"Let Me In," directed by Matt Reeves ("Cloverfield"), is a remake of the 2008 Swedish film "Let the Right One In." While this film shares the same concept and story as the original, it was advertised very incorrectly. The film was promoted as a horror film, but instead, "Let Me In" is just a creepy romance story with vampires loosely tacked onto it.
The film takes place in Los Alamos, New Mexico, during the early 1980s, and one of the best elements of the movie is this setting. The cloths, the language, the technology, the people; it’s a very realistic image of the time. The acting is very good as well. Kodi Smit-McPhee ("The Road") and Chloe Moretz ("Kick-Ass") both do a very good job as the lead characters Owen and Abby. Elias Koteas ("The Killer Inside Me") does a great job as the nameless police detective the only likable character in the film.
However, the movie falters when it comes to the story. The movie’s main plot is the growing romance between Owen and Abby. It turns out, however, that Abby is a vampire. Surprisingly, the movie only focuses on vampires and Owen and Abby’s relationship on-and-off. Throughout most of the film, it focuses on Owen being bullied at school. The bullies in this film are brutal, but the movie is not supposed to be about the bullies; it’s supposed to be about Owen and Abby and, more importantly, about vampires.
There is also a subplot about the detective looking for the vampires, which he believes is just a satanic cult. This element could have added some much needed suspense, but the idea is savagely dropped in the middle of the movie and only picked up again in the last 20 minutes.
The movie has a hard time remembering which of the stories is more important than the others and focus, which results in two plot concluding climaxes taking place in the last 15 minutes of the film. Neither of them are scary nor have that good of a pay-off and because the subplots only conclude in the third act of the movie, everything until that point is boring and slow. The first 90 minutes have no pacing or suspense.
It’s a shame, because this movie has a couple of interesting moments, including the first 10 minutes, and had a lot of potential to be a decent horror film. Instead, you get a bizarre, unfocused and ultimately terrible love story.
Overall rating: Two stars