Second Blood

Vampire remake doesn't bite or suck -- in fact, it's pretty good

It’s always risky when filmmakers remake a much-loved movie. It’s even riskier when they do it so soon after the original – especially when the original is one of the best movies of the past 10 years and the greatest film of its genre. But Let Me In – an indie-budgeted U.S. version of 2008’s Swedish Let the Right One In, the best vampire movie ever – doesn’t disappoint. The plot and structure are mostly the same -- vampire girl befriends bullied boy -- and so are the movie’s dark tones. Give credit to Cloverfield director Matt Reeves and star Chloë Grace Moretz (so good as Hit-Girl in Kick-Ass earlier this year). Abby is 200 years old, but she looks 12. Owen (Kodi Smit-McPhee) is perpetually picked on at school. They’re both outsiders (she can’t stay in one place too long; his home life is almost as terrible as his days at school), and they find friendship in each other’s company. But since Abby is a bloodthirsty vampire, she has to keep her new friend at a distance. Let the Right One In is just as much a coming-of-age story as a horror film. Let Me In emphasizes the horror aspects more, but at its core it’s still very much a tale of friendship. The key to the movie is Abby, and Moretz is terrific, capturing the innocence and vulnerability of a 12-year-old girl and the ferociousness of a 200-year-old monster. Let Me In doesn’t have quite the momentum of the 2008 film, but it’s way better than you’d expect. It still puts story above scares, and it’s still a horror movie with heart.

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