#34 -- Let Me In (2010)

Director: Matt Reeves
Rating: 3 / 5

At last, a much needed break from the sparkly vampires. Said sparkly vampires should definitely run and hide from this one, because they would not stand a chance in hell. 

Owen is a troubled young boy of twelve. Well, he's not exactly troubled, so to speak. He is unhappy. His parents are getting a divorce and his mother is immersed in religious babbling. We believe from the beginning that he has problems. He stands in front of a mirror, wearing a mask and holding a kitchen knife, saying "Are you scared, little girl?" He then spies on his neighbors making whoopie. And we just know that this kid has problems. But once he gets to school, we realize where these problems come from. He is bullied constantly. While he is being pounded on, his bullies yell "Are you scared, little girl?" These little bullies are the biggest assholes I've ever seen. Owen can't swim, and they are bound and determined to get him into some water: probably just so they can laugh at him as he's flailing around in the water. 

A little girl around Owen's age moves into his apartment building, right next door to him. She is with a man believed to be her father. The first thing Owen notices about her is that she doesn't wear shoes - and it's the middle of winter. Owen sees her at night when he's outside, sitting on a jungle gym and eating Now & Laters. I fear that Owen might become morbidly obese at a later age, because he loves those damn Now & Laters. Owen and the little girl (Abby, he later learns) bond over a Rubix Cube and become friends. He has no idea what she is, and he doesn't seem concerned by the fact that he only sees her at night. I don't think he cares very much, though, because he likes her so much.

Abby doesn't usually do her killing herself. Her "father" finds people, kills them, and brings their blood back to her in jugs. But one night, a murder plan goes awry. There is a car accident, and Father pours acid all over his face. I'm not sure if he is trying to commit suicide (he says earlier that he is tired of living the way he does), or if he is trying to make himself unrecognizable to the police. Either way, his face is terribly burned and he is hospitalized. Abby visits him (by flying up to the window), and he lets her drink his blood. He then falls from the window, down into the snow below. 

A man is walking around, and goes into a tunnel. A little girl - Abby - is sitting inside crying, "Help me." Concerned, he approaches her. She tells him that she fell and she can't get up, and she asks him to carry her back to her apartment. He picks her up, and she attacks. She moves incredibly fast as she bounces around inside the tunnel. And a grown man is no match for this little girl; she flings him this way and that way and all around. She rips him apart, and we see her face: silver eyes, sharp teeth, covered in blood. I was very impressed with Chloe Moretz - how a young girl of only thirteen could play such a vicious character, and play it very well. She is frightening.

After killing the man, Abby sneaks up to Owen's window. When he asks her how she got up there, she tells him that she flew. He doesn't believe her. She makes him invite her inside. She takes off all her clothes and climbs into bed with him. Don't worry; there's no underage pornography in here. It simply implies that her clothing is removed. She will not allow him to look at her (because her face is covered with blood), but he notices that she is naked. "You're not wearing anything. And you're freezing," he says. "Is that gross?" she asks. He assures her that, no, it is not gross. He asks her to "go steady" with him. I'll pause for a moment to tell you that this movie takes place in 1983, so don't chastise the boy for his out of date language. 

When Owen realizes what she is, he seems frightened, but not quite enough for him to run away from her. He helps her get cleaned up after another murder, and he still sees her every night. She helps him as well. The bullies have decided to get revenge on Owen (because he hurt one of them, by cutting his ear in half). Swim practice is going on, late at night. They lure the teacher outside, and the Head Bully's brother holds Owen underwater. He says that if Owen can stay under there for three minutes, he'll only cut him a little bit; but if he can't, he'll poke a hole in his eyeballs. One minute passes, and Owen is sure that he is going to die - that is until the bloody bodies start falling into the pool all around him. He rises to the surface, and a pair of bloody hands lift his head up. Owen and Abby have a nice little slumber party on the diving board, while four bodies float in a bloody pool underneath. 

When the policeman investigating the murders finally finds her (she's sleeping underneath a pile of blankets in the bathtub), he opens up the window and burns her skin. But Owen has been watching. He screams at the man and he is surprised enough to turn. The split second of distraction is more than enough time for Abby to attack. She kills him in the same manner that of the other man, and she hugs Owen.

Is Abby stopped? Is she killed? Well, I actually don't want to give away the ending. Usually, I don't have a problem. But this ending, though a little bit uneventful, was very good. So, naturally, I feel like I should keep it to myself. It is a sweet story, even though the vampire in question is vicious and NOT SPARKLY. It's not scary. It's more disturbing: the sight of such a young girl committing brutal murders. I enjoyed it. And as I said before, it's a nice break in the screamy teen subgenre of vampire films. So, take a peek, if only in order to restore the lost hope in these bloodsucking monsters. Trust me, they're not dead. They're hiding from the screaming teens.

Did I mention that Abby does not sparkle?

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