‘Let Me In’ Review

Published 5 years ago by , Updated March 3rd, 2014 at 6:44 am,

Let Me In new movie image Let Me In Review

Screen Rant’s Kofi Outlaw Reviews Let Me In

There are two types of people who are going to want to watch Let Me In: those who are all-too familiar with the Swedish novel-turned-movie which spawned this English-language remake, and those who have never heard the name Let The Right One In and are simply interested in a unique tale of adolescent romance and vampire drama.

Count me amongst those who know of Tomas Alfredson’s Swedish film adaptation of John Ajvide Lindqvist’s famous novel – and while that association certainly lends me a strong critical bias, I’ll try my best to be fair and judge Let Me In on its own merits.

The story is set in Los Alamos, New Mexico, in a small town circa 1983. Owen (Kodi Smit-McPhee) is a boy living with his mother (Cara Buono) in a rundown apartment complex, as his parents fight their way through a nasty divorce. Owen’s mom deals with her pain one empty wine bottle at a time, leaving Owen perpetually alone, trying to stumble through his own emotional turmoil. School is no better: a nasty bully (Dylan Minnette) constantly goes out of his way to make Owen’s already-troubled life an unbearable hell.

Owen is a strange boy to begin with, and the ongoing issues at home and at school slowly push him to embrace the darker sides of life. He steals from his mother’s purse, spies on the nocturnal activities of his neighbors, and plays out some very dark fantasies about what it would be like to murder the classmates who torment him.

Let Me In 4 Let Me In Review

The dark cloud hanging over Owen is seemingly lifted when he meets Abby (Chloe Moretz), a little girl who moves into the apartment next door with her “father” (Richard Jenkins). Abby is just as strange as Owen – she smells funny, seems just as isolated and walks around at night in the snow with bare feet.

As two outcasts stranded in the same dead end town, Owen and Abby quickly form a bond. But the closer the two get, the more Owen realizes that his new crush may have secrets that are far darker and more dangerous than anything he’s ever known, and that the cost of knowing her and loving her, could be his soul.

It’s no SPOILER to say that the hook in this story is that Abby is a vampire – in fact, most people will be going to see Let Me In expecting a vampire story. The problem is that Let Me In is stranded somewhere in a middle ground: it’s above conventional vampire genre films but below the subtle, nuanced work of art it aspires to be. By basing the script on the original by John Ajvide Lindqvist, it seems that Matt Reeves sets the bar at a height that he and the cast can’t quite reach.

Let Me In 24 Let Me In Review

I can’t say the problem lies with the film’s young leads: Kodi Smit-McPhee and Chloe Moretz do an admirable job carrying this movie, given how young they are and how adult the subject matter is. Of the pair, I have to give Moretz the higher grade: she does well alternating between the sweet and innocent facade of a little girl and the feral nature of a deadly predator. Smit-McPhee does well enough making Owen into a frail, dough-eyed victim – a kid who has been shoved into the side margins of life at an early age by people who refuse to notice him, respect him or care for him.

If I have to make one criticism of both Moretz and Smit-McPhee, it’s that they didn’t quite match the brilliance of Kåre Hedebrant and Lena Leandersson, the two young actors who played these roles in Let The Right One In. What Moretz is missing is that subtle hint of an older soul hiding behind that little girl face, while Smit-McPhee makes Owen into too much of a victim; a few contrived scenes of Owen wearing a scary mask are not enough to make me believe this wimpy kid has a killer’s edge buried deep inside him.

In the end, both young leads inevitably show their age – especially when it comes to the chemistry between them. They seem only capable of bonding on the juvenile levels they’re familiar with, which is something of a misstep for Moretz’ character, who is supposed to be well-versed in what it means to find, nurture and ultimately lose love. But still, the pair are charming in their puppy-dog affection and work hard to portray their characters in full complexity. Again, they both reach for that high bar, but can’t quite manage to grab it.

