"Let Me In"
I’m lukewarm at best as regards the new-fangled teen vampires of the “Twilight”/”True Blood” variety, existing as they do in a universe where vampirism is just another nuisance rather than something rare and deathly mysterious (cf George A. Romero’s excellent “Martin”). Although I’m yet to see it, “Let The Right One In”, seemed like a welcome return to traditional values, so I was curious to see what Matt “Cloverfield” Reeves would do with the much-dreaded Hollywood remake. Very effective, I thought, the muted colours and 1980s setting (nostalgia for Reaganite certainties re “evil”) cleverly setting up the doomy tone. The performances were spot-on - Kodi Smit-McPhee heart-breaking as the lonely, bullied Owen; Chloe Moretz chillingly unreadable as the ageless 12-year-old bloodsucker; Richard Jenkins brilliantly low-key as her terminally weary helper; even Dylan Minnette as Owen’s loathsome but pitiable tormentor. Inevitably I was making comparisons with the Swedish original, based only on clips I’d seen (Kim Newman in the December 2010 Sight and Sound does a useful analysis of the differences and similarities), but the only false note for me was the use of CGI at crucial points, which immediately took one out of the naturalistic narrative and into a cartoon world. On the whole, however, were one to come at it with virgin eyes, “Let Me In” would probably be viewed as a significant achievement in cinematic creepiness.