run time: 116 mins
considered: Drama, Horror, Mystery
starring: Chloe Grace Moretz, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Richard Jenkins, Elias Koteas
movie summary: A bullied young boy befriends a young female vampire who lives in secrecy with her guardian. (www.imdb.com)
Let Me In is the North American remake of the 2008 Swedish hit movie Let the Right One In based on the book of the same name by John Ajvide Lindqvist.
Owen (Kodi Smit-McPhee) is a 12-year-old outcast who gets teased by his classmates in New Mexico during the early 1980’s. He has low self-esteem, no friends, and his separated parents don’t pay attention to him at home. Most nights he can be found around the jungle gym outside his apartment building or wasting money he stole from his mom at the arcade. After weeks of being bullied to the point that he pees his pants, Owen buys himself a switch blade pocket knife. Later that night he stops by a tree on the way home and starts stabbing it envisioning the bullies when he meets Abby (Chloe Grace Moretz). She appears out of nowhere, is very shy and quiet. It is in the middle of winter but she is outside with just a sweatshirt and no shoes. She’s sitting on the jungle gym when she asks Owen why he is stabbing the tree. Owen is suddenly memorized by her and is almost speechless before he engages in some awkward small talk.
Over the next few weeks these two young ones meet every night and begin to form a friendship, despite Abby reminding him that they really shouldn’t be friends. She lives with her assumed dad (Richard Jenkins) who looks old enough to be her grandfather and is very protective of her. They live next door to Owen and his mom in an apartment with completely blacked out windows. Abby only comes out at night so Owen teaches her morse code so they can communicate through the walls.
One night Abby’s dad is busted by the cops for stealing a car and attempting to kill a teenager. He pours acid over his head to protect Abby and their identity before being taken to the hospital. Abby goes to say good-bye before watching her dad fall from his hospital window and take his own life. She returns home to see Owen to ask him if she could spend the night with him. He agrees despite noticing there is something is different about her, which she replies that she is not a normal girl. Owen brushes off the comments until a few days later when Abby tells him her dark secret and that she must leave because it is not safe anymore with the cops looking for evidence in the neighborhood. She departs one night in a cab leaving Owen heartbroken and alone again.
The bullies at school have eased up on him since he started to fight back. After whacking one of them in the head with a hockey stick, the group plans to get Owen back during swim class. On the worse possible day of his life Owen is alone and helpless without his beloved Abby at his side. He must act quick to escape the boys, save himself from punishment, and be prepared to move on without his best friend.
my thoughts: Let Me In had a limited release here in the city and I remember traveling across town to see it. I was so impressed by the movie that I stopped by the book store to buy the book on the way home. Despite it’s very dark and creepy tone Let Me In is a great example of how far two people will go to care for their friends. The two main stars Kodi Smit-McPhee and Chloe Grace Moretz display amazing chemistry together on-screen and even though they are only 12 years old in the film everyone will watch the love blossom between them. The overall story has many holes, unrealistic plot turns, and lots of throwback 1980 memorabilia but I fall in love with Owen and Abby and that’s why Let Me In is one of my personal favorites.
my star rating: 9 out 10