This is the American remake of the Swedish film “Let the Right One In” which I reviewed about a year ago (on my blog). The original film also made my list of the top movies of the last decade. There was great debate as to whether a remake would tarnish the nearly flawless original, because today’s movies are all about remakes and sequels, with the most original content coming from overseas. Both movies are based on the book “Let Me In” from Swedish author John Ajvide Lindqvist.
The giant task of remaking this film fell on the shoulders of Matt Reeves of “Cloverfield” fame. Having seen so many horrible and lifeless horror remakes in the past few years, I had obvious doubts about this one. Although the cast was absolutely top notch I still had some strong reservations. I did see it in theatres last September and a few more times on the just released DVD. I can honestly say without hesitation that this is a quality and well thought out remake. Major props go out to the fantastic acting jobs from the whole cast. Chloe Moretz from “Kick-Ass” plays Abby the mysterious new girl. Kodi Smit-McPhee, who was previously in “The Road” with Viggo Mortenson, plays the tormented Owen. Richard Jenkins is brilliant as Abby’s “Father”. Finally Elias Koteas, plays the police officer investigating a string of brutal murders in the Los Alamos, New Mexico community.
Like the original this story takes place in the early 1980’s. The main characters of Oskar and Eli are now Owen and Abbey. The story and themes of the original still hold true in this one. Owen is twelve years old and is unmercifully teased and bullied at school. He is extremely lonely and dreams of one day getting his revenge. His parents are getting a divorce and he is often ignored. When Abbey moves in next door, Owen is immediately curious. They meet on a number of occasions in the apartment complexes jungle gym and develop rather sweet friendship. The book and the movies have always been about the relationship between these two. Even though they are so young, they are both extremely lonely and yearn for companionship. It also happens that Abbey is a vampire and needs blood to live. It’s a very strong coming of age drama with a few creative twists.
Owen is never turned off to the fact that Abbey is so different and the claims that “she is not a girl”. He accepts her for who or what she is. With Abby’s help and Owens new found self confidence he is able to take back his life and stand up to the bullies in his life. The DVD and Blu Ray releases include a commentary track from Matt Reeves and a few other special features. This is a no doubt buy it, especially if you’re a fan of the book or the original film.