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Let Me In (2010)
Friday, October 1, 2010
Strong bloody horror violence, language and a brief sexual situation.
Chloe Moretz, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Richard Jenkins, Elias Koteas, Cara Buono, Sasha Barrese
"Let Me In" tells a terrifying tale about an alienated 12-year old boy named Owen (Kodi Smit-McPhee) who is viciously bullied by his classmates and neglected by his divorcing parents.
Let Me In (2010) | Preview
When Evil is the Best Thing
Owen: "Dad, do you believe there is such a thing as evil?"I'd like to review Let Me In as its own film, without comparing it to Let The Right One In, the book and film on which it is based. This is a challenge because I'm a HUGE fan of the original film (haven't read the book).
Let Me In is a profound story that touches on raw relationships, supernatural evil, the distance between the worlds of children and the worlds of parents, and the perils of growing up.
Owen's life is really a tough one. His parents are getting a divorce and he is brutally bullied at school. He lives in New Mexico and it is a cold and desolate life. His only moments of peace come in the playground, alone at night. Everything changes for him when a girl his own age moves into the apartment next door with her father. It is not much of a spoiler to say that this girl, Abby, isn't really 12 years old, and IS really a vampire. The film follows Owen through his struggles with his parents, and with the bullies at school. And we also see Abby trying to eke out a living in her own way. Abby needs blood. Of course, in a small New Mexico town, the deaths Abby causes weave our characters together, and Abby and Owen's destinies are quickly intertwined.
At its heart, Let Me In is about the relationship between these two fascinating characters. And Abby's vampirism is the only piece of this story that is hyper-real. The rest of the story is grounded in a shared human experience of the trials of growing up, finding acceptance, and facing your fears. I think the film will connect with a wide audience because it touches so realistically upon the growing up process. We all had a first love, we all had issues coming into our own as adolescents, and so we will relate and root for Owen.
Of course, ultimately the film suggests that yes, there IS evil in the world. But this isn't the profound aspect of Let Me In. The deeper meditation is what happens when the most wonderful thing that ever happens to a young boy is that he met a vampire. Maybe that is the real evil of the film. Owen's parents are too distracted to love him, and his dignity is systematically stripped away from him at school. Owen KNOWS there is evil in the world, and yet Abby is the least evil thing he has encountered in his painful life so far.
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