Director: Matt Reeves
Writers: Matt Reeves (screenplay), John Ajvide Lindqvist (screenplay & novel of the original Swedish production: “Låt den rätte komma in”)
Running time: 111 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 15
UK Release date: 5th November 2010
Watched on DVD Thursday 30th August 2011.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
Having watched, and loved, the original Swedish film “Let the Right One In” (2008); (see my review here) it was with much trepidation I turned on this American remake. In fact, I have to say that when I watched “Let the Right One In” back in 2010, it only came second in my top ten because a certain film called “Inception” happened to be released that year. But I digress; I was in fear that the studio would dumb it down so much that it wouldn’t have the same haunting quality of the original. Was I right? Well, I’ll tell you after this very brief summary.
Twelve year old Owen is a loner; he spends much of his time in the courtyard of the apartment block he lives in with his mum. Some boys at school, Kenny, Mark and Donald (particularly Kenny) take great delight in bullying and tormenting him. One day a girl, Abby, moves into the apartment next door with her ‘Father’. They meet in the courtyard and, after a bit of an awkward start, begin to become friends. Abby has a secret though and when Owen finds out about it he is left with a dilemma. I will leave it there, although I’ve given less away here than they do in the trailer.
Very well made with the same haunting quality of the original; they got the look and feel of it just right. The performances were all excellent as well; particularly the two young leads; Kodi Smit-McPhee as Owen and Chloë Grace Moretz as Abby. They were ably supported by; Richard Jenkins as The Father, Elias Koteas as The Policeman, Dylan Minnette as Jack and Cara Buono as Owen’s Mother.
I find it hard to talk about this film without drawing comparisons with the original. I guess if I hadn’t seen, and fallen in love with the original, I would have thought this was quite brilliant. The trouble is, it’s almost shot-for-shot the same film; with some obvious references changed. I noticed also that it was set in the 1980’s also, giving scope for a sequel with Owen as a grown-up. So how does it compare; well I must say I preferred the mystery of the original and it will always be my favourite version. However, I still found this one perfectly watchable and have no problem in deeming it Highly Recommended if you’re not lucky enough to have seen the original… Otherwise.
SteelMonster’s verdict: RECOMMENDED.
My score: 7.5/10
IMDb Score: 7.2/10 (based on 45,673 votes at the time of going to press).
MetaScore: 79/100: (Based on 35 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 74/100 ‘Liked it’ (based on 58,854 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
Paramedic #1: One-three-one to dispatch, come in.
Radio Dispatcher: [after delay] One-three-one, this is dispatch, go ahead.
Paramedic #1: This is one-three-one. We have a male, mid 50s, with burns over nine to nine and a half percent of his body. Prior to arrival on scene, the patient apparently doused his head, neck and face with some sort of highly concentrated acid. patient's airway severely compromised due to fume inhalation. Vital signs undetermined. Please advise, patient is a federal suspect. We're coming in with a police escort right now.
Abby: I want to be left alone.
Owen: So do I.
Abby: Now go away.
Owen: No! I've lived here longer than you.
Abby: [touching Owen's bandaged cheek] What happened there?
Owen: Some kids from school.
Abby: I'll help you.
Owen: But you're a girl.
Abby: I'm a lot stronger than you think I am.
Abby: You have to hit back.
Owen: I can't. There's 3 of them.
Abby: Then you hit back even harder.
The Father: Please don't see that boy again.
Official Site: http://www.letmein-movie.com/