BLU RAY REVIEW: LET ME IN

I really had little interest in seeing another vampire flick. Been done way too many times. We have seen them treated as a subculture in True Blood. We have them all sparkly and romantic in the Twilight series. We even have them as bloodthirsty creatures of pure evil in 30 Days of Night. That said I am willing to give a different take on the vampire legends some type of a chance. Thus we have Let Me In, the American take on the brilliant 2008 Swedish film Let The Right One In.

For those who have seen the original, Let Me In stays very close to the Swedish version. The few changes are more in terms of locale, not in actual substance. For those who have not seen either, the spin is that the film is more a coming of age tale. The story follows Owen, a 12-year-old boy, who lives with his alcoholic mother in a low rent apartment complex. Enter Abby, his new neighbor who also happens to be 12… and has been for quite some time. As we follow Owen we see that he is often bullied in school and is an afterthought to his mother. As his bond with Abby grows they struggle to find where the relationship boundaries are. This may seem an odd premise but it is actually quite effective, creating an amazing cinematic experience.

In terms of overall quality, the Blu Ray is average. If you saw the film on the big screen you know there are few shots that require a “big-screen feel”. As a result, nothing is lost in the translation. The story is very much a character-driven story, taking place mainly in an apartment complex. This will look the same regardless of the big screen or small. Sound, much like the video, translates fine to DVD. Again, this was never intended to be a technically superior film. The audio consists more of conversations which differs little from the big screen to small.

In terms of extras there were a few:

You get your standard trailer, poster, and movie still gallery. I rarely get excited by these.  Let’s face it, in the day and age of the internet you can stream trailers anytime you want, especially in recent films.

Next, you get a Blu Ray exclusive “making of” video called “Dissecting Let Me In”. This was actually quite enjoyable but fairly short, running around 20 minutes.  You gain very few glimpses into the making of the flick itself. The majority of the info is about the actors. Being a huge fan of up and comer Chloe Grace Moretz this appealed to me but others may be disappointed.

Also included are three deleted scenes. The first is literally a 10-second shot that’s exclusion meant nothing to the film. The second was a scene with Owen talking to the gym instructor. The instructor gives Owen a few minute pep talk. The scene has some importance to the movie but is not needed by any stretch. The last deleted scene should be included in the film. It is all about the creation of Abby. For the first time, you get to see Abby as an innocent child and how it is all ripped away. Sadly, I felt this could certainly have added something to the finished product and should not have been excluded.

Lastly, you get a few minute features called “The Art of Special Effects, Crash Sequence Step by Step”. This was pretty much unnecessary. Breaking down the crash sequence is interesting enough as it is an important moment in the film. The special effects on the other hand… not so much. The little bit of CG in this film is actually very weak, looking too choppy and unrealistic. Breaking this down to first cut, second cut, and finished product without any narration just feels useless. At best it shines a spotlight on poor CG.

Overall I highly recommend that people see this film. For fans of the original, Let Me In is very true to its big-screen older brother. For newbies, you will be treated to a new spin on the vampire film, something the genre needly badly. Sadly though, unless you are a huge fan of the movie the DVD is nothing more than a rental. This is clearly not a film you will watch four or five times in a row. The extras just do not scream “ buy me”. Redbox this one and you will not be disappointed.

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