A massive thanks to Gill Jacob of Realweegiemidget Reviews and Barry P. of Cinematic Catharsis for allowing me to participate in THE GREAT HAMMER-AMICUS BLOGATHON!
Screenplay by & Directed by Matt Reeves
"I've been 12 for a very long time." - Abby
I was in the right place at the right time to experience LET ME IN on the big screen. Curiosity brought me to the theater because I had seen LET THE RIGHT ONE IN and had read the novel. To be blunt, I wasn't expecting much out of a version set in the United States, that is until the HAMMER logo appeared on the screen.
First, I had to check if I was still alive. Second, I wondered if I had been thrown back in time. I had no idea Hammer was still in the motion picture business in the 21st Century! Third, my expectations skyrocketed because of this cinematic revelation! I must confess that I initially had mixed feelings as I left the theater, but repeat viewings have made me appreciate and thoroughly enjoy this film.
The story, if you are not familiar with it, centers around Owen, a young boy in the 1980's who is ignored at home and bullied at school. Owen's life changes when a young girl, Abby, moves in next door with a man who seems to be her father. Turns out Abby is a vampire and the man is her protector and human blood collector. Events and emotions become extremely entangled and complicated as Owen and Abby figure out if they should let each other into their damaged lives.
LET ME IN is ultimately a story about loneliness and the three principle leads capture that isolated feeling. Kodi Smit-McPhee, as Owen, radiates sadness as he struggles with the divorce of his parents while trying to avoid a trio of bullies. Chloë Grace Moretz gives a mesmerizing performance that shows Abby is older than her body indicates, but is somehow still a child in her own way. Richard Jenkins is perfectly cast as the middle-age, kind of pathetic father/protector whose life hasn't quite turned out how he imagined.
While LET ME IN is different from the classic Hammer films, there are similarities to be found. There is a lurid quality to the story and in certain scenes. Specifically when the father/protector dumps acid on his face to disguise his identity. The smoking-skin effect seems like a loving throwback, but it's still disturbingly effective. Another similarity to the classics is how it becomes increasingly clear, as the plot unfolds, that the real monster in the film is human.
So, if you want some moody, 21st Century Hammer horror, break out the Rubik's Cube, grab some Now & Later, and enjoy LET ME IN.
P.S. Click NATURE'S FURY to read a filmic blogpost from the last time I was invited to participate in a blogathon.
Click JLH for more info on this blogger.