Review: Let Me In

Movie PosterI had heard of Let The Right One In from the Rotten Tomatoes Show on Current a while ago, but never saw the movie. It sounded good, so when Let Me In came out I was all over it. Both movies were based on a novel by a Swedish author named John Ajvide Lindqvist. I have no freaking idea how you pronounce that, by the way. I have to say this for John–making a 12 year old girl into a vampire just makes sense. Little girls are way creepy. Giv’em fangs and vampire strength, too … now that’s terror. Still, the American movie version of Let Me In was made by the Director of Cloverfield, so…. Hmm.

“Will this movie suck as bad as Cloverfield?1” I asked myself. Probably. But did it?

Hell, I’m just funning ya. Let Me In was awesome. I liked it so much I even bought the book. The novel is quite long, proving that John whats-his-name really is the Swedish Stephen King. You go John.

Picture
See? Nothing creepy here.

The movie starts out with an apparent suicide, then flashes back to the events leading up to that suicide. That’s when we meet Owen, a little boy and serial killer in the making. Owen gets picked on a lot and likes stabbing trees with a knife. I picked up on Owen’s evilness in the movie, but my wife didn’t. You, uh, did notice the picture off to the left over there, didn’t ya? Maybe little boys are a different kind of creepy? (Or I am.) At any rate, you feel sorry for Owen. His mother isn’t much help. She barely figures in the movie at all. Kinda like Charlie Brown’s parents.

Hint: don’t turn your back on Charlie Brown.

Then this little girl named Abby moves in next door. She’s always bare foot, though it’s the middle of Winter. Owen talks with her in the playground by their apartment building. Straight away, she warns him that they can’t be friends. As a geek, I get this a lot from chicks, so I know how Owen feels. Still, geeks are naturally drawn to weird chicks. Oh, did I mention that she smells like old cheese and sweaty feet? Hot damn.

And then there’s Abby’s dad. His name is Thomas. Kinda creepy. Find out more after the spoilers warning to follow.

SPOILERS AHEAD.

Picture
Oh, you’re gonna
take a Watchtower.
And you’re gonna
read it, dammit!

You really feel sorry for the man who appears to be the little girl’s father. He’s really her human servant, and … uh … boyfriend. He’s probably in his sixties. Eventually, we see pictures of him when he first met Abby, the vampire girl. He was about Owen’s age back then, so I guess she likes them young. Abby could be centuries old for all we know. So it’s not exactly pedophilia. Right? Of course I’m right. Probably.

The thing about this guy (his name’s Thomas) is that he’s getting old, yet he still loves Abby and struggles to find her the sustenance she needs to keep her vampire heart pumping. Blood! It’s a point a contention between them. Thomas struggles with his guilt and his sense of loyalty to her. But he’s also getting sloppy, which could bring the police. A rift is forming between them.

Meanwhile, Owen can hear them fighting like an old married couple through the walls of his room.

Picture
You smell
soooo nice!

Abby is very different with Owen. She reverts back to a 12 year girl when she’s with him. Either that, or she’s very manipulative … which isn’t out of the question, when you think about it. They talk to one another in Morse Code through the walls separating their rooms.

SPOILERS END.

As I mentioned earlier, I bought the book to Let Me In. (Let The Right One In is its original title.) I’m still reading it, but it seems to go even further than the movie. The characters are simultaneously evil and sympathetic. My kind of story. Maybe it’s yours too. If you’re pure evil like I am.

I definitely recommend the movie. So far, I’d recommend the novel too. I plan to see the Swedish movie at some point, but from other reviews, it sounds like many felt the American movie was just a remake of the Swedish version rather than an American interpretation of the original novel. Maybe I’ll review the Swedish movie after I see it and let you know.

Now go watch Let Me In, kids. It rocks.

  1. How the HELL does Cloverfield get a 76% approval rating at Rotten Tomatoes?!?

About The Atheist Geek

The Atheist Geek is a former Jehovah’s Witness turned secular humanist. He’s a lifelong sci-fi geek and a writer wannabe.

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6 Responses to Review: Let Me In

  1. Ty says:

    I refuse to watch pointless Americanizations of superior foreign films.

    The original film is fantastic, and doesn’t shy away from some of the more squicky elements of the novel like the American version does.

    Watch the original if you get a chance.

  2. Ty says:

    I wish more Americans weren’t afraid of subtitles.

    Let me know what you think. Especially of the difference in how the two films handle the vampires true nature.

    • I saw Let The Right One In last night. I think those who said the American version was really just a copy of the Swedish movie (rather than the original novel) were probably wrong. They are different. I can’t necessarily say that I prefer one over the other as of yet, though.

      It is a little easier to feel close to the characters in the American version since they’re speaking in English. I didn’t feel anything for Eli’s human caretaker, for instance, yet in the American version I felt sorry for him. But the Swedish version goes a bit further in some ways and wasn’t afraid to go darker. Which isn’t always better in and of itself, but this is the kind of story where you want things to go darker.

  3. Ty says:

    I appreciated that it didn’t shy away from Eli’s true nature like the American version did.

    This is NOT a nice story, in any way. I felt like the US version tried to ‘nice it up’ a bit.

    • Agreed, though I’m still reading the book. I’m reading several books at the moment and I read slowly. But the fact that it’s not a nice story is one of the things that draws me to it.

      Sometimes, I think I’m drawn to stories like these precisely because they are different than the usual, watered down Hollywood stuff. Other times, I assume it’s my evilness burning through.

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