Horror fans around the world cried foul when the phenomenal Swedish vampire tale LET THE RIGHT ONE IN was scheduled for an American remake within one year of its DVD release. Thankfully, writer/director Matt Reeves manages to pull together an equally beautiful film that retains the heart and soul of the original in its overall mood and aesthetic. LET ME IN follows Owen, a shy boy who is constantly tormented by his peers. When a strange young girl moves in next door, the two bond out of their shared loneliness to form a close friendship. What Owen doesn't know is that his new playmate is an ageless vampire, and that she is sustaining herself on the blood of their neighbors. Reeves uses the same drained color palette and restrained shooting style that can be found in Alfredson's film, filling each scene with cold blues and muted browns in order to give LET ME IN a bleak but timeless look and feel. Its story and characters share the same level of warmth and depth from before, brought over from the portion of John Ajvide Lindqvist's original screenplay that was left intact. This would have meant nothing without the stellar leads played by Kodi Smit-McPhee and Chloe Moretz, who bring the characters to life with a pair of incredible performances from such young actors. With few exceptions, LET ME IN also remains as subtle and effective as LET THE RIGHT ONE IN, however there are a few moments that have been cheapened through the unnecessary use of computerization. These minor trespasses are easier to overlook when Reeves has gone to such great lengths to honor and respect the film's source material. In the end, LET ME IN proves to be one of the most confident and skillful remakes to come out in recent years, yet it still begs the question "Why?" when so little has been changed. Still, it more than serves its purpose in retelling the same exact story for lazy American audiences that can't be bothered with subtitles.
If you liked LET ME IN, check out:
SHADOWLAND, MARTIN, NEAR DARK.