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Let Me In - Blu-ray Review

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Let Me in Blu-ray Review


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4 stars

Vampire films are as prolific as zits on a teen’s face. While there is something of a buzz the last couple of years about the fanged ones being the ‘it’ subject to mine right now, the truth is they have never really gone away.

From Nosferatu into the 21st century, you really couldn’t swing a cat and not find some new vampire offering week to week. But while True Blood and The Vampire Diaries churn out the profits on tv, and every man and their dog try to release a vampire film to ‘cash in’ on the so called ‘it’ subject again, are any of them truly something we haven’t seen before?

This is an ironic question to ask, I guess, considering this American adaptation of the Swedish novel from John Ajvide Lindqvist is the second crack at his story in two years, but let’s face it: some folk don’t dig the subtitles, and Hollywood loves nothing more than to get in on a successful international tale and make it all American and easy to watch for those folk.

The 2008 adaptation that shared the title of Lindqvist’s novel, Let The Right One In, was such a vampire film. It was a fresh approach, with compelling child characters that challenged social standards and allowed its audience to make up their own minds. It was beautifully written, performed to perfection by its two inexperienced leads, and loved the world over.

As the western world continues to bemoan the exceptional unoriginality of Hollywood and the incessant sequels, remakes, adaptations, etc, that is now the majority of their product, and they keep ignoring us and remaking/adapting everything in sight, this reviewer was hardly chomping at the bit to see this version.

Director Matt Reeves impressed with his verite monster shocker, Cloverfield, and surprised all when it was announced he would helm the American version. The film, now titled Let Me In because the studio thought the original was too long (are you f’ing kidding me?) follows the Swedish adaptation and the novel rather closely; transplanting New Mexico for Stockholm, changing some names, upping the detective’s role and removing the neighbour’s involvement is about it, apart from the effects, which will be addressed further down.

Set in the 80s, the story follows an unpopular and isolated boy, Owen, (Kodi Smit McPhee) who is almost at the end of his tether. He is constantly bullied, his parents are getting a divorce, and he doesn’t have a friend in the world until a mysterious little girl, Abby, (Chloe Grace Moretz) moves in next door to him in a low income apartment block. Slowly, they forge a unique and powerful love for one another, and heal each other in many ways... but it comes at a very high price. Abby is a vampire, and needs human blood to live. As the bodies start to mount, and the police start to circle, Owen must choose between a life with little joy or a life helping the only person who has ever made him feel worth something.

The core story in the adaptation is intact, and, just like the Swedish version, it is a beautiful tale to watch. The two young leads are every bit as impressive as their Swede counterparts and carry the movie like old pros. If Kick Ass and The Road weren’t enough to show you Moretz and Smit McPhee are gifted, this will concrete it for you. Their supporting cast are all well cast, and Richard Jenkins’ minder in this version has an interesting tragic conflicting that improves on the original.

What smacks AMERICAN, and will probably get some fans of the original off side, are the effects. Unlike the understated (but nonetheless brutal) depictions of violence in the other version, this one goes all out with CGI, teeth, and overdone make up. It separates this film distinctly from the other version, but not in a good way. The subtlety in the writing and the carefully considered pace are undermined when the film regresses into these schlock horror moments. They were unnecessary.

There really is nothing else in this movie to complain about. While, if one can manage to endure some subtitles, the original adaptation perfectly captures Lindqvist’s novel and is all you need to enjoy this wonderfully original vampire tale, this American version is an easily accessible and equally moving version.

One of the best vampire stories in many years. Something you’ve not seen before. Well worth your time.


{2jtab: Film Info}

Let Me in Blu-ray ReviewMPAA Rating: R for strong bloody horror violence, language and a brief sexual situation.
Director: Matt Reeves
: Matt Reeves
Cast: Kodi Smit-McPhee; Chloe Moretz; Richard Jenkins; Cara Buono; Alias Koteas; Sasha Barrese; Dylan Kenin; Chris Browning
: Fantasy | Horror
Innocence dies. Abby doesn't.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Would you still like me... even if I wasn't a girl?"
Relativity Media
Official Site:
Release Date: October 1, 2010
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
February 1, 2011

Synopsis: An alienated 12-year-old boy befriends a mysterious young newcomer in his small New Mexico town, and discovers an unconventional path to adulthood in Let Me In, a haunting and provocative thriller written and directed by filmmaker Matt Reeves (Cloverfield).


{2jtab: Blu-ray Details}

Let Me in Blu-ray Review

Component Grades

Blu-ray Disc
4 stars

5 Stars

Blu-ray Experience
4.5 stars


Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - February 1, 2011
Screen Formats: 2.40:1
: English SDH, Spanish
English: Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set (1 BD, 1 DVD); Digital copy (on disc); Bonus View (PiP)

Superb film-like 1080p MPEG-4 AVC transfer; wonderfully detailed blacks, colours are deliberately muted but mostly crisp. Being a period film, any softness in the shot or background appears to be deliberate. The sound keeps the speakers busy with its Dolby TRUE-HD 5.1 mix; found the base a little uneven in moments of action, but for the most part it helps the atmosphere immensely. Special features include a mediocre making of featurette, much more informative commentary, and a few other tid bits. Could be better, considering the wealth of information about how this story came to be.



  • Feature-length audio commentary with Director/Writer Matt Reeves

Special Features:

  • From the Inside: A Look at the Making of Let Me In (1080p, 17:04)
  • The Art of Special Effects (1080p, 6:29)
  • Car Crash Sequence Step-By-Step (1080p, 5:34)
  • Picture-in-Picture Exclusive: Dissecting Let Me In (1080p)
  • Deleted Scenes (480p/1080p, 5:05)
  • Trailer Gallery (1080p)
  • Poster & Still Gallery (1080p)
  • Also on Blu-ray (1080p): Additional Anchor Bay Titles
  • Digital Copy
  • Let Me In: Crossroads

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