Let Me In

Critics Consensus

Similar to the original in all the right ways -- but with enough changes to stand on its own -- Let Me In is the rare Hollywood remake that doesn't add insult to inspiration.



Total Count: 231


Audience Score

User Ratings: 66,812
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Movie Info

Twelve-year old Owen is viciously bullied by his classmates and neglected by his divorcing parents. Achingly lonely, Owen spends his days plotting revenge on his middle school tormentors and his evenings spying on the other inhabitants of his apartment complex. His only friend is his new neighbor Abby, an eerily self-possessed young girl who lives next door with her silent father. A frail, troubled child about Owens's age, Recognizing a fellow outcast, Owen opens up to her and before long, the two form a unique bond. When Abby's father disappears, the terrified girl is left to fend for herself. Still, she rebuffs Owen's efforts to help her, leading the imaginative Owen to suspect she's hiding an unthinkable secret.


Richard Jenkins
as The Father
Cara Buono
as Owen's Mother
Elias Koteas
as The Policeman
Sasha Barrese
as Virginia
Ritchie Coster
as Mr. Zoric
Seth Adkins
as High School Kid
Ashton Moio
as Lanky Kid
Brett DelBuono
as Kenny's Brother
Gwendolyn Apple
as Girl in Pool
Colin Moretz
as Video Arcade Counterman
Rowbie Orsati
as Scottie Tate
Rowbie Orsatti
as Scottie Tate
Brenda Wehle
as Principal
Galen Hutchison
as Football Player #1
Galen Hutchinson
as Football Player #1
Dean Satriano
as Football Player #2
Rachel Hroncich
as Admitting Nurse
Frank Bond
as Train Conductor
Kayla Anderson
as Newscaster
Tobin Espeset
as Paramedic #1
Ben Bode
as Paramedic #2
Juliet Lopez
as Paramedic #3
Jon Kristian Moore
as Paramedic #4
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Critic Reviews for Let Me In

All Critics (231) | Top Critics (43) | Fresh (203) | Rotten (28)

