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Let Me In

letmein_04.jpg
Still courtesy of TIFF.

Let Me In

Directed by Matt Reeves (United Kingdom/US, Special Presentations)
2½ STARS
There seems to be some confusion amongst those behind-the-scenes with regard to what exactly Let Me In is. Director Matt Reeves (Cloverfield) has claimed that it’s another adaptation of Swedish novelist John Ajvide Lindqvist’s novel Let the Right One In and not, strictly speaking, a remake of Tomas Alfredson’s 2008 Swedish film of the same name. But producer Simon Oakes has insisted that Let Me In is precisely a remake of Alfredson’s film. Anyone who treasures Alfredson’s excellent adolescent romantic thriller is likely to side with Oakes, as watching Let Me In brings about that distinct feeling of déjà vu all over again.
For the uninitiated, Let Me In casts Kodi Smit-McPhee as Owen, a lonely twelve-year-old twerp living with his wine-slurping, Bible-thumping mother in smalltown New Mexico. A victim of frequent beat-downs inflicted upon him by a trio of one-dimensional bullies, and possessing no friends his own age, Owen spends his nights chewing on Now and Later taffies and enacting revenge fantasies in his apartment courtyard. That is until a young vampire named Abby (Chloë Moretz) moves in and the two become fast friends. But with Abby’s arrival follows a series of ghastly murders, many involving blood-letting, leading to a pesky parka-clad detective (Elias Koteas) poking around for answers.
In adding the detective character, and developing the relationship between Abby and her browbeaten, blood-collecting steward (Richard Jenkins), Let Me In fleetingly differentiates itself from its Swedish antecedent. But the rest of film feels like Reeves tracing over the lines drawn by Alfredson. He offers us a few virtuoso compositions (though nothing compared to the gory subaquatic dénouement of Alfredson’s film), but otherwise Reeves’ movie is of interest to only that subset of movie-goers who want to see a horror movie about a juvenile predator, but can’t be bothered with reading subtitles.
Want more TIFF 2010? Torontoist’s complete coverage of this year’s Toronto International Film Festival is all right here.

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