At this point, there are so many vampires populating big and small screens that the multitude of award shows should start adding categories like "the best exsanguination scene" or "most passionate kiss by two dead people."
But if you're susceptible to the toothy creatures, then Let Me In, from American writer-director Matt Reeves, is an admirable, even elegant remake of 2008 Swedish horror film Let the Right One.
Reeves — known as the co-creator of the TV show Felicity and director of the horror film Cloverfield — has made some changes to the story, which was based on a novel by Swedish writer John Ajvide Lindqvist. Reeves moved the setting from a working-class suburb of Stockholm to 1983 Los Alamos, N.M., the home of the atomic bomb.
The story centers on the relationship between a 12-year-old boy named Owen (Kodi Smit-McPhee of The Road) and an androgynous girl called Abby (Chloë Grace Moretz of Kick-Ass). Like the book, Reeves' film goes beyond supernatural themes and deals with the topics of faith, bullying and the loneliness of being an adolescent.
Owen and Abby are in their own ways outcasts with issues. He, picked on and missing his father, acts out violent fantasies in his room and spies on the neighbors; Abby, as we come to understand, is trapped in her own nightmare. Yet Reeves manages to create a tenderness between them while supplying the expected jolts and eeriness.
The director also displays a crafty visual style, filled with shadows and light and a touch of humor. Add a couple of veteran actors in Richard Jordan and Elias Koteas, and you have a smart little film.
Let Me In retails for $29.98 or $39.99 Blu-ray.