Feb 16, 2011

Let Me In (2010)

Let Me In is a Hollywood remake of the Swedish version of the film Let the Right One In, that is based on the book. A lot of reviews on this website consist of the audience comparing the remake to the original having seen both. Well I haven't, but this looked liked an interesting film and I went to see only this afternoon at my local cinema. I thought this would be a good film but my expectations weren't exceedingly high and I was glad in a way as by the end it made me appreciate all the more for that reason.

As soon as the first scene comes up I was intrigued and my attention never wavered from the screen throughout the running time of the whole 105 minutes of the movie (minus the credits). The basic story consists of a lonely and bullied 12 year old boy Owen (Kodi Smit-McPhee) whose parents are getting divorced, whilst at school he is bullied by Kenny (Dylan Minnette) and his two friends Mark and Donald. Meanwhile a 12 year old girl Abby (Chloe Moretz) and her father/guardian (Richard Jenkins) move in to Owen next door. Soon they strike up a friendship as a unique bond forms between them, but she appears strange, at one point Owen tells her she smells bad and despite it being winter with snow on the ground, she often goes outside in the courtyard of the flats they live in to see him barefoot without any shoes, but dosen't feel the cold. There is a reason as she has a terrible secret of being a vampire where her father goes out and kills innocent strangers to obtain their blood so she can survive and eventually Owen becomes entangled up in everything when he finds out her secret and he stays with her despite knowing the truth.

This is a fantastic film from start to finish, it's beautifully made with a very bleak atmosphere. The cinematography gorgeously enforces this. It cleverly mirrors the loneliness the two children feel in their lives, Owen who is bullied with no friends and parents who are on a verge of divorce and Abby who is also socially isolated due to being a vampire along with her father who is torn at helping her but wanting to give up. This film takes an intelligent insight into two kids with fractured souls who fit together in a unique and unexplained way of being whole. The friendship that blossoms between them is wonderfully depicted and builds up in a believable pace. This is due to surprisingly excellent performances from McPhee and Moretz who perform a terrific job of capturing the essence of their characters and radiating a very mature presence on the screen, which is an incredible accomplishment. They are so superb that they put some of the adult actors I know to shame. Due to these terrific performances the chemistry is superb and it's a wonder to see them touch each others hands, hug one another or kiss on the cheek. This makes you feel for their predicament as you come to care about the characters and realise Owen will do anything to protect and be with Abby as they care about each other so much.

The supporting performances like Richard Jenkins and Dylan Minnette is great and they deserved to be mentioned. Jenkins gives surprising depth at feeling torn at helping Abby, particularly in a heartbreaking scene when she touches his face as she can see the weight bearing on him of what he does and Minnette perfectly portrays the menacing bully who also in a way is like a lost soul just like Abby and Owen when you see him being bullied by his older brother, which partly explains why he is so mean to others like Owen.

Director Matt Reeves has done also a sensational job on striking a precise balance between the tone of the film where we feel disgusted and scared at how Abby is, what she is doing, but also saddened by her and Owen's predicament and moved in a happy and sad way by the friendship between her and Owen. This is helped by the lovely music by Michael Gucchino who uses it effectively at the perfect time when Owen and Abby spend time together.

The dialogue and script is good too, particularly the facial expressions McPhee and Moretz make. The special effects of when you see Abby's face contorted when she eats is brilliant as it is terrifying. Also it is beautifully shot with some interesting camera shots. For example we never see Owen's mother's face, which I don't know if anyone else noticed was intriguing. It certainly got me thinking that even with his mum, Owen feels truly alone and the (whether intentional or not) never seeing his mum's face could depict the further isolation he also feels from his own family and that she isn't really there in Owen's world as it's just him and Abby.

Matt Reeves has to be commended for a stupendous achievement of making a film that is beautifully made and can connect with the audience on a emotional level. I first saw Chloe Moretz acting in (500) Days of Summer and Kick-ass. She was terrific in that and she has grown since then and is turning into a superb and mature young actress. Kodi Smit-McPhee from The Road, which I saw him in earlier this year I found to be an engaging young actor, with lots of potential and it's lovely to see him continue to fulfil that. This connected to me on every level and has become one of my favourite movies of this year and though it may not receive Oscars, it certainly deserves to be nominated. I am very pleased with the IMDb rating on here. Let Me In has a powerful resonant that radiates to it's audience, I'm glad I let this film in. Absolutely incredible.

for more information about this film visit the oficial website http://www.letmein-movie.com/

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