Let Me In 10 Let Me In Review

The only cast members who are able to really tap into the subtle depth required of them are Richard Jenkins as Abby’s guardian and Elias Koteas as the policeman who is investigating the murders being committed by Jenkins’ character. These two veteran actors are able to convey entire stories in just a few words and expressions, which is an especially important task for Jenkins, who holds up his end as Abby’s soul-sapped companion well. Also worthy of note is Dylan Minnette as the bully tormenting Owen: Minnette is a young actor, but it’s a real compliment to say that he manages to turn his bully character into a monster far more menacing than Abby (just as Lindqvist’s narrative intended).

I believe that director Matt Reeves (Cloverfield) genuinely had his heart in the right place when making this film, it’s just that he doesn’t seem to have the proper sensibilities as a director to achieve what this film required. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not at all saying that Reeves is a BAD director – on the contrary, the camerawork and cinematography in Let Me In looks crisp and clean. A few sub-par CGI moments and lens flares aside, this is a visually competent film.

let me in moretz smit mcphee Let Me In Review

However, Tomas Alfredson made art out of Let The Right One In. Alfredson took the slow-burn pace of Lindqvist’s script and created some stunning Mise-en-scéne, certainly the best I’ve seen from modern vampire movies. Let The Right One In moved slowly, had little dialogue and even less ambient music, but every frame told a distinct story and every scene alluded to so much more than what was simply on the surface.

While Reeves has copied Alfredson’s vision in many places, his shots and scenes lack the visual depth of the Swedish director’s work. This is most obvious in the many closeups Reeves relies on to tell the story, often translating the relationship between Abby and Owen into the visual equivalent of “in their own world,” rather than using wider shots that subtly contextualize what it is we’re seeing transpire. The end effect for me was a movie that looked much the same as its foreign counterpart, but wasn’t nearly as stimulating or interesting for the well-trained eye. To put it in plainer terms: Reeves’ direction is a subdued, safe, clean – and a bit boring.

Let me In 12 Let Me In Review

Finally, those who worry about that dreaded cinematic dirty word, “Americanization,” are going to likely feel justified in their fears.  Let Me In is indisputably a shiny and polished Hollywood product and one thing that really did irk me was the heavy reliance on a musical score.

The Swedish version of this story was so still and quiet, and yet, so moving. This version feels overblown and overly dramatic at many points, and a lot of that I would have to blame on the music, which attempts to cajole the viewer into the emotional spaces the acting and story should’ve been solely responsible for carrying us to. To me, that kind of cinematic manipulation indicates a lack of trust in your film’s poignancy (the need to pad it at every point with a soundtrack) and I don’t think the filmmakers behind Let Me In needed to show such concern. The silence could’ve said so much more.

Let Me In 11 Let Me In Review

On the larger scale of movie remakes, Let Me In is neither the best nor the worst of the bunch. It’s fairly entertaining, but ultimately offers very little of anything that will make it feel necessary or memorable. As a standalone entry in the vampire genre, the film does offer something unique – especially for those who don’t know about its more beautiful and interesting cousin from Sweden.

Watch the trailer for Let Me In to help you make up your mind:

[poll id=”77″]

Our Rating:

3 out of 5

Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:


Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to Gravatar.com and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.

If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it. Keep in mind that we do not allow external links in the comments.

  1. The review is better than most, actually. It’s actually rather lenient considering it got the point right.

    A remake should be made for one of two reasons. Either the original didn’t live up to it’s potential. I.E. Great idea but horrible execution. Which in Let The Right One In’s case, is certainly not going to be any (smart) director’s goal or idea.

    The second reason is, you recognize and understand what’s important and special about the original source, but believe you can bring significant and substantial changes to the table to make it a truly new movie with the same point. Keeping what’s important and essential, but finding different ways to get to there, or go from there.

