Let The Right Vampire In

Let Me In

Normally, I regard remakes as much as a vampires would sunlight. But since I’m a big fan of Låt Den Rätte Komma In (Let The Right One In…whaddaya mean you don’t speak Swedish? How un-American of you), a 2008 movie about a 12 year old boy who bonds with a “been 12 years old for a very long time” vampire girl, I figured Let Me In, the 2010 remake, was worth a shot. To my surprise, it didn’t suck neck.

The names were changed, but not much else. Oskar is now Owen and Eli is now Abby. Other than some more glistening gore and a few vampire close-ups, this thing stay true to the original, which was based on the 2004 book of the same Swedish name, instead of real-life experiences.

Let The Right One In Owen lives with his single mom and is bullied at school. This makes him sit outside at night in the snow, contemplating his problems. Abby, as sullen as an oil painting, and her father move into the apartment next door. She appears one night in the snow next to Owen – without shoes! If that doesn’t indicate vampire, I don’t know what does. From that point on, the two become friends, then something more. Not quite feeling up boyfriend and girlfriend, but hugging and a peck on the cheek school crush stuff.

And that’s the core of the film. Done in a very touching and heartfelt manner, while the gore quotient has been ramped up from the original (blood face, transforming vampire face, hydrochloric acid face), the developing relationship between Owen and Abby is the root of all this evil.

Abby advises Owen to stand up to the school bullies, even offering to help. “But you’re a girl,” he scoffs. “I’m a lot stronger than you think I am,” she responds. I’ll say – when hungry, that little gal turns into a snarling, man-ripping beast. Too bad that she has to resort to finding her own food when her “dad,” whose been responsible for mugging people in the dark and slitting their throats and draining neck sauce into jugs, screws up one night and gets caught. (His solution to not letting anyone find out about Abby is the aforementioned acid bath.)

Let Me BurnA police detective, though, is on the trail. Even though there’s snow outside (set in 1985 New Mexico, where I thought snow was illegal), things heat up, and in the final scene, which was magnificently executed (sorry) in the original, comes off just as stunning.

Let The Right One In/Let Me In is a rare accomplishment in vampire movies, in that it addresses the other side of darkness and doesn’t suck. Which, ironically, is what vampires are supposed to do.

Let Me In I hope they do a sequel using beer. Then they could have me as the eternally thirsty vampire, going around and sucking all the beer out of the beer necks. That’d be so cool! Don’t need any chicks to star in the movie because hey, when you have booze, who needs women?

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