"Let Me In" is the best horror movie since "Let the Right One In," the superior Swedish film upon which it is based. "Let Me In" is great -- a solid vampire film from the director of "Cloverfield". "Let the Right One In", however, is a masterpiece.
Needless to say, if you're a true horror you'll prioritize getting your hands on "Let the Right One In", and maybe catch "Let Me In" as an afterthought. And if you live in Sweden, you don't need to see "Let Me In" at all.
"Let Me In" shares the same look and feel as the original film, moving the setting from a dreary apartment comlex in the colds of Sweden to a similar complex in a winter-y New Mexico of 1983. Matt Reeves, of "Cloverfield" fame, doesn't tinker with the story too much, so if you've seen the Swedish version recently, you'll definitely walk away from the U.S. version with a sense of deja vu -- it's almost as if you watched the same movie again.
Once again, we meet a bullied pre-teen boy (Kodi Smit-McPhee) whose unsupportive mother and absent father have left him ill-equipped to deal with the evils of the real world. No one at school pays attention to him, with the exception of the bullies. When a mysterious pre-teen girl moves next door (ChloŽ Moretz) with a man that appears to be her father, a body count starts mounting in town as people are murdered and drained of their blood.
Naturally, the next door neighbor is a girl vampire stuck as a 12-year-old for eternity, her "father" is her human side kick, and the boy's battle with bullies is going to get more interesting as he gets guidance and help from his new girlfriend.
Reeves does inject the story with an eighties setting, featuring pop music and references from the era. Exceptionally chilling is a speech by Ronald Reagan on the nature of evil, playing after one of the film's killings.
Critics have been exceptionally kind to "Let Me In," with Stephen King even calling it the best American horror movie of the past 20 years. That's being a bit too kind. In fact, the adapation of Stephen King's "The Mist" was much better.
But, "Let Me In" is a still a damn good movie, and was probably too cerebral to enjoy box office success, hence a less-than-profitable run in U.S. theaters in 2010 before it's debut on DVD and Blu-Ray in 2011.
Once again, if you're a true horror fan, or film lover, see the Swedish verison first as it's a masterpiece. But if you really don't like subtitles, catching this English-language rendition will give you an acceptable adaptation of John Ajvide Lindqvist's novel.