    In Reeves case, he made the same movie with a different point(the change to Jenkins character is very awful, both logically and in failure to get the point of the original book and film right). Which is all the more odd considering he claims to have read the book. Which makes it all the more worse he didn’t make a new adaptation of the book, considering it is very much easy to do that. With that said, this review did what you should do. Review a remake as a remake. Ask yourself the goal of remakes, and then ask yourself did the remake do that.

    Considering all that, 3 stars is very lenient. Very.

  2. I just watched this movie and I really enjoyed it. I came into this movie knowing nothing about it. I haven’t seen the original and I didn’t even see the trailer before watching it. I was pleasantly surprised. Maybe it was the fact I was expecting a corny horror movie that made me enjoy this movie but I found it to be very griping. I enjoyed the adolescent love story and the few tense moments kept me engaged. I can see the points the author of this review is making but from more of a casual viewpoint I found it very entertaining and I would definitely recommend it.

  3. Screw this! go watch the real one…Let The Right One In.

  4. So will there be a sequel?!

    • Seeing as it is America, there might be, but seeing as someone else didn’t do the work for them, they’ll have no idea what to do.

  5. I didn’t like this movie in some ways, but as a standalone film I thought it was better in comparison to a lot of other overblown Hollywood vampire flicks.

    My main issue was that it seemed to be a shot-for-shot remake, yet only focused on main details instead of as you said showing wider shots that said so much more. The acting wasn’t too bad, but the adult characters to me seemed dry and bland compared to the kids, who I think showed more emotion, but the film wasn’t slow-moving enough to really build up the passion present in the original.

    The vampire effects in the scenes really irked me as the whole “eyes going white, face contorted” look was typical of common Hollywood trash, and Abby reminded me of Gollum in Lord Of The Rings when she attacked people.

    The adults seemed odd in that there wasn’t a group of people (involving Virginia) who talked about the murders.

    The script seemed to the exact same as the original translation into English, which also bothered me quite a bit since I was expecting more. What I did like was the inclusion of certain scenes of bullying and the really amped-up level of abuse that Alfredson didn’t include in his film that made it a bit more terrifying.

    The pool scene wasn’t as good and also reminded me of typical Hollywood films. The score was awful and I really hated that in particular. I felt it was really overused and unnecessary, especially th common tones used to cue the audience that something scary is about to happen.

    Richard Jenkins was probably the only decent adult actor, but his character with the trash bag over his head made me giggle.

    All in all, I thought it was better than most Hollywood vampire flicks but didn’t carry it’s own weight well enough in being a new adaptation. The actors were alright though some scenes were overblown and my friend who never heard of the story befor even laughed about the mother just laying around crying and drinking all the time.

    The vampire effects and “are you a Satanist” made me think it was an Exorcist remake, but I got over that. As I said, typical Hollywood monster crap.

    I really didn’t like this film for the most part and I truly believe the original was so much more and did much more justice to the source material.

    2 stars out of 5.

  6. I actually liked this movie. :) I dragged my mom along with me, and we both loved it. The relationship between boy and vampire girl was sweet in a creepy sort of way, and was just a good movie to watch at night.

  7. I saw the original and I knew that American cinema would not be able to capture this film correctly. If you have not seen the original you are missing a great movie.I feel the same about the Girl With The Dragon Tattoo…I do not think American cinema can capture the movie the way the original film did. It would need an NC-17 rating, but I am glad I have seen the originals of both films because they are amazing.

  8. I like your review, but I thought the film was a little better than you give it credit. I loved “Let The Right One In”, and if you remember I was one of the few who thought Matt Reeves could do a good remake. “Let the Right 1 In” is a Masterpiece, so Reeves had to make his own, I’m glad he chooses different shot selections. You are right in lots of points, but you are comparing….forget “Let The Right One In”. This film on it’s own is better than 3 stars. That car scene itself was great and Reeves captured the isolation, and lonilness..and the choices Owen had to make. I loved the scene when the cop was reaching. and Owen makes his choice…come on

  9. OMG The original is so overrated.

    It’s a nice tale but not a film I’d want to sit through again.

