When it comes to movies, there are those that are too serious, too dramatic or too directorial to my expectations of a good movie. There are just these pretentiously “indiesized” films. They generate a typical traditional story that we’ve known, put some depth and heart into it and then twist, bent, do some sort of surgery to it to make it look exceptional. Well, sometimes it gets so bland and that it gets so fricking boring. And some these boring, bland, pretentiously indie-sized, too damn dramatic, too directorial films are mainly critic’s favorites to which I just don’t quite get.

When I say directorial, I mean as opposed to the actual, physical story-telling. It’s kind of like showing a welcome mat on the screen and the audience supposedly should get some emotion or story out of it. When it comes to movies, I’m gonna need more than just actors smiling at each other, looking at the sky, embracing the good lesson of their life experiences. Na-ah! I need the story and the progression of it. I need to see some movements. It doesn’t necessarily just actions. It can be dialogue-driven. I just need some tension, some pressure, constrictions, dilemma, consequences, that revelation factor, anything that keeps the movie going instead of fixated on one expanded monotonous scene.

Of course, there are some that actually worked. There are those who truly are …..exceptional.

[I try as much to avoid giving away spoilers.]

WHILE I was watching the movie, I was very squeamish about it. Granted that vampire movies don’t generally possess the kind of substance you‘d expect for a quality movie. “Let Me In” really is one of those films. It’s a film that acquires a vampire story that we are accustomed to and presents it with a slightly deviated approach. It actualizes the more deep, more intimate or the more human aspects of vampire stories. I don’t know how it makes sense, but I guess it’s in a more realistic, more personal level. As I was watching the movie, I was skeptical about it thinking it’s just that movie that put a different spin to a regular story, make it more sophisticated and get high credit for it. It was so hard for me to be convinced that “Let Me In” was able to break through that orthodox.

Bottom line is that you know it’s an effective movie when it hits you even after moments or days you watched it. Well, “Let Me In” left many reactions in my head. Getting into the gist of the story, it’s quite predictable even after the big revelation. And as I was watching, I couldn’t associate myself or I couldn’t grasp the idea of these kids who are taking this big, serious, over-the-top situation so maturely and lightly as if it’s something so normal. What hits me is the entirety of it. Even after the fact that my expectation of the flow of the movie is kind of already set, when I got to the end it still have an enormous after-effect.

There’s a great deal of tenderness in the movie. It’s the whole soft underbelly, the meat part that draws the audience in. You got their compassion, their vulnerabilities, their hidden and precarious desire, them reaching for support and reliance to each other in their own little sandbox. The romanticism looks so odd noting it involves a vampire and it’s between youths. But then again, it provides that rarity of a circumstances that it kind of gives a charm or interesting effect. And when everything is said and done, these things, at the end of the movie, will piece together. The tenderness really becomes the core that is enveloping the whole story.

The intensity of the movie circles around the dilemma of where you side, of who you want to succeed… or how much. What I love while I watching the movie are the scenes where it reels your hopes in and then takes it back. There are plenty of that in the movie. The best is the attempt escape of the, air-quote, father. It was nicely done scene. I also can’t measure the limit of retaliation of the bullying kids and vice-versa to the main character. There’s also the detective’s contact to the kids, and you are going to get loft sided as to whether how much or who you want to succeed. These scenes give you conflicting thought, doubting where your morality and humanity lies, I suppose.

Thinking it’s considerably a horror movie-made dramatic, my expectations of the movie were very low even as I was watching it. In the end, it was such a relief that it didn’t came to disappoint. It’s hard to deny that a horror movie truly came through as an acclaimed movie as there are many failed attempts to make horror movies sophisticated. “Let Me In”, for me, is a hard-to-dislike movie. High fives to the director and kudos to the actors, no qualm about it. I do think that the movie’s source of richness is from the story itself. I have no frame of preference, but however much it relies on the original film or the book, I think that the participants of this movie really did a good job making/remaking it. The shots, the tone and the atmosphere are artistically well-presented especially comparing to other horror movies. In this era of vampire phenomenon, it’s good to know at least one can give that level of obscurity and at the same time be able to successfully provide brilliance. I, personally, don’t get this high satisfaction towards horror films.

It is tender. It’s special, timely and alluring. “Let Me In” gives vampire movies a good name. It is bloodthirsty and tastefully done.

Sorry it’s a long review.    


*The real intention of the girl is the big question in my head. Vampires, from what I think, have sort of magnetizing, persuasive, alluring power over humans. The big scene for the girl in this area was when she ate a gum that was offered by the boy. She vomited afterwards and then she asked the boy, “Do you like me?”. You won’t know whether she genuinely sacrificed entertaining the offer she can’t afford to do or she just wanted to gain assurance or she just wanted to know how close she was to the boy at that point. At first it seems like a simplistic but as it turns out it’s a very relevant part of the movie.

*I don’t like how the beginning is a flashback. I just think that they could’ve done it in one single timeline.

*The combined images that are planted in my head was when the air-quote father was preparing his stuff for the night and she came in and then the air-quote father held her hand into his cheek.. And the other image is whenever the boy hugs her, aware of her agenda.


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2 replies »

  1. First, I agree with you about indie films sometimes just being vehicles for acclaimed directors to show off. That’s why, as much as I like the movie “Sideways,” I still find it tremendously irritating. I know everyone deals with pain, but to be forced to watch it unfold in a very boring, strained way over a 2-hour period? Usually I don’t have the patience for that.

    What I liked best about your review was the constant use of the word “tender.” At the end of the day, “Let the Right One In” is a film about acceptance and kindness, despite how dark and disturbing it can be at times.

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