Let Me In
   Director: Matt Reeves, Icon Film Distribution, Rated MA, 116 mins

Cloverfield director Matt Reeves’ clever remake of Tomas Alfredson’s 2008 Swedish sensation Let the Right One In is not your average type of vampire movie, with Reeves incorporating additional material from author John Ajvide Lindqvist’s deeply disturbing source novel.
   With a somewhat different approach being taken to the usual ‘boy meets girl’ storyline, it is a story of a persecuted youngster who finds solace in a soul mate - a young female vampire.
   Australian actor Kodi Smit-McPhee (from The Road) takes on the lead role as the tormented Owen who is constantly bullied at his school in Los Alamos (a town in New Mexico) by three classmates, Kenny (Dylan Minnetta), Mark (Jimmy ‘Jax’ Pinchak) and Donald (Nicolai Dorian).
   Unable to get support from his alcoholic mother (Cara Buono), Owen suffers in silence until he meets Abby (Chloe Grace Moretz from Kick-Ass) a mysterious girl who has recently moved into the adjoining apartment with her unusual father (Richard Jenkins).
   Abby’s arrival also coincides with a series of brutal events such as the bizarre murder of a teenager, the discovery of a corpse frozen in the ice skating-pond, and a car crash that leaves a second teen dead.
   Just as Owen thinks he has found someone who can help him get through the years before he is old enough to leave Los Alamos, parents, teachers and a brooding police detective (Elias Koteas) are suddenly intensely interested in what is happening to the young people of the town.
   Reeves’ version can be best described as a supernatural coming-of-age story in which an out-of-place adolescent is seduced not only by the prospect of a romance with a vampire but also by her power.
   In addition, from an entertainment point of view, Reeves has duplicated some of the scenes seen in the original Swedish production to ensure that the despair, brutality and atmospherics are fully captured in his classy movie.
   There is no doubt that Let Me In is a horror flick that may not appeal to everyone’s taste. At the same time, it is a well directed and intriguing movie that is worthy of seeing, not least of all due to the powerful performance of young Australian actor Kodi Smit-McPhee.

VIC'S VERDICT:       4 Rubber Stamps

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