  10. I plan on seeing this movie at some point. I own “Let the Right One In” but didn’t know it was a book so thanks for that. I’m adding it to my list. Like others have mentioned, I nervous about what this could mean for “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” I have a better understanding of David Fincher’s films than I do Matt Reeves’ but I’m still nervous about it.

    Kofi, your comment about the music made me think. I’ve been noticing that a lot more lately. Movies with sweeping, epic scores that just drag the film down rather than integrate itself another seamless element. I especially noticed the lack of score in “The American.” You just hear the natural sounds that the character hears. I think I remember that phenomena first from “The Bourne Supremacy.” During a fight sequence the “score” was the sound of fist hitting face and feet landing on rooftops. It was real.

    Not that my expectations were too high for this film, I debated on whether even seeing it at all, this review just solidified my belief in what I would be getting myself into. I think I’ll make this a rental.

  11. I’ve seen both of these movies, liked them both, were talking vampire movie here with some good acting for young kids, great moods, visual, lighting, music, creepy stuff with a great story to carry it all.
    American movie patrons(teenage kids) will be bored with the Swedish version, if they could even understand or take the time to sit through the english translation, and maybe will sit through the slow moving, yet slighly faster paced action in Let Me In. I don’t see many adults going to see it because its a vampire story(with children actors) but I like
    slow building stories(like a nice book) and this one, especially the Swedish
    take, is so good it needed to be shown in another light to reach more young people (Isn’t this what the writer had in mind) I think the new
    movie does a really good job with the material and moving the story line
    into an american situation. Sure its not perfect but if enough young people see it they may check out Let the right one in movie or book. I think your screenrant reviewer was harsh and biased, my opinion.

  12. Okay. There are probably going to be some spoilers.
    I just got out of this movie and I must say that I have never disagreed with a review more than this review. I have not seen the original yet, but after seeing this movie I am definitely going to watch it.

    Without seeing the original yet, I have to say that this was the best horror movie I have seen in years. This movie shocked me many times including the first time she killed someone and the ending scene with the pool. The way she kills people is just brilliant. The quickness that she has. The pool scene was the best ending I have ever seen. Just when you think it is done, she’s back and with a vengeance.

    I must say that I am in love with this movie and am shocked and appalled that Screen Rant only gave it a 3 out of 5. Which probably left some people deciding to not see this movie mainly because it is not to par with the original. If you judged this movie without the original existing I am sure that you’re score would be different.

    Take it from me. Do yourself a favor and go see this movie!

    • Sin,

      You’ll have to come back and give us your thoughts on the original version once you’ve seen it.


      • +1
        I want to know what you thought of the original!

        Reading this review, however, I sense a bit of biased feelings towards LTROI!
        Needless to say LTROI is an awesome movie, probably one of the best Swedish movies ever made.

        Looking forward to seeing this one!

  13. I did not see the Swedish version, so I am offering an unbiased review of Let Me In. I thought it was great.
    First, I am a Buffy fan and thus found the concept of a 12 year-old vampire to be fascinating and charming.

    Early in the movie, Abby is shown killing a jogger. The CGI used kind of reminded me of Gollum from Lord of The Rings. Her movements were creepy and slightly less graceful than you would expect of a vampire (If you watch True Blood or Buffy, you would know what I’m talking about; all the vampires that seem to be top-level martial artists and gymnasts). In the beginning of the movie, I thought it would be revealed that Owen was actually the vampire or that the bully was actually the vampire; you know, a plot twist. However, they were not subtle about revealing the fact she was a vampire. And, in a way, I’m glad. It would have been annoying to sit around and wonder.

