Homefront movie
7.25 out of 10
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire movie
8.75 out of 10
Disney's Frozen movie
10.0 out of 10
Delivery Man movie
6.75 out of 10
8.25 out of 10

Friday, October 1, 2010

Let Me In

The Real Monsters
[Kodi Smit-McPhee, Chloe Moretz, Richard Jenkins, Elias Koteas, Dylan Minnette]

image from Daemonsmovies.com

RANT: It is Friday, October 1st. AMC is showing horror flicks all month. A batch of bloody flicks stream into the theater. So many hatchets and saws, so little time.

SYNOPSIS: Bullied loner Owen befriends his new 12 year old neighbor, Abby. As their relationship deepens, Owen begins to realize that she is more, and less, than what she seems.

Based on the novel and 2008 film, "Let the Right One In", written by John Ajvide Lindqvist, Matt Reeves co-writes and directs the American version starring Kodi Smit-McPhee of "The Road" and Chloe Moretz of "Kick-Ass".

Owen and his soon-to-be divorced mother live in an apartment complex in Los Alamos. Bullied by three thugs at school and unhappy with the religious rhetoric from his mother, Owen keeps to himself in the courtyard in the middle of his apartment complex at night. When not in the courtyard, Owen spies on his neighbors from his room with his telescope and fantasizes about retribution against his attackers. When a bare-footed girl, Abby, walks through to move into the apartment next door with her father, Owen instantly takes notice and interest in the girl. Within a few days the bullies, led by Kenny, torture and abuse Owen in the school lavatory. In the meanwhile, the police begin to find bodies that seem to lead back to someone in the apartment complex.

At the core, this film is a love story. Owen is reading and watching Romeo & Juliet is school, the Shakespeare prose "I must be gone and live, or stay and die", resonating throughout. Does it foreshadow the ultimate fate of Owen? Once Owen discovers that Abby must consume blood to survive, his close relationship with her seems to be in jeopardy. Abby detests what she is and what she becomes, but still yearns for companionship. The blood drying on her chin runs in stark contrast to the softness in her eyes as she lays with Owen in his bed.

From directing "Cloverfield", I expected much from Reeves. One of the only issues I had with the film is the unnecessary use of CGI effects instead of using practical effects. When Abby attacks a neighbor in a walk-thru tunnel or flees to the top of a tree like a squirrel, the computer effect is most notably obvious. In contract, the practical effects used climatic screen with Owen in the school's pool was much more potent and satisfying. If the care taken at the end was used throughout the film for the effects, "Let Me In" would be pitch perfect.

Honorable mention needs to be given to the true monster of the film, namely Dylan Minnette who plays Owen's tormentor Kenny. Even though Abby feeds on blood of men, at least she shows remorse and shame for what she is. Kenny, on the other hand, is zeroed in on ruining Owen's childhood.

"Let Me In" is not a film for all goers. For those looking for a straight horror flick, this is not it. Channeling "Near Dark", the film looks to humanize the afflicted and shed light on the everyday monsters that lurk all around us every day.

Worth: Matinee and DVD

I am also trying out a new rating system shown below based on reader reaction to my somewhat complex monetary rating scale. I will give both ratings and see what kind of reaction I muster. A movie can receive up to 5 popcorn buckets. Why popcorn buckets? Because I am a slave to the thousand + calorie delight! Enjoy!

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