When Stephen King, the King of Horror himself, says a movie is “the best American horror film in the last 20 years,” I pay attention. Honestly, I’m not sure I agree with him on the “best in 20 years” part, but I do agree this is a great horror movie, and do highly recommend it.
Let Me In, based on a Swedish film and book called Let the Right One In, is a lovely, haunting, sad vampire love story where no one sparkles and no one becomes a werewolf. Set in a wintry 1980’s small southwestern town (yes, I said wintry southwestern town), Let Me In is the quiet story of how two people can be drawn to one another, even if and when they know it’s an impossible thing. It’s the story of friendship and love. And it’s a story of youth in all its complexities.
Owen, a lonely 12-year-old who lives with his mother, sees an odd girl about his age (Abby) move into an apartment next door one night. Seems she never gets cold and doesn’t wear shoes in the snow. She arrives with an older man, her “father.” Right off, Abby tells Owen she can’t be his friend. And boy, does he need one, as he is mercilessly bullied at school by Kenny and his two sidekicks. Nevertheless, a shared love of puzzles brings Owen and Abby together, and they begin to develop a friendship, hanging out and talking in the evenings in the building’s snowy courtyard.
Meanwhile, teens in the small town are going missing, and we learn that Abby’s “father” is the reason. He must bring blood to Abby and others so they can survive. When he is in a crash, however, and sets himself on fire to escape recognition, Abby’s world starts to unravel and the only one she can turn to is Owen. But will he accept her for who, and what, she is? Or does friendship and love have its limits?
Top Scare: Not really scary
Heartbeats: 3 1/2 out of 5
Gore factor: 4 out of 5
Suspense Factor: 3 3/4 out of 5
Recommended for: 15 and up due to some nudity and cussing