    Noticeably great parts about the movie:
    1. Unlike other contemporary vampire films, Abby can actually physically enter a home without being invited…but with dire consequences. (This is a first in vampire films, as vampires usually just get stopped by an invisible barrier at the threshold of a residence. And if invited, can be uninvited and physically repelled by some kind of unseen parallel gravity out of the house.)

    2. The contrast between Abby’s pretty and sweet appearance and the creepy, jugular-biting, unrelenting and disturbingly powerful and agile vampire side.

    3. Vampirism aside, the charming, chivalrous and unconventional love story between Abby and Owen:
    Owen is a skinny bully-magnet. Abby is a weird girl in his neighborhood who wears no shoes. They fall in love. When weirdos/social-outcasts find love its always touching to me.

    Abby eventually saves Owen. A female saving a male. Gender-reversed chivalry is progressive and always new.

    4. The bullies meet a grisly end. It’s always nice when the characters you want killed off end up getting killed :)

    Annoying characters in the movie:
    1. The police officer was over-the-top. He busted into a residence without probable cause or a warrant, brandishing a gun, only because he thought someone was inside and would not come to the door. Way over the top and I’m glad he was killed. Police would never bust into a residence like that on a hunch. Yes, it’s just a movie, yes it’s a vampire film, but the cop was just annoying to me. I’m glad he got killed. Take that.

    2. The nurse who was attending the bite-victim rushed to TOUCH the flame-engulfed bite-victim…as if that would help her…or even help the flame-engulfed bite-victim. For a nurse, that lady had zero brains. “Ohmigod!!! She’s on fire!!! I better rush to touch her so that I may catch on fire as well, thereby remedying the situation!!!!”
    Dead nurse. Glad she was dead.

    Random Thought:
    Was it just me, or when Owen was listening to Abby and her “father” through the wall, did Abby have some demonic exorcist-like voice thing going on??? that’s all!

  14. I just saw this movie. I had read good reviews and was expecting so much more. I think this review is fair and I actually agree with everything. I am a die hard LTROI fan, so I knew that there was no way this new one was going to be better, but c’mon! seriously?! they destroyed the original movie and book! had read that let me in was supposed to be an ‘adaptation’ of the book more than a remake of the movie but that was not the case at all. it changes how Hakan (the ‘father’) kills his victims, Reeve’s actually used the old ‘someone hiding in the back seat’ horror movie cliche! horrible! and Virginia is the hot next door neighbor? wow, whatever, count me in the LTROI crowd that thinks this new American version is crap. oh, and the music was super annoying, and we get it, it’s the 80s!! you don’t have to play obvious 80s music and show Reagan! ughhhh
    on second thought, your review is too nice..tell what you really think, please

  15. Read the book, saw the original movie and I have seen Let Me In 7 times, LOVED IT, just as much as I loved the original, could not have disagreed with a review like I did with this one, only one thing I agree on, the CGI could have been better, Chloe Moretz deserves an oscar nomination and the mood, the darkness, the loneliness in LMI is palpable and painful to see, Reeves just did a great job, still love the original, own the DVD will buy the DVD for LMI when it comes out, if I had to choose, I would choose Let Me In, the acting, the mood, all is better, oh and by the way, the music is PERFECT. 11/3/10

  16. This movie is full of emotion and thoughts. It will slowly consume you after you have watched it. So touching. The thoughts of a boy leaving behind his mother and he could be the successor of Abby’s “father”? or Abby will make him a vampire?

  17. I read somewhere, or perhaps it was an interview with one of the actors where they said that it wasn’t a ‘remake’ it was an adaptation. The director didn’t look at Let The Right One In (movie), only the book.

    Therefore, it seems unfair to rate Let Me In against Let The Right One In, because it was not made with the intention of ‘besting’ the Swedish version, only bringing the story to an American/International audience.

    I personally enjoyed the movie, but I think it’s pretty interesting that the comments are mostly either very ‘for’ or very ‘against’ the movie.

    True I felt some parts could have been a bit more subtle, perhaps some different lines. But peoples tastes in regards to how ‘subtle’ something is presented differ.

