|Directed by:||Matt Reeves|
|Written by:||Matt Reeves|
|Cast:||Kodi Smit-McPhee, Chloe Moretz, Richard Jenkins, Elias Koteas, Cara Buono, Sasha Barrese|
Fans of the original, LET THE RIGHT ONE IN, have probably been following news of the remake LET ME IN since it was announced and already know what the movie is about and who stars in it. For those who don't, LET ME IN is based on the original film and novel and written and directed for the screen by Matt Reeves, who also directed the 2007 monster thriller, CLOVERFIELD. The film is set in the 80's and centers around two twelve year-olds, who first meet at the neighborhood jungle gym. It stars Chloe Moretz as Abby, the twelve year-old girl who moves into the small town in New Mexico and quickly befriends a little boy, Owen, who is played by Kodi Smit-McPhee. Supporting cast members include Elias Koteas, who stars as the town policeman and Richard Jenkins as "The Father" or caretaker of Abby. There is a catch though, Abby doesn't seem like a normal twelve year-old girl; she doesn't wear shoes, only comes out at night, and doesn't even go to school. She is a vampire.
Within the first few minutes of the film, it becomes well-known that Owen is bullied by his other classmates on a daily basis and doesn't really have any friends. He lives with his mother who has recently separated from his father and spends most nights alone pretending to get revenge on his classmates or peeking into windows of his neighbors across the way with his telescope. After a few nights have passed, Abby appears at the jungle gym and starts out by saying she cannot be friends with Owen. He finds the shoeless girl a little odd, but considering this is probably the first time he has gotten "attention" from someone in weeks, he strikes up a conversation with her anyways. The two children continue to meet in the courtyard and develop a relationship.
Considering the majority of the screen time is shared between Owen and Abby; the two young and talented actors who played them were excellent choices for the roles. Both of the actors have shown a lot of promise in their short careers and hint at a bright future for themselves. Even though Chloe Moretz is the more well-known actor of the two, I think Kodi Smit-McPhee out-performed her and the character itself matched the original "Oskar" more closely. His "toothpick" build and awkward body language only helped contribute to the believability of him being an easy target at school for bullies to pick on. It's a true portrayal of a lonely child looking for anything to cling on to in hopes to be accepted by someone for once.
Matt Reeves pulled off quite a "feat" by sticking to the original core of the story while adding a few of his own kinks at the same time to bring new life to the screen. Not to discredit the director, but I do think he had unfair advantage compared to the original though. Reeves was given more money to "play" with on set and the luxury to use the original film as a "cheat-sheet." One noticeable and notable complaint I have for the film is the use of CG. Although the scenes were entertaining, it looked rather fake and took me out of the film a little. From the trailer, LET ME IN looks almost like a shot for shot remake of the original, and although there are some very familiar scenes, there are enough changes for each film to stand on their own. Some plot elements are completely removed or changed, but done so in a tasteful way that will not distract or disappoint fans of the original. For making it his own, I give Reeves a ton of credit and thank him for not completely ripping off the original.
I have seen the original nearly a dozen times and every time it is as engaging as the first viewing. The story of LET THE RIGHT ONE IN is so rich and has a lot more to offer than just what's brought to the surface in the film. Many different audiences should appreciate LET ME IN because it can fall into categories other than just a vampire movie. Fans of drama, horror, vampires, and even the TWILIGHT fans are all target audiences. I liked some of the little touches Matt Reeves added to the film, even the way he chose to open it, but I don't want to discuss them and I will leave it up to the audience to discover them on their own. If LET THE RIGHT ONE in is a 10, LET ME IN is a 9. I adore them both as separate films.