New Release of the Week: “Let Me In”

Looking at the monster in the mirror

Let Me In” (Anchor Bay), a remake of the Swedish coming-of-age horror movie come adolescent survival drama set in the wilds of suburban civilization, is as unexpected as can be: an American revision of a celebrated European film that manages to honor the original while translating its anxiety and unease to a distinctly American setting and, if anything, deepening the emotional power of the original.

Moved from the suburbs of Stockholm to Los Alamos, New Mexico, in the depths of winter in the last gasps of the Cold War under Reagan’s presidency, it follows the same story: a bullied young boy (Kodi Smit-McPhee, heartbreakingly lonely) left to drift in his own isolation as his parents withdraw in divorce and an odd, eerily confident girl (Chloë Grace Moretz) who only comes out at night and endures the snow and the chill in bare feet and summer dresses. Yes, she’s a vampire who feeds off the blood harvested by her guardian (Richard Jenkins, a hollow man with failing skills so deadened by his work that slavish devotion alone drives him). And she’s a twelve-year-old girl (“I’ve been twelve for a very long time”) who has just found a friend in a devoted boy who has been abandoned by the rest of the world.

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