Anchor Bay Entertainment
Cast: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Chloe Moretz, Elias Koteas, Richard Jenkins
Extras: Commentary Track, Comic Book, Deleted Scenes, Featurettes, Galleries, Trailers, Digital Copy
The Hammer Film Studios have long stood as a beacon for a certain type of horror. Trailblazing the horror genre in the late 50s all the way to the 70s with a seemingly endless string of fan favorites and cult films, the studio has created some of the most iconic horror characters and spawned the careers of some of the most incredible talent the genre has seen. No one can, of course, forget Christopher Lee's Dracula movies, and Peter Cushing as his eternal nemesis, to just shine a light on the tip of the iceberg.
After folding and disappearing, the studio has recently been resurrected and here we have the first Hammer movie of the next cadre, "Let Me In," a remake of the 2008 Norwegian movie "Let The Right One In," based on a novel by John Ajvide Lindqvist.
Owen (Kodi Smit-McPhee) is a bullied kid in middle school. Keeping mostly to himself as a result, not even his home gives him the comfort zone he needs to grow into a stronger person. With his parents divorced, and his mother an alcoholic, he spends most of his time by himself or spying with a telescope on his many neighbors in the apartment complex.
One day, someone new moves into the apartment next door. A man and the young girl Abby (Chloe Moretz). Owen and Abby meet on occasion and Owen grows to like the strange girl his age. She walks barefoot in the snow, doesn't seem to go to school and smells funny, but she is the only person who seems to take him seriously and doesn't seem to want to hurt him.
All the while, the police is trying to solve a string of strange murders in which the bodies have been emptied of all their blood. It slowly begins to dawn on Owen, that Abby might not really be the innocent little girl he thought she was.
"Let Me In" is a movie that feels very differently from the current crop of over-the-top genre flicks that oftentimes have no intrinsic value. While not perfect, "Let Me In" is a nice start for the Hammer Studios to re-emerge. It is a very moody film, in the best tradition of the studio, but it is also a very cold film – and not only because of its snowy settings.
The only real problem I had with the movie was how predictable it was. You see everything in the story coming from miles away. While usually, foreshadowing is a good thing in films, but for some reason here it is a tad too obvious. With the limited amount of dialogue in the movie, every line becomes pregnant with meaning, making it inevitable for viewers to guess what is going to happen. So, in a way, the film is almost too efficient for its own sake.
Nonetheless, I enjoyed the movie, just to see things unfold and looking forward to the inevitable resolution of the story.
Anchor Bay Entertainment has created a nice-looking Blu-Ray version for this movie, complete with the inclusion of a limited edition comic book. Presented in a 1080p high definition transfer, the disc offers a very clean and clear 2.40:1 widescreen transfer without blemishes. Overall, the movie's design is rather dark and gloomy, but the disc makes sure to keep it all properly intact with solid blacks and good shadow detail. Highlights are nicely balanced, giving the movie are nicely organic feel.
A Dolby Digital 5.1 TrueHD audio track is included on the release, making for an equally impressive presentation. Balanced and without distortion, the track makes good use of the surround channels without ever feeling obtrusive. Ambient effects nicely build atmosphere for the most part, while dialogue is always perfectly integrated without being drowned out.
The release contains a commentary track by director Matt Reeves, also, as he discusses many aspects of the film's making, including his cast, the setting and his own approach to the material.
A Making-of featurette is also included, along with a look at the special effects, and the car crash scene. Deleted Scenes, Trailers and a poster gallery round out the disc. On the second disc of the release you will also find a Digital Copy of the movie.
"Let Me In" was a solid entry in the genre and immediately puts a good light on the new Hammer Films Studio. It may take a little for the studio to find its proper pace and its own niche in the market, but with this movie they are definitely off to a good start. With many other great films scheduled and in production, I am very eager to see more and hope to be able to watch Hammer ascend to its own stardom once again.