    So I suppose my point is that reviewers should question themselves as to
    what they are rating the movie on?

    I only bring it up because I’ve been reading a lot of reviews of the movie, and I’ve seen people say good, bad, horrid and amazing things about it.

    • I am skeptical that the “The director didn’t look at Let The Right One In (movie), only the book.” simply because many scenes are almost a facsimile of the orignal film’s scenes! Hard to do in my view if the original scenes weren’t used as a model or template.

  18. Though I have not seen the Swedish original and agree with much of this review, I nevertheless gave the film a rank of 4 stars because I found it such a unique take on the vampire theme, of which I am not generally a fan.

    I loved the star-crossed Romeo and Juliet premise overlaid on the edge of pubescence, intensified by terror of life and death consequence. All in all I found the film intellectually provocative and that it easily held my emotional attention throughout.

    I will definitely recommend this to friends.

  19. I very much enjoyed this movie. I wanted to see it when it came out but I could never find anyone to go with me, and going to the movies by myself is about as appealing as getting fit for a catheter. So I waited till it came out on dvd and I loved it. A very good twist on the vampire genre.

    I remember as a wee lad reading a story in the old Vault of Horror comics. it was about a little boy and his “father” moving into a new house and the neighborhood kids saw the little boy at the window one night and wanted him to come out and play. the boy responded that he couldn’t because his dad told him not too. Meanwhile people where getting killed and completely drained of blood. The kids became suspicious that the “father” was a vampire and resolved to stake him through the heart. So they do it, and look for the boy to free him. They find the boy sleeping in a coffin. Turns out the old man was killing people for the little boy and the kids made a terrible error..oops. I wonder if that old comic was the inspiration for the book Let the Right One In?

    Back to the movie. I thought the cg was really cool. She wasn’t really graceful when climbing, she was constantly slipping looking for footholds. I thought that was realistic. The pool scene was great. But, the best part was the interaction between the two leads.

    My buddy saw the original and after hearing him describe it, I think I’ll pass. He said it was good, just real slow. You watch snow fall what what seems like minutes without hardly any interaction. He described it as “artsy”. What if this was the first movie and the other was the remake? What would you think of it? I give this movie two thumbs up and think its number 2 on my vampire movie list, behind The Lost Boys and ahead of Fright Night….love ’em…

    • Tom, Why the phobia with attending a movie alone?

      • I agree. What is the phobia Tom? I’ve been going to the movies alone for more than a decade and I quite enjoy it! I love the theatre and its hard to find someone that will go as often as I want to! There seems to be this desire now to watch films at home and I’m just not into that! I will watch movies at home, but its not how I prefer to see any film.

  20. Before you set out to judge this film with its predecessor as a basis. Make sure you understand the Language in which that template is spoken by heart.
    Because i can tell you that words like “subtle” and “nuanced” certainly cannot
    be used if that is not the case. The swedish actors are incomparable to those of the american version in that they are simply not half way good. But, in all fairness, I guess this is hard to discern while reading sibtitles.

  21. Well the movie was good.very! it ws very emotional.In mexico emotion is good on movie it good for u too….right :)

  22. hi

  23. Before you set out to judge this film with its predecessor as a basis. Make sure you understand the Language in which that template is spoken by heart.

    Fred, even if these two sentence fragments were joined together, as they should be, the words don’t add up to a coherent thought. So how could I possibly take you seriously? In a very tangible way, your short review justifies the logic behind American studios producing their own versions of European films: that is, they know most Americans(not all, but the vast majority)are artistically and culturally ignorant, xenophobic, and illiterate in all areas outside of whatever subject they studied to make a living. Moreover, they’ve been trained since birth to be shameless egotists who, nonetheless, need to constantly be reassured that they are, in fact, geniuses, who’s opinions on every subject are the irrefutable result of being born in the greatest country on the planet

    You see, Fred, the people who own and run American studios may be mostly classless hacks, but they’re smart enough to know which side their bread’s buttered on. And in a world where American consumers are still pretty much the largest cash cow there is, the execs at Paramount and Warner Bros. etc… know they aren’t gonna get rich distributing a little film from Sweden that makes John and Jane Doe feel stupid. “What? I didn’t pay twelve bucks just to sit here and try to keep up with subtitles for two hours! This movie sucks!” The term pearls before swine comes to mind.

