The Review at a Glance: ( max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Overture Films - 2010
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 115 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Audio Format(s): English Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Chloe Grace Moretz, Richard Jenkins, Kodi-Smit McPhee, Elias Koteas
Directed by: Mett Reeves
Music by: Michael Giacchino
Written by: Matt Reeves (screenplay), Based on John Ajvide Lindqvis's Novel and Screenplay for "Let The Right On In".
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: February 1, 2010
"Innocence dies. Abby doesn't."
From Matt Reeves – the director of Cloverfield – comes the new vampire classic that critics are calling “chillingly real” (Scott Bowles, USA Today), “one of the best horror films of the year” (Cinematical) and “a haunting, touching and unforgettable thriller” (Pete Hammond, Boxoffice Magazine). In bleak New Mexico, a lonely, bullied boy, Owen, forms a unique bond with his mysterious new neighbor, Abby, who moves from town to town with the man who appears to be her father...
My Take:I know I might ruffle a few feathers, but I enjoyed 'Let Me In' more than its counterpart, 2008's Swedish film, "Let the Right One In". There are some obvious similarities between the two, as well as some obvious differences. From what I could tell by this viewing, as well as information gleaned in its special features, this is an original take on John Ajvide Lindqvis's Novel "Let The Right On In" --as opposed to a 'remake'. The main differences between the two is that 'Let Me In' is a bit more of a horror film; it is more graphic in its violence. The tone, look and feel are very similar; similar enough to make it seem like a remake. It's a hard call...but regardless, it is the same story with some tweaks, however, it is similar enough to the original in all the right ways - but with enough changes to stand on its own.
The lead, 12 year old Owen (Kodi Smit-McPhee of The Road), forms a bond with his mysterious new neighbor, Abby (Chloe Moretz of Kick-Ass), who we find has been moving from place to place with a man who appears to be her father (Richard Jenkins of The Visitor). This is a convenient time for Owen, who is a loner, to find a new friend. He has a lonely home-life and is terribly bullied at school, so he is emotionally weak and open to strange and different Abby. When they meet she tells him right off the bat, "I can't be your friend."
For those who haven't seen either film, stop reading about the plot here or anywhere else, as I highly suggest going in cold on this one.
I felt more drawn to the characters in this version, and thought Matt Reeves proved to be a competent director, tackling a more substantial plot than the nauseatingly hand-held film "Cloverfield". I felt much more for Owen, and thought Kodi Smit-McPhee embodied his characters quiet, awkward sadness perfectly. Chloe Moretz became Abby. After her over-the-top role as Hit Girl in "Kick Ass", it was great to she her do a complete 360 here. She is a great little actress for the age of 13! The two of them had a wonderful chemistry, selling the adolescence is hell metaphor; especially for Abby who is stuck there forever. I have said it before, Richard Jenkins is the man. From sneaking up behind you with a garbage bag on his head here to his emotionally powerfull delivery in 2007's "The Visitor"...he is my favorite modern day character actor. He morphs into any role, and here, it is easy to believe he will do anything to protect Abby, which he certainly, and sometimes without self concern, does.
It might be that something was lost in translation from the original Swedish film, but this was an easier watch, and everything seemed to flow with less lulls. I think anyone who loved the original will appreciate this effort...at the least. The film has a delicate beauty to its horror which is what is lacking in most modern monster flicks. We feel for the victims, but still connect more with the monster, wanting it to live and be happy. That kind of yin-yang is what makes this film/story succeed. If you have yet to see either, both are very worth your time!
Rated R for strong bloody horror violence, language and a brief sexual situation.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Critiquing this video transfer was a bit tough. 'Let Me In' was wonderfully lit and filmed by Cinematographer Greig Fraser. It is a very dark film and somewhat soft as well, with a small amount of grain keeping its cinematic look. Anchor Bay was faithful, doing what looks like the bare necessities to this 1080p AVC encoded video. It is not the most detailed or sharp, but this was the intended look. Blacks do slightly waiver, but seeing that it is dark for the majority of the film, shadow details and black levels succeed more than not, and enhance the films feel. Considering its darkness, this is not the most colorful of films. The color scheme is a bit subdued, even giving flesh-tones a ghostly appearance. All of these choices work for the tone of the film, and come across perfectly on blu-ray.
The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 Surround Sound track was well thought out and was another great element that added to the films experience. It had a brooding low score that was a major thematic element. On transitions and for-warning danger, this low end would sound, almost in the classic way John Williams score for Jaws did. It was deep and dug low, shaking my chest. It wasn't the most refined LFE I have heard, but was an impressive element to the soundtrack. Where this track scored big was dynamics. From soft and delicate, with clarity in every whisper, to loud and hectic, this track was ready to startle or lull you at the blink of an eye. Its surround presentation and front sound-stage were all mixed spot-on, putting dialogue and effects where they looked to be on screen. I really enjoyed this track and how it and it's video presentation were as much a part of the film as the story.
- Audio Commentary With Writer/Director Matt Reeves
- (HD) From The Inside: A Look At The Making Of Let Me In
- (HD) Car Crash Sequence Step-By-Step
- (HD) The Art Of Special Effects
- (HD) Dissecting Let Me In
- (HD) Deleted Scenes
- (HD) Theatrical Trailers
- (HD) Trailers: Stone, Jack Goes Boating, Let Me In, The Crazies, The Disappearance of Alice Creed, I Spit on You Grave (2010), And Soon the Darkness
- Poster & Still Gallery
- A Digital Copy Of The Film
- Let Me In: Crossroads- Exclusive comic book prelude to the film
'Let Me In' is a great genre film that transcends its horror roots. The acting, directing and effects (besides a little bit of questionable CGI) were all top notch. The 2 child stars sold the story, and were believable in their sadness. I found it to be equal parts entertaining (having the most effective car-crash I have seen) and though provoking with its drama/horror combination. Even if 'Let Me In' doesn't seem to be your cup of tea, you just might find a gem. If you do like this---please also check out the Swedish version as well. Combining the great film with a great Video and Audio presentation, and some watchable and enjoyable special features makes this a highly recommended Blu-ray.
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Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS50 3D 1080p High Definition Front Projector
Custom 1.3 Gain 128" 2.37:1 CinemaScope Screen
Marantz AV7005 Pre/Pro
Emotiva UPA7 Amplifier
Sony PS3 Slim Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Triangle Zerius Speakers (7.1)
SVS PC13-Ultra Subwoofer