Let Me In (3 stars)

Let Me In

(15) 116min

Just two years after the adaptation of John Ajvide Lindqvist’s novel Let the Right One In was turned into a hit Swedish film by Tomas Alfredson comes the American take on the story and it’s a striking if mildly uneven adaptation.

Matt Reeves (Cloverfield) sets the film in the 1980s, and although the Rubik’s Cube and arcade games do make an appearance, Reeves manages to create an authentic look at the period that avoids kitsch. Some of his smarter choices are made with the soundtrack and the decision to not just focus everything exclusively on the 1980s – architecture from the 50s and clothes from the 70s also feature.

The story takes the same simple premise of a bullied school kid Owen (Kodi Smit-McPhee from The Road) striking a friendship with a new neighbour Abby (Chloe Moretz from Kick Ass), who is a creature of the night. Reeves places more emphasis on suspense and horror and the prominent adult is the detective following the case (Elias Koteas looking every inch the stereotypical 70s cop) rather than the older man (Richard Jenkins) that Abby lives with. As can be expected from American cinema aimed at a mainstream audience the hint of paedophilia in the novel has been squashed, as has been a lot of the angst and confusion displayed by the children has also been eradicated.

Where it does fall down is with some very poor CGI. Reeves vampires look terrible when they attack and perhaps he would have done better to follow the Cloverfied template and have the action take place off screen.

General release from Fri 5 Nov.

Let Me In

  • 3 stars
  • 2010
  • US
  • 1h 56min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Matt Reeves
  • Cast: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Chloë Grace Moretz, Elias Koteas, Richard Jenkins

An American remake of Swedish film Let the Right One In. Bullied school kid Owen (Smit-McPhee) befriends neighbour Abby (Moretz) only to find she's a creature of the night. Where the film falls down is in its poor CGI, rendering the vampires more laughable than scary.