    So here’s the thing: a studio will invest in an otherwise pointless English language remake purely for the money. And, just to be safe, when they make this movie, they’ll stick in plenty of jazzed up excitement – the ambulance scene at the very beginning of Let Me In, for instance. The moguls at Liberty Media(the American media conglomerate that owns Overture Films, which, in turn, produced Let Me In)believe, justifiably, that the average American has the attention span of an amoeba with a head injury – a bad one. So they stared off with fifteen or twenty minutes of pointless action to get all the plebeians excited. Never mind that in that time, not a single key character gets introduced, nor is the plot line advanced one iota. After that, because millions of dollars spent on market research have resulted in the notion that Americans have no patience whatsoever, and that they get upset whenever they aren’t told exactly what’s going on, the makers of this film filled up fifteen more minutes with ultra-quick flashes of visual and verbal exposition, just so no-one, not even the drunken construction worker in the front row, has to feel dumb(better make the obligatory show and tell fast paced, guys, since you already wasted twenty minutes getting us all riled up with flashing lights and scary music) In this film, the expository illuminations come in the form of a silly mask the boy wears(perhaps to trick us into thinking we’re watching TCM)while he pretends he’s stabbing people, the contrived phone conversation between the mother and father(with the all-too-obvious dialogue) and a little sex that’s thrown in, when the boy sees his neighbor feeling up the ol’ lady. Each of these moments is either unnecessary, laid on too thickly, or would have been more advantageously placed later, when there might be more time to expand on its import.

    Okay, so after all this rigmarole, the story finally starts. The actual story is great, but that’s to the credit of the author, whose book they’re taking a hacksaw to before my very eyes. And what was all that other bull in the beginning, if not a patent manipulation of a mentally atrophied American audience? These crude tactics don’t stop here, however; they continue throughout the rest of the movie, marring what is otherwise a beautiful and multidimensional tale. We absolutely must hear from Jaken’s own mouth why he can’t perform his duties anymore; We couldn’t possibly have figured that out for ourselves. We have to be shown exactly who the guy is; something bad might happen if we were left to decide for ourselves. We have to see more violence, more fire, more dismemberment than was in the original. And each time they coddle our delicate sensibilities, the film makers must stop or warp the narrative. Overbearing music that tells us exactly how to feel at all times; characters saying things, for our benefit, that a normal person would never say in a million years. This stuff ruins the movie-going experience for me. So I’m glad that, for once, some brilliant filmmakers set all that BS aside and just made the great movie which is Let The Right One In. It’s also why, conversely, I’m saddened to see a thing of beauty stuffed into American cinema’s stifling mould.

    As far as the acting difference in the two movies goes, though the kids in the English language remake behave more stereotypically the way teenagers behave in American movies(which feels more familiar, perhaps)the Swedish kids behave so naturally it gives me shivers. And as for the subtitles, it takes about two minutes for me to completely forget I’m reading them. So Fred, what’s wrong with you? Do you suffer from a legitimate reading disorder or are you just too lazy to develop your brain’s natural abilities? Because I’m sure there are lots of people with dyslexia who would love to poses your reading potential if your answer is the latter. Has it occurred to you, since you find it difficult to pay attention to a movie while reading subtitles, that you might be the one ill equipped to judge the acting in the Swedish film, not the people who love that version?