Audience Reviews for Let Me In

  • Sep 15, 2013
    Sure, the monster from "Cloverfield" was big and scary and whatnot, but boy, Matt Reeves has shown you no form of terror until he's shown you the wrath of any young girl, much less Hit-Girl as a supernatural monster. As if Chloë Grace Moretz didn't have a sharp enough mouth when she was Hit-Girl, now she's a vampire (Nyuk-nyuk-nyuk)! Man, with "Step Brothers" and now this film, I guess it's safe to say that any person Richard Jenkins takes into his home is going to be seriously messed up, especially if that person has been a child for way too long. Sorry, teenagers, but there is no Will Ferrell to be found here, though if you want to cool down from all of that cheesy "Twilight" stuff, you're ironically going to have to look into this melodramatic romance between even younger kids for some hardcore thrills... that punctuate long stretches of not a whole lot going on. Huh, now this sounds like a follow-up to "The Road" or something, which I guess would explain why this film is so much like the Swedish original, as it doesn't want you to forget that this is most definitely not "The Road II: Life Still [u]Bites[/u]" (See what I did there?), especially when it features Kodi Smit-McPhee trying to fend off a cannibal. Hey, I'm still glad that the kid is in here, not just because he's a good actor, but because he needs the work, as the money he's making off of low-profile Australian films isn't going to do when he grows up and has to deal with real-life blood-sucking girlfriends. Ah, young love, it just got a whole lot more disturbing, and I'm cool with that, because it sure does make for a good movie, and yet, unlike life in "The Road", not everything bites (in a good way that is), and for a couple of reasons. A serious blow to the original is natural shortcomings, and seeing as how this film has the same story, it too faces natural shortcomings, but, strangely enough, to a lesser extent, as the strengths of this story - of which there are, in fact, many - are more celebrated with this interpretation, thus obscuring the conceptual thinness, though not enough for you to fully disregard the draggy sparseness of this narrative, much less the characters' having some questionable traits and facing some histrionic situations. Of course, natural shortcomings might be relatively easy to spot because this story is too familiar for its own good, and by that, I don't necessarily mean that this film is way too faithful to its Swedish counterpart, - even though it is anything but a loose remake - as much as I mean that this film is more faithful to dramas of this nature than its counterpart. Even if you haven't seen "Let the Right One In", this film is kind of predictable, and that would be fine I guess if Matt Reeves didn't stay faithful to Tomas Alfredson's taking too long to tell this familiar and dramatically limited tale, being not as meditative upon nothingness as Alfredson, but still dragging sparse storytelling out, sometimes to an aimless point that is made more glaring by draggy atmospheric pacing. What really undercut "Let the Right One In" as underwhelming was it's being pretty dull in a lot of places, and here, Reeves' cold directorial atmosphere is controlled and flavorful enough to keep dullness at bay and intrigue at the forefront, but it still steadies momentum more than it probably should, until, after a while, blandness leaves you to lose your full grip on the compellingness. I must admit, this film starts out very well, promising to be a particularly strong art thriller through a not-so thrilling sobriety that subtly draws a lot of intense heart, but where this could have been, at the very least, 2010's "1408", Reeves sustains steadiness throughout a body that doesn't pick up as often as it should, and before you know it, you're meditating on light flaws that end up going a long way in betraying full potential, no matter how much Reeves boasts an ambition that ironically pronounces shortcomings even more. If there's an error in Reeves' efforts to make a strong drama, there's no missing it, and while the strengths go a long way in crafting a rewarding dramatic thriller, the shortcomings counteract the efforts to craft a strong film. Nevertheless, the film goes far enough to compel through and through, being not fully celebratory of strong potential, but decidedly superior to its counterpart, even when it comes to artistry. "Let the Right One In" relied heavily on silent intensity and really downplayed Johan Söderqvist's score, and ostensibly to reinforce their faithfulness to the Swedish original, the makers of this film considered playing down a score by the Michael Giacchino that they ironically ended up using very prominently throughout this effort, which, I must say, is very good, as Giaccino really delivers, crafting an atmospheric score, with gothically dark whimsy and touches of striking intensity that is not only hauntingly beautiful, but complimentary to a harsh tone. Giacchino's score is outstanding, as well as complimentary to the film's engagement value, featuring sparse compositions that are beautiful and effective enough to keep the film from getting too slow, and go matched in loveliness by Greig Fraser's cinematography, because even when it comes to visual style, something that "Let the Right One In" excelled at, this film is substantially stronger, having a chilled color, with warm hints and an emphasis on both sparse lighting and shadows that is very neo-gothic and unique, with a consistent gorgeous that is very often chillingly supplementary to a claustrophobic and dark tone. This film's Swedish counterpart really stood out, at the very least, stylistically, and even when it comes to artistry, this ambitious reinvisioning steps things up, so you know that substance handling is sharper this time around, as it's more celebratory of potential. Now, this film's story isn't as fresh as it was when it was first introduced through "Let the Right One In", and arguably overwhelming faithfulness in storytelling, broken up by a conventionalism not found in the Swedish counterpart doesn't exactly help, but this is still a distinguished story, with subtle layers and a certain strength that is much