Our next debuting Halloween Horror 2019 contributor is Angel Young. Angel is the owner of a blogsite called Wandering Nerdgirl, in which she discusses her own passions, ranging from horror, to comics, to haunts, and more! When not typing reviews and critiques, she can also be found on her own Youtube channel discussing similar topics. You can also find her on Instagram @wandering_nerdgirl.
For her inaugural entry into our series, Angel will be covering the most modern film in this year’s line-up, 2010’s Let Me In. For her entry, Angel not only presents a defense for the film, as it is generally compared to the film it is based off of, 2008’s Let The Right One In, but also explains why she (and so many others) consider the tale to be one of the best vampire tales ever committed to film. She also does an admirable job of keeping the entire piece grounded in the spirit of Halloween.
I consider it an honor to have Angel join our series and truly hope that this will not be the last we see of her!!
I grew up on monsters. As I was cutting my first teeth, I was watching Dracula. I had (and still have) an animatronic Wolfman Halloween decoration that I used as a doll. I lovingly named him “Wolfy”, and I would take him outside with me where I “made potions” in a big, black bowl. Our neighbors must have thought that they lived next door to the real world equivalent of The Addams Family or The Munsters. So, when I think of Halloween, I think back to my fondest childhood memories of walking down the Halloween aisle with my mom, and my lifelong soft spot for the Universal Monsters.
Of, course this love of monsters grew as I did. It expanded into different movies, new monsters, and retellings of my favorites.
One of my favorites, since I was a child, has always been stories about vampires.
When people talk about Let Me In (2010), one of the first things normally brought up is the original Swedish film – Let The Right One In (2008). Typically – in my experience, at least – there are comments about the original being superior and Let Me In being unnecessary. However, I’d like to come to the defense of Let Me In, by exploring the movie further, comparing it to the original. Oskar and Eli aren’t that different at all from Owen and Abby.
First and foremost, something about both movies that makes the story in general unique in an ocean of blood suckers, is that it finds ground between a monster and romance movie. Obviously, this isn’t a sexualized vampire story, and our Abby isn’t a heartthrob for a teenager’s bedroom wall. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Abby isn’t a brutal, senseless killer. Instead, the story is based around a theme of love, and the lengths you’d go through for someone you care about. From Abby’s caretaker and his lifelong devotion to her, to Abby’s love for Owen and her protectiveness over him, and even Owen’s own sacrifices in time for the monster girl he comes to love.
Instead of Abby, the literal monster, being the scariest threat to Owen in this movie, we find the biggest monster in both movies are far more human. The bullies that torment Owen are far more horrifying than anything the vampire does in the film. We’re on the edge of our seats during each confrontation, as they continue to escalate. So, it’s no wonder Owen would choose to befriend a monster, when the people in his life are horrible reflections of humanity.
My favorite scene, and a favorite of many people, as well, is obviously the pool scene at the end. This is one comparison to the original where I’ll say I prefer Let Me In in this scene. Of course, in Let The Right One In, the pool scene is shot beautifully – you can’t deny how stunning it looks: Oskar’s face up close, trying not to panic and drown while holding his breath, when suddenly a head drops into the bright blue background, before the arm holding him under is then severed. Yet, I still love Let Me In‘s handling of this scene just a bit more.
In Let Me In, you can feel the fury of Abby as she rescues Owen, and the chaos just out of our sight gives us a feeling of just how powerful of a creature she really is.
For the most part, I feel like Let Me In is almost identical to Let The Right One In. Minor differences – for example, it starts by showing two weeks into the future before jumping back to the beginning of the story or Owen’s/Oskar’s father’s involvement in his life – all are fairly insignificant in the grand scheme of things. Though they tone back the killer obsessed Oskar by making Owen more interested in defending himself, rather than collecting dark newspaper clippings, but I liked that, myself. It made Owen a little easier to like.
Overall, I’d consider Let Me In just as good as Let The Right One In. Either way, for fans of monsters or vampires, this movie definitely holds a special place with its unique story line. Whether you love Eli and Oskar, Abby and Owen, or you love both of them equally – the premise is still enthralling, and it’s easily deserving of a place amongst the best vampire movies of all time.