Friday, October 28, 2011

Movie Review: Let Me In

OK, I finally saw this flick. I managed to TiVo it and watched it late at night when all the impressionable people were fast asleep and far from nightmares.

First off I'm NOT a gore guy. I do not watch films like Freddy or Jason. I get turned off my gore and of course this film had gore in spades. Yes, the gore turned me off. But that didn't hurt my over all rating of the film.

I liked it. The writing was strong.  I really felt bad for the human child Owen and of course I felt bad for vampire child Abby.

As you know, I am obsessed with vampire children. I suppose that's because I needed to tell Annabelle's story. That obsession, while controlled, is still strong. I worry that with each new interpretation, we'll see Ann exactly rendered in another story before she's made it into the world on her own. I know the fear is silly, but it drives me to search out these stories.

In Let Me In we find a vampire child with a conscience. Abby doesn't want to hurt others, feels terrible for what she puts her adult guardian through (he has to kill innocent people to bring her blood) and fiercely defends her human friend Owen.

This is a world where vampires can't substitute human blood for animal blood like they do in Twilight and in my Night Children series. Abby has no choice. She looses control of the blood lust and kills. To get this through to the viewers, it has gore. But I feel bad for Abby. She wishes she didn't hurt people and longs for a normal life.

She has the current vampire powers; speed, acute senses, strength, speed and agility. It's cool watching her scale a palm tree and a 6 story building. When she fights it's done in shadow. She kinda looks like a blood thirsty Gollum. She crawls/zooms around the victim, biting everywhere. Her eyes go funky and her face slightly distorts. She also goes pale.

As with the title of the movie, it's foreign predecessor movie and the original book, the tile "Let Me In", which is the scaled down original title "Let The Right One In" refers to the age-old vampire tradition that vampires have to be invited in. Other classic vampire concepts are in this film as well. Sunlight burns and kills them. Also as she let go of the high hospital window the closed caption (I watch everything with captions) revealed she "fluttered" away which suggests flight. She herself said she flew during the film. So as with Night Children, vampires in this universe have the Anne Rice current abilities AND the Bram Stoker abilities and problems as well. That earns a high score in my book.

Claudia in Interview With a Vampire was irredeemable due to her selfishness and lack of guilt. The children in The Little Vampire were never shown dealing with real issues like addition and murder. Nessie from the Twilight series is sweet and a personal favorite. Abby joins the list of vampire children and has made my list as well. She does feel guilt and is very relateable.

Chloë Grace Moretz pulls off an amazing and believable performance as someone Annabelle could have become if eating animals wasn't an option and she had to live with the guilt. It's a very adult, strong performance. The same is true for Kodi Smit-McPhee who pulls off the frightened, teased loner outcast child in many of us. Abby's loss of control and blood feast didn't scare me. The bullies teasing Owen scared me much more. Kodi showed the absolute fear we all felt when confronted with a bully at school.

So over all I give it a 9 out of 10. Yes, the gore took it down a peg as did the brief flash of upper nudity from a neighbor. The story and acting is powerful so if my warning about gore, violence and 1 second upper nudity doesn't scare you off on principle (which is why I warn my friends), watch it.