Let Me In

Tween a Vamp and a Cold Place

The Story

In the American screen adaptation of John Adjvide Lindqvist’s Swedish novel, Let Me In tells the story of Owen (Kodi Smit-McPhee), a bullied middle schooler and Abby (Chloe Moretz), the mysterious girl who movies in to his apartment building during his twelfth winter.  She doesn’t go to school, appearing in the courtyard only at night.  Abby lives with an older man (Richard Jenkins) who Owen assumes is her father.  It doesn’t take long for him (and us) to figure out that there is something amiss about this girl, but she has become his closest – and only – friend.  How far will they go to protect each other?

The Verdict

The concept here is interesting – a forever 12-year-old vampire.  She is immortal, but needs someone to take care of her.  Chloe Moretz is a talented young actress who burst on the scene in Kick-Ass and keeps the momentum rolling in Let Me In.  Smit-McPhee has a somewhat thankless role – his primary raison d’etre being to provide a framework for her story – but does well as the very abused and bullied kid with few resources to end his torment.  Richard Jenkins is wasted in a role that I suspect has a great deal more nuance in the book – his caretaker is a bit of a mystery with only a few references to how he came to be caring for this old youngster.  More time is spent on the nature of his “job”, time that’s just gore and is generally wasted.

Overall, Let Me In is a serviceable entry into the young vampire genre that leaves out any and all glittery teen angst and replaces it with too subtle references to the curse of the tween vampire and flashes of violence that lose their shock value to sub-par special effects and TV quality attempts to hide them with poor lighting.   The performances elevate the production values and make the movie worth a rental, if not a purchase.  3 stars out of 5.

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