    Finally, one last thing(just ’cause there are so many things wrong with LMI, and I don’t have all day) Here it is: In the English version, Jaken pours extremely caustic acid on his face from a plastic bottle. It comes out of this plastic container, and it melts his face right off. If you don’t know what’s wrong with that, logistically, this version of Let The Right One In was made for you.

  24. Let me in? It’s more like let me get my dollar and time back from the redbox.. Don’t waste your time with this crap. I would not even a single star rating.

  25. I loved this film, totally different to anything you will ever see. very strong performances from both child actor’s. Liked the ending. It’s warped in parts but this is a must see film for an horror fan.

    Rated it 4/5.

  26. Hey, all I have to say is that the review is a little lacking. To say that people won’t like this film or that the music ruins it is worse than just saying, ‘Let Me In was a failed rejuvenated copy of Let the Right One In.’ This movie, as lacking as it is according to the article pleased me very much. The story developed properly, and the boy played the part properly. He isn’t wanting to kill out of pleasure or to get a satisfaction. He dresses up and imagines out of the want to be able to defend himself. I know that bullying is bad, but he is lucky that he wasn’t cursed with the anger and power I have. I’m glad that he met Abby, and this love story makes me so very happy.

    Owen is being driven mad by his tormentors and he wants to be able to escape his hell. A concept that Abby and her lover both understand. Abby has her demons but I don’t think she feels it as much in Let Me In as she should. And yes she acted young, but nothing more could be expected of her. I like the actress, but she could be better, much better. The lover that has been with her for at least thirty years has more experience acting and shows his pain in every scene. Seeing Owen probably brought back memories in the beginning, which made him move out of Owen’s sight, because of his own pain.

    I loved this film. It spoke to the romantic in me. If you have any problems with what I said email me and I will reply. Always remember that as the music may be seen as excessive, at some points it is needed to make up for the lack of a powerful cast. This movie is driven by music because otherwise people will lose interest, and on top of more profit to be made by selling the soundtrack there is also the beauty of being lulled into the silence of the movie with every rest. Silence in it of itself for the sake of silence is nothing. But silence for the sake of a pause before music may flow again can speak much better. Did the music serve such a purpose, not completely, but it did help keep interest and actual made me link my own emotions to the movie.

  27. I just watched Let Me In and I pretty much agree with this review (except it’s “doe-eyed,” not “dough-eyed”. Sorry, pet peeve.) that it lacked the depth of the other one.


    It left out a lot of the play between Owen and his parents, which made it feel shallow. We didn’t get to know Abby’s rabbit coat lady victim who ultimately burned and there was no pathos there, although the stupid cat attack was wisely omitted. And the pool massacre was more shocking in the original; trust Hollywood to get IN YOUR FACE (heh heh) rather than being subtle.

    Overall, I thought it was pretty good. And it was nice to see Hitgirl again. :)

  28. i haven’t seen the original movie so i really have nothing to compare Let Me In with. I watched it last night and the film never left my mind. This tragic love story, for me, is fresh. Chloe and Kodi couldn’t have been more perfect for the roles. I do think that even if their relationship was in a juvenile level, I could feel more love between those two actors than anyone else. I believe it was Chloe who really touched my heart. It’s how she delivered her character well. It was not fear i felt for Abby but pity. ‘Til now i wonder what could have happened after that train scene. Would Abby leave Kodi for another boy in the future? What’s the sense of “life” for Abby? Only to survive? Can she say it’s a life she lives when death is not a part of it?

  29. i like ‘artsy’ films and also enjoyed this quasi-remake a lot, so i will definitely check out LTROI when i get the chance.

    that being said, i found this review well written as it attempts to avoid reviewing with a bias for the original swedish film.

    i just wish the other 99.9 percent of people who saw the original first weren’t so elitist and pro-actively trying to get everyone else to avoid this iteration. not everyone is a wannabe-critic. there are many people who would enjoy this version quite a bit that would not be able to sit through 5 minutes of a subtitled foreign film. trust me, i know many of them.