I miss a piece of dialoge, so I see so much more.

            When a movie is in my native language, if the film isn’t captivating me enough, my attention is going to wander. I’ll look around the theatre. I’ll talk to the person next to me. The subtitles force me to continue to watch. Now I notice more of the scenery. I appreciate the job of cinematographers and editors more so than if I didn’t have to constantly look at the screen.

            Since English is my first language, I can’t tell you how I would feel about subtitled movies if I spoke Russian. I’m sure I would feel much different about them. But I don’t know.

            I’m all the way with you on dubbing. That is a practice that just needs to stop.

            • Try to put yourself in my situation… I’m Polish. 99% of the movies played in the theaters in my country are either American or British (with the prevalence of the former) with a dash of piss-poor domestic productions that are so laughably bad I usually steer clear of them. In other words, 99% of the movies we watch are subtitled – because 99% of them are American.

              Anthropologist Wade Davis said in one of his interviews that he used to ask his students if they minded if all of the world languages disappeared and only one remained. They replied to the affirmative. But then he added, “But if the only remaining language was to be Swahili”? And they weren’t so sure anymore.

              Talk about cultural diversity – and cultural dominance.

              • Uh – I meant domination. Sorry about that.

            • @Jessie

              Earlier you wrote:
              “I’ll try to feel sorry that our current culture enables ADD tendencies and heaven forbid that your attention not waver for two hours as you’ll miss a plot point.”

              Now you’re saying:
              “…my attention is going to wander. I’ll look around the theatre. I’ll talk to the person next to me.”

              Um, sounds like YOU are the one with ADD, lol. :-D j/k dude.

              I pay attention to a movie fine without subtitles. Even if it doesn’t appear to be that captivating, I pay attention in case that changes. And if it had subtitles, that won’t make a non-captivating movie any more captivating… Just saying…

              • When a movie isn’t engaging for me I do feel like I have ADD! You are completely right about that! LOL.

  15. “Prince of Persia” was okay, though when watching it I was seized by the uncanny feeling that I’ve seen the story at least a few times before, only in different decorations. Sort of cinematic deja vu.

    • I didn’t hate the movie either. I just really didn’t need a whole lot of brain power to figure out where the plot was going to go.

  16. I gotta disagree with u especially since ur just making a bunch of blanket asumptions. I don’t turn my brain off during a film I’m always trying to figure it out from head to toe see the hidden layers and depth behind the film my mind never shuts off. I simply don’t like watching subtitels. It pulls me out of the story it’s unenjoyable and annoying for me. If u enjoy it that’s great but don’t just assume every one who doesn’t is brain dead or lazy.

    • You found hidden layers and depth behind “The Prince of Persia?” Really?

      I didn’t say your brain is turned off, I said you needed less brain power to follow the plot. My mind isn’t turned off either when I watch a movie, but some require less concentration than others. Never once did I feel that there is something here I’m not getting in “Prince of Persia.” “The Usual Suspects?” Yes. “Momento?” Yes.

      And I do assume that people who don’t like subtitles are lazy because I’m a very selfish and elitest person when it comes to watching movies. So you’ll just have to forgive me for that. “Selfishness must always be forgiven, you know, because there is no hope for a cure.” ;)

  17. Lol Jess has ADD

  18. In the mind of a swede this movie will not be a remake, adaptation or a simplification to make it watchable to english-speakers too spoiled with the dominance of their own language to make an effort to read subtext.

    It will be seen as an “Americanisation”. An effort to take something that was quite good and liked by a broad audience in europe and try to reamke it in an american image in order to make some easy money without having to come up with a plot.

    • Little harsh Carl even if you are half-right…

  19. Half? I believe I am right in a few aspects (even if its a simplified explanation).

    The annnoying thing for us natives is that its not just the language that will change, this will be an entirely different movie. The mood affected by American language tone, a new setting and cultural context.

    It will be a different movie for the same reasons that “For a few dollars more” is not the same as “Ronin” (But both excellent movies).

    Wether it will be simplified and “dumbed down” remaines to see, but the fact that this is an effort to make it enjoyable for a broad audience that doesn’t see foreign movies makes it quite probable.

    Lastly, i’d like to add that i have a lot more faith in this movie than in the hollywood versions of the millenium trilogy. Who hardly have any chance of living up to the quality of the original movies. And that the chance of anyone making a better Lisbeth Salander than Noomi Rapace are next to null.

  20. The thing i loved most about Let The Right One In, was the contrast between the horrific and tender moments in the movie. Hopefully the remake will retain these aspects.

    It probably wont be as disturbing as the original, since the most disturbing fact (in the swedish version) of Eli actally being a castrated boy will be removed from the story. This suggests to me that the new film is being remade for a younger audience.

    Without the shocking, disturbing horror: this adaption could turn out to be a mediocre disney movie i could take my nephew to.

  21. The reason I tend to like subtitled (horror) movies is that you get a fresh perspective on a worn-out genre. Night Watch, Let The Right One In, and to a lesser extent, Rec, felt original and exciting to me, as I am tired of the cliched approaches to things like magic, vampires, and zombies in American cinema.
    For instance, SPOILER, the scene where the little vamp comes into his aprtment without being invited is wonderful and terrifying.
    I have to disagree that the film is not about sexuality. I think it is, to some extent. And that is another taboo in American cinema. The film shows kids as sexual and violent at times. Amoral. But not black and white. American films really tend to simplify things: good and bad, right and wrong. There is little room for moral ambiguity.
    My question is, did they keep the scene with the cats? :)

  22. Pointless remake, the original was the best vampire film since Near Dark. I don’t believe, however, a remake can “spoil” the original, so just watch the original.

  23. I found the original film a bit skanky, and I didn’t like the gender bending element to it, which apart from anything else, I thought was an unnecessary embellishment. I wonder if that’s in the remake. There were also one or two plot holes in it. Some bits of it didn’t work that well, IMO. The best thing about it was the two child actors, I thought. I wouldn’t watch the remake on principle, even if it’s as good.