Let Me In
As one of a handful of people who found the 2008 Swedish sensation Let the Right One In at best a trying curiosity, I’ll confess I didn’t expect much from the American remake other than a second helping of gory, Spielbergian bathos. Sure enough, Reeves (Cloverfield) has chosen not to tinker too much with a cash cow, which means that even fans of the first film are in for a potentially tedious round of déjà vu. Let Me In retains the original’s penchants for somnolent pacing, pregnant pauses, pretentious underlighting (even in hospitals) and—when it comes to the schoolyard bullies—egregiously overwrought sadism. Doesn’t the finale raise more questions than it answers?
But yes, a boy (The Road’s Smit-McPhee) still befriends a vampire (Moretz), this time in Los Alamos, New Mexico—a setting fraught with literary and cinematic associations that, incredibly, Reeves does nothing with. Thanks to a chugging snow machine, it all looks a lot like Sweden. The movie is mainly notable for Moretz’s demonstration that she can be as whispery-dull as she was a live wire in Kick-Ass, and perhaps for the dissonance of seeing Koteas sporting ill-fitting, owlish ’80s glasses as a detective. That’s not a lot to chew on.