There was a lot to like with this latest spin on the traditional vampire, including Chloe Grace Moritz. Moritz plays Abby, a 12-year old girl who has been 12 for "a very long time." Moritz first blew this reviewer away in Kick-Ass, and her ability to perform tough, complex characters with underlying vulnerability is equally impressive in Let Me In.
Kodi Smit-McPhee, a rising Australian star, plays the role of Owen with equal talent to Moritz's Abby. Owen is also 12 and must deal with the "real life" issues of a typical 12-year old boy like bullying in school and neglectful, divorcing parents.
The story is set in 1983, a time when 12-year olds were still 12, the dawning of a new post-70's era when women wore little rabbit-fur jackets over tight-fitting jeans and walked small dogs--predecessors of 21st century styles now used by celebutants like Paris Hilton, etc. The cinematography and music adds to the early 80's sensibilities, well-done by Greig Fraser and Michael Giacchino, respectively.
What is unsettlingly remarkable about the film won't settle on the audience until the very end; amidst the budding friendship and romance of two 12-year olds lies a sinister snake-like undertone that softly hisses of the sadness and desperation of both life and perpetual death.
On the Housel-scale, Let Me In is a 9/10--very well done visual adaptation with the kind of fresh wonderment brought to screens since 1993 by Reeves, who, one easily imagines, was himself a boy like Owen.