more clear in this particularly interpretation, due to direction's being, like most everything else in this film, stronger than it was in the original. The directorial approaches that Tomas Alfredson and Matt Reeves take on this story are pretty similar, in that they're both very atmospheric and somber, but where Alfredson's atmosphere got too cold for its own good with "Let the Right One In", Reeves never lets the air get too dry, keeping a slow pacing up for way too long, to be sure, but presenting a brood that keeps dullness at bay by drawing much intrigue throughout the film, punctuated by tension, if not emotional resonance. This gets to be a pretty intense thriller, as well as a moving drama, and for this, we have to give Reeves a lot of credit for his inspired direction, but we cannot disregard compliments to the heart of this character drama by the performers, particularly leads Kodi Smit-McPhee and Chloë Grace Moretz, who share excellent chemistry and impress by their own individual rights, with Smit-McPhee being eerily convincing as a disturbed child who ironically finds great comfort in the rise of a great danger, while Moretz proves to be quietly intense in her portrayal of a somber girl who thrives on isolation and dark deeds. Like Kåre Hedebrant and Lina Leandersson, Smit-McPhee and Moretz are too underwritten to be all that outstanding, but they're arguably more inspired, so in most every regard, this film is superior to its Swedish counterpart, maybe not to where it's all that strong by its own right, but certainly to where it compel thoroughly and ultimately rewards. In the end, while natural shortcomings aren't as pronounced as they were in "Let the Right One In", they still stand, with questionable character and drama elements that join questionable pacing plays and overambition in thinning out potential to the point of holding the final product from a particularly strong point, but through outstandingly beautiful and effective score work by Michael Giacchino and cinematography by Greig Fraser, chillingly inspired direction, and movingly inspired performances by Kodi Smit-McPhee and Chloë Grace Moretz, Matt Reeves' "Let Me In" stands as not only a superior remake, but a thoroughly compelling and rewarding art horror drama by its own right. 3/5 - Good
    Cameron J Super Reviewer
  • Aug 01, 2013
    <i>Twilight</i> had <i>Let the Right One</i> as a Swedish response in 2008. <i>The Twilight Saga: New Moon</i> had <i>Bakjwi (Thirst)</i> as a South Korean response in 2009. <i>The Twilight Saga: Eclipse</i> had <i>Let Me In</i> as a British response in 2010. For that, we people were grateful. However, as I said in <i>True Grit</i>, whenever you intend to make a remake, you must make sure if either the film needs a reconstruction because you can bring something new to the table that can compliment the original story, maybe applying your own visual / directorial / ideological trademark, if several generations have passed for a retelling, or if the original version was of such a notoriously bad quality that it needed a modern reconstruction. None of the cases above apply. Matt Reeves simply wanted to cash in. How ironic: his massively entertaining fun mess <i>Cloverfield</i> proved to be stronger as a film. The Swedish masterpiece had also received worldwide acclaimed and prestige by audiences and critics alike, so the explanation is not there either. This was obviously aimed at subtitles haters and people that stick to English-spoken films, like if English deserved cultural monopoly as a worldwide language. Of course I am not excluding those that were seeking to restore their hope for remakes, or simply wanted to experience the fantastic story again. I raise my glass with them. My remarks are not entirely negative: the children cast did a good job and Chloë Grace's career has just began to pave itself to stardom. Good for her. Some scenes are recreated effectively; maybe it was the fact that I had known what would happen in every single scene beforehand that increased my suspense throughout the remake: "How will they handle horror in the scene that is about to come next?" "How will they remake the climactic pool scene?" "Will the film end in the same tone and will it be effective?" Some answers were positive, so a thumb up for that, even if I still consider Reeves and co. to be financially greedy. Please somebody explain me: what was the point? I ask this in the most positive tone. What am I missing? 67/100
    Edgar C Super Reviewer
  • May 20, 2013
    If you think that romantic horror is a genre you could handle well - this is the real thing! Outstanding work of art written and directed by Matt Reeves and starring Kodi Smit-McPhee and Chloë Grace Moretz based on the 2008 Swedish film Let the Right One In (Låt den rätte komma in), directed by Tomas Alfredson, and the novel of the same name by John Ajvide Lindqvist. Real art of story telling of a bullied 12-year-old boy who develops a friendship with a vampire girl in Los Alamos, New Mexico in the early 1980s. I enjoyed every minute of it! Compared to the original version there were few changes like altering the setting from Stockholm to New Mexico and renaming the lead characters but the plot was very similar to the original. This was one of the rare Hollywood remakes which stayed true to the original film from which it was based, but had enough of its own not to add insult to inspiration. Everything was just right! Especially the feel of intimacy without too much complexity. If you are ready for a dark and violent romantic love story this should on your list... it is a beautiful piece of cinema, indeed.
    Panta O Super Reviewer
  • Nov 28, 2012
    One of those rare remakes that not only meets but arguably surpasses the greatness of its original, Let Me In is haunting but touching, brutal yet beautiful, with two of the best performances by child actors this genre has seen since The Sixth Sense. Cloverfield director Matt Reeves nails the melancholic pacing, understated humility and visceral tension that made its Swedish counterpart a masterpiece in dramatic horror, and as a result, he's crafted one of his own
    Tedd P Super Reviewer

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