Review: Let Me In (Blu-ray)

2011/02/01 21:20:57 +00:00 | Jonathan James

Let Me In is a fantastic film which delivers a refreshingly original vampire tale that can be both warm and brutal at times. This is likely to be the benchmark for serious vampire films and will hopefully inspire horror filmmakers to try something new. Let Me In is set for release on Blu-ray and DVD this week, and we have included a review of the film and Blu-ray.

For those unaware, Let Me In is based on the Swedish book Let the Right One In as well as the film of the same name. Let the Right One In was released in 2008 and hailed as one of the best horror films of the decade and among the best vampire films ever made. Of course, when fans heard that the film was being remade, they were worried. Rarely is a film remade so quickly after release, but Let Me In is a film that is well executed and superior in many ways.

When production started, Let Me In had a number of things going for it. This was a major production from the newly resurrected Hammer Films, which really needed this to work. Thankfully, a talented director and cast was assembled to pull this off. Matt Reeves moved onto Let Me In after his success with directing Cloverfield, and the extremely talented Richard Jenkins and Elias Koteas were brought in to support Chloe Moretz and Kodi Smit-McPhee.

Let Me In is a film that deals with adolescent troubles wrapped around a vampire storyline. The film focuses on Owen, a 12 year old boy who deals with problems many children his age have to deal with: school bullying, puberty, divorce, and loneliness.

Kids at school bullying Owen is taking its toll on him physically and mentally, and Owen is having problems coping. While playing outside his apartment building he notices that a girl his age and her father have moved into the complex. Owen eventually befriends this girl, named Abby, and learns that she is not your average 12 year old girl.

The film centers on the building relationship between Owen and Abby, Owen’s progress toward standing up for himself, and a police detective who is investigating a recent string of killings believed to be related to a satanic cult.

Matt Reeves did an excellent job shooting this film and working with the cast he had at his disposal. In many respects, this is very similar to the original Swedish film, but the focus is slightly different and a number of the shots in the film are fantastic. For those wondering about the differences between this film and the Swedish version, the biggest differences for me are in the way Owen and secondary characters are handled.

Owen I see as a boy having a hard time dealing with school bullies, while Oskar in the original seems to be a serial killer in the making. The original film also gives more attention to secondary characters, such as Oskar’s father, and Virginia, where Let Me In does not. For pacing reasons, I prefer more time being spent on Owen and Abby, so that works for me. As for the differences between Owen and Oskar, I think that is one area that helps make these two separate films.

Chloe Moretz and Kodi Smit-McPhee have great chemistry and really pull off a believable relationship. You may remember Moretz as Hit Girl from Kick Ass, and she has that “wise beyond her years” type of quality that really yields itself well to this film.

This film is available on Blu-ray and DVD this week, and I would recommend the Blu-ray version if you have a choice. Obviously, most Blu-ray films have exceptional audio and picture, and Let Me In is no exception. If you have the HDTV and home theater sound, you owe it to yourself to see films like this in the best quality possible, and you’ll want the Blu-ray copy.

As far as extras are concerned, Anchor Bay did a great job of putting together a number of extras that were really of interest to me. I really enjoyed the look of a car crash sequence during the film, and had absolutely no idea how they accomplished it. Thankfully, they have an extra feature that covers that scene step by step.

There are also deleted scenes, audio commentary by Matt Reeves, a “making of” feature, a digital copy, and more. If you are someone that enjoys finding out as much as you can about the production of the film, Let Me In has some great extras.

If you haven’t seen this film already or the Swedish Let the Right One In, you should definitely pick this up. If you are more of a slasher fan, you’ll need patience and an open mind, but give this film a chance and you should enjoy it. Otherwise, I think most horror fans will really enjoy this film.

The only case I have for someone who many not like this film is someone who has seen Let the Right One In and can’t stomach the idea of a remake. Even then, I’d say to give this film a chance. Although, close, these are two separate films, they have their differences, and can be enjoyed on their own merit.

Let Me In is an excellent film that will be enjoyed for decades to come. It did not receive the type of response that it deserved in theaters, but I believe it will be more appreciated on DVD and Blu-ray as word of mouth spreads and more horror fans get a chance to see it.

Score:  The film Itself: 4.5/5 , Blu-Ray: 4.5/5