A few months ago, I had the pleasure of going to the movies with a friend of mine who is a real film buff. Since my friend was so seasoned in the history of filmmaking, he was able to tell me the film we were going to see was a remake of the 2008 Swedish film, "Låt den rätte komma in" and since I am such a filthy hipster, I was willing to see any movie with a little European background.
But if you're as uncool as I am and you don't know about recent film or Swedish, you might want to know that the original film title translates to "Let the Right One In" and the American remake "Let Me In" happened 2 years later in -- GASP! -- Hollywood. Fortunately, the film retains much of the character of the original.
Let Me In is a morally complex tale of a young boy who falls in love with a girl who is not a girl, but really a vampire. Instead of sparkles and cheekbones, however, this girl is a strange combination of innocence and monstrousity, and she is kind and sweet but also a terrifying animalistic killer. As the viewers come to learn more about the characters and their struggles, they come to realise this isn't a story about good and bad with clear cut heroes and villains, but a story about good people who have to make terrible choies just to survive, about people who love each other fully despite their seemingly insurmountable vices. This is a film that manages to make you love a young monster.
Aside from the excellent plot and painstakingly complex character development, this movie managed to retain a very european ambiance. Allthough the original film was set in modern day Stockholm, the American production takes place in New Mexico in the 80s, thus enabling a coninuing theme of dingy, urban decay which emphasizes the poverty, desperation, and difficulty of the lives of the children involved, while still incurring moments of childhood nostalgia through the presence of simple pleasures like toys and candies. In this carefully crafted environment, symbols are frequently implemented to enhance the story. Careful cinematography was also used, so many establishing shots, or background presences of common, everyday scenes and objects gained new meanings. This subtle, layered use of symbolism and cinematography made Let Me In a film that could be re-explored again and again.
I really enjoyed watching Let Me In and I would recommend this film to anyone who is curious about "horror-romance". In fact, I enjoyed this remake so much that I would be interested in seeing the original with subtitles, which is apparently very similar.