When mysterious, 12-year-old Abby (Chloe Grace Moretz) and her dad (Richard Jenkins) move next door to Owen (Kodi Smit-McPhee), a social outcast who’s being bullied at school as his parents undergo a divorce, Owen forms a profound bond with his new neighbor, who he can’t help noticing is like no one he’s met before. As a string of strange, grisly murders grips his small town, though, Owen must confront the reality that his new friend is actually a vampire.
Writer-director Matt Reeves, working from John Ajvide Lindqvist’s bestselling novel Let the Right One In, ups the gore quotient a bit, but retains the artfully deliberate pacing and wintry desolation of the original Swedish film that it spawned. His experience on Cloverfield with chaotic, jumbled, yet still involving cinematography is richly evident here, and Reeves also recognizes that, current commercial appetites notwithstanding, this isn’t a vampire movie in any typical sense, it’s a movie about loneliness. Let Me In pegs the lingering, character-molding anxiety of adolescent humiliation and degradation, and in doing so breaks one’s heart while simultaneously quickening one’s pulse. At once tender and brutal, Let Me In is a transfixing elegy the likes of which the supernatural horror genre rarely produces.