Let Me In (R)
Dread Central (DVD); Hammer Films; IMDb; Kindertrauma; Rotten Tomatoes; TV Tropes; Wikipedia
This is an American remake of a Swedish movie based on a Swedish book called "Let the Right One In." (Or rather, an American movie based on the same book as the Swedish movie, not actually a remake of the movie.) I've read the English translation of the book, which is also called Let Me In. I have not yet seen the Swedish movie, but I definitely want to, eventually (I read that the DVD that came out in America had a different, inferior translation from the one shown in theaters, so I'm waiting for them to put out new version on DVD). As for the American movie, I wanted to see it in the theater, but didn't get a chance. The main reason I wanted to see it is because one of the stars is Chloe Moretz.
Meanwhile, even before seeing this movie, I know there are some changes from the book. It's still set in the early 1980s ('83 instead of '81), but instead of Sweden it's set in Los Alamos, New Mexico. (I don't really know anything about the weather there, but I found it a bit hard to believe it could be so cold in March, that far south. Maybe I'm wrong.) Another change is the names of the main characters; Oskar is renamed Owen, and Eli is renamed Abby. Aside from that, I really had no idea what to expect. So... well, I know it's a cliché, but I definitely think the book was better than the movie. In fact, after watching this, I think I'll bump the book's grade up from the two and a half smileys I originally gave it, to three smileys. I also kind of want to rate this movie lower than I'm actually rating it (one and a half smileys instead of the two I gave it). But I definitely thought it was a good movie, and I feel like I might well have liked it more if I wasn't constantly comparing it with the book as I watched it. So I'm giving it the benefit of the doubt (and it may well deserve a higher grade than I'm giving it). Still, there was a lot more detail in the book, naturally enough, about the two main characters as well as secondary characters who were either not seen at all in the movie, or else seen in a relatively limited capacity. The major plot points concerning the main characters are mostly there, with a few notable exceptions, but there was a great deal left out about everyone else. There are, however, a few new details which were made up for the movie, which were fairly good.
Anyway, it begins with a scene in a hospital, which actually doesn't come until much later in the book, but then it flashes back two weeks, so we can see the events leading up to that point, which the movie eventually catches up to and goes beyond. But I'll try to give a slightly more chronological accounting. The story actually begins with a 12-year-old boy named Owen, whose parents are separated. Owen likes to imagine... well, that he's dangerous, basically. But in reality, he often gets picked on by bullies. Then one night, a 12-year-old girl named Abby moves into the apartment next to his, along with a middle-aged man who is presumably her father. When Owen first meets Abby, she says they can't be friends, but of course they do end up becoming friends. Meanwhile, there's a police detective investigating a series of murders, some of which were committed by Abby's "father," and some by Abby herself. It's not that long before viewers learn she's a vampire, though it takes longer before Owen finds out. Which of course gives him pause, regarding their friendship, but... it doesn't end. And there are also some vaguely romantic overtones to their friendship (hence my watching it on Valentine's Day, eh?). One of the main things I was wondering about the movie was whether it would include a certain revelation Eli eventually makes to Oskar in the book, but... I'm not going to tell you what that revelation was, or whether Abby ever made it to Owen. So as not to spoil you.
And I guess that's all I really want to say about the plot. I really do kind of wish I'd seen it before reading the book, but even as it stands, I can tell you it's a good movie.