Let Me In

A movie drenched in blood! 
"Innocence dies. Abby doesn't."

Hey everybody! Welcome to another Thursday at the Tagline. After almost a month off from grisly horror movies, I decided that it would be okay to talk about a movie where everyone is pretty much drenched in blood for the duration (okay so mostly Chloe Grace Moretz, but occasionally also people she savagely murders). Let Me In is a somewhat peculiar beast, an American remake (in 2010) of a Swedish film, made only in 2008 called Let the Right One In, which itself was based on a Swedish novel of the same name (published in 2004). It is unusual then not just because it is an adaptation of a foreign film but also because it is an adaptation of a very recent one. A lot of fans of the original book/movie felt that this film was unasked for and unneeded, but I will suggest here and in the rest of this post that Let Me In has a lot going on for it. Let Me In takes place in Los Alamos, New Mexico, where 12 year old Owen (Kodi Smit-Mcphee, he was also the kid from the movie adaptation of The Road) is the victim of vicious bullying at school, and a total outcast, with a somewhat disturbing fantasy life (that involves probably murdering the people who pick on him). He has no real connections, having a stand-offish relationship with his mother (whom he lives with) and has a very distant relationship with his absentee asshole of a dad. One day, new tenants arrive in his apartment complex: an older man, and a young girl, named Abby (that would be Chloe Grace Moretz, aka Hit Girl, aka Carrie in an upcoming remake aka I'm scared shitless of this 15 year old girl).

I am terrified of this tiny blonde girl.
Who is this new girl? Well Owen slowly makes friends with her, and comes to realize that maybe she's not just a little girl. Maybe she is actually some sort of nightmarish, ancient predator, feeding on the blood of the local populace. Then again, Owen isn't really inclined to judge, given how little of a shit he gives about any of the local people, or people in general (heck, he actively wants to kill some of them). So Owen gets more and more involved with this... maybe a girl, probably a vampire, whose adult male companion seems just about ready to cash in his chips (murdering people for your prepubescent vampire girlfriend probably gets old after a lifetime). The movie then is primarily about Owen, and his relationship with Abbey.

You can sort of tell he's done this before.
It is also about a bunch of people being brutally murdered by a truly terrifying night hunter. Despite being a teensy weensy girl, Abby is a scary ass vampire. When she is feeding, she is transfigured in a subtle but profoundly disturbing way, transforming into a feral creature that keeps me up at night. This movie just adds one more notch to Miss Moretz's wall of terror. I'm not sure how, but I am sure that at some point she is going to murder me, probably while I'm asleep. In this case, she would basically tear my head off while feeding on my blood. Here you will find none of those sexy vampires that Hollywood likes so much, these things are monsters, and they look and act like monsters.

If I see this outside my window, I'm locking
myself in the trunk of my car
How does this movie compare to the original film, or to the book? Well, I would say that it is very different from the Swedish movie. The Swedish Let the Right One In is a much more... charming movie I'd say. As much as it is about a monster, it's also a romantic horror story, and you're left with a very sweet, albeit screwy, impression of the relationship between Abby and Owen. In contrast, there is something truly dark and sinister about Let Me In, and I think that is a tone much more in line with the original book. There isn't a lot of sentimentality here, just a messed up outcast hooking up with an ancient and frightening creature, and a bunch of people dying in the process. If you're looking for something uplifting, I'd look somewhere else.

Abby: constantly soaked in human blood.
This movie did pretty shitty in the box office, and I think it was because no one even knew it was there. It was in and out in the space of a couple weeks, doing 24 million against its 20 million dollar budget. More's the loss for audiences, I think that this movie was pretty fantastic, and somehow more true to its source material than the first movie made off of the book. I should add that critics were enthused by this movie, but it just didn't do anything in the box office, probably from lack of good advertisement. I strongly recommend making time to see this if you enjoy movies that aren't afraid to get dark.

That's all for today, I'll see you all on the weekend, with a third post as yet to be determined. It might be special, it might be a third review!

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