Let Me In [Blu-Ray] Matt Reeves

Let Me In [Blu-Ray] Matt Reeves
There were a lot of sighs of relief when Matt Reeves (Cloverfield) turned in a version of one of the best vampire stories ever told that's nearly as good as the seminal Swedish original. Let Me In is a stylishly shot and wonderfully acted telling of this darkly resonant portrayal of childhood torment. Owen (Kodi-Smit McPhee, The Road) is a young boy brutally bullied at school and isolated at home by his mother's preoccupation with her divorce, the former horrifically demonstrated and the later signified by perspective: the mother's face is obscured or out of focus in every shot. A mysterious father and daughter move in next-door and Owen meets Abby while venting his frustrations on a tree in the courtyard with his little knife. The two form a tentative bond through camaraderie among outcasts. He gets more affection and understanding from their limited interactions than in any other part of his life, and she sees the qualities in him she needs to survive. Their relationship is the obvious core of the piece, so it's a little baffling, even with the aid of a commentary track explanation, why Reeves decided to have such a long introduction absent of the primary characters. Good old fashion violent urgency and love for Elias Koteas is my best guess. Whatever the reason, it bogs down an already lengthy film with redundant information before it has a chance to build steam and omits entire mini sub-plots that were effective character builders in Let the Right One In – a title that infers quite a different meaning than Let Me In. A touch of subtly and class are lost to minor indulgences in flash. Chole Mortez's feral performance makes Abby's vampire transformation more drastic than it needs to be, but it's his odd use of inexplicable horizontal blue lens flare that distracts from the rich and moving performances in a few scenes. Richard Jenkins is fantastic in the caretaker role, investing the character with downtrodden despair, inducing sympathy through only his eyes – his face is usually obscured by a garbage bag mask. There's no explanation for Reeves's shot choices for the iconic swimming pool finale, which, while strong, doesn't hold a candle to the original, but he does give compelling commentary. That includes optional words on three deleted scenes, including the acknowledgement of the castration that's glazed over in the film. "Art of Special Effects" is a robust collection of scene breakdowns and there's a whole extra just on the excellent rolling car crash the looks like a single interior shot. There's also a solid "Making Of" containing a bevy of actual behind-the-scenes footage and interesting talks on the material with its young stars. If you haven't experienced this story before, Let Me In will blow you away. If you have, it's fascinating to see how Reeves dresses the material in his unique visual style. (Alliance)