Let Me In (Possible Spoilers)

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by JediKnightButler, Feb 23, 2011.

  1. JediKnightButler

    JediKnightButler Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2000
    Location:
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    My wife and I just watched "Let Me In" the other night and I thought that I'd start up a discussion thread about it. It was one of those movies (like "Knowing") that, at least for me, is so vivid that it seems to stick in my head and that I continue to think about for several days afterward. I thought it was a pretty strong movie in terms of the performances (esp. by Chloe Moretz) and storyline- dark and haunting though it may be- but I can't seem to decide whether or not I might want to own it (it happens to be on sale this week).
    My wife doesn't seem particularly interested in watching it again and I'm not sure when I might watch it again either, particularly since I'd probably have to be in the right "state of mind" to do so, but something about intrigued me enough to want to possibly watch it again sometime down the line.
    What did everybody else whom saw it think of it? What did everybody think about the ending? Did you like the ending or dislike it? Me, I personally wondered a lot throughout the movie about what the boy might end up doing (re: Abby) and, of course, by the end, we get the answer.
    What was everybody's opinion about Abby? Victim or villain (or something else entirely)?
    As the credits were rolling, I began wondering about whether or not the boy will eventually end up like Abby's other "caretaker" or whether he might take a different path at some point. The tragedy (or beauty of it depending on your point of view) of it is that, since the movie ended on a cliffhanger "note", we'll never know for sure but it is sure ripe for discussion IMHO. I welcome further discussion.
     
  2. MetalPants

    MetalPants Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2007
    Location:
    Beyond the Rim
    I love this movie!

    Abby- I would say both victim and villain. While not being a woman in a girl's body, she still plays upon the naivety of Owen. At the same time I think it is a story of two incredibly lonely and lost people finding each other.
     
  3. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell Comfortably Numb Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2001
    Location:
    where it hurts
    I think Abby is long past the point of being a victim and has fully embraced the role of manipulator. Whatever genuine concern she might have for the boys/men she pulls into her world, the fact remains she needs them to kill for her, and in return they get... what, exactly?

    My assumption is that she gets them while they're young, and by the time they're old enough to realize what they've gotten into, they've already killed on her behalf many times and are completely trapped in the situation.

    I'd go as far as to say it's a tremendously abusive relationship, though not in the conventional sense one would define "abuse." More like an endless psychological torment inflicted upon them, subtly at first, but directed entirely by her until there is simply no escape but death.
     
  4. Worf2DS9

    Worf2DS9 Writer Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    Canada, eh
    I loved Let Me In. I bought it as a blind-buy based solely on the trailer released prior to its theatrical release, and I couldn't have been more pleased. The two young leads are excellent and the movie is gorgeously shot. Michael Giacchino's score was also very haunting as well.

    As for the ending, I liked it. I didn't see it as a "cliffhanger" that sets up a theoretical sequel, but more as an ending that allows the viewer to simply wonder how events will unfold.

    I certainly wouldn't call Abby a villain. She's more a tragic victim of her own nature, as is her caretaker in a strange way (played wonderfully by Richard Jenkins, btw).
     
  5. JediKnightButler

    JediKnightButler Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2000
    Location:
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Don't get me wrong. I thought it was a good ending too and I'd rather not see the story continued because, like you said, it allows us to speculate and wonder how subsequent events will unfold. I'd actually hate it if they did a sequel and would refuse to watch it if they did. Some things are better left unsaid (or unfilmed) IMHO.
     
  6. species5618

    species5618 Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    May 16, 2005
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    I would recommend checking out the original (and IMO superior) Swedish version of the film, Let the Right One In.

    As much as I liked the Americanized film, the kids in the original film were more nuanced, subtle actors and I felt the story was structured better. The climactic pool sequence was way better in the Swedish version as well.
     
  7. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2001
    Location:
    Sac, Ca
    I have to agree. The new version was certainly beautifully shot, and the young actors were quite good... but overall I found the original to be just a little bit creepier.

    Not only the execution of the pool sequence-- the brighter lighting made it SO much eerier and more unexpected than the cliched moody lighting of the remake-- but the vampire effect for the girl was a helluva lot scarier too.
     
  8. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell Comfortably Numb Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2001
    Location:
    where it hurts
    I agree that the original was better, although the two films are extremely similar, with only a few minor changes to the story.

    The whole cat attack thing in the original totally didn't work for me, so I was glad they removed it from the remake. :lol:
     
  9. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2001
    Location:
    Sac, Ca
    I did find the final, foiled kill by the father in the remake to be MUCH more inventive and suspenseful though. The way things kept spiraling further and further out of control, finally ending up at the gas station, was freakin brilliant.
     
  10. Ethros

    Ethros Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2001
    Location:
    1123 6536 5321
    It was ok. A poor man's Let The Right One In
     
  11. T.Geiger

    T.Geiger Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    I watched Let the Right One In and Let Me In back to back. I started with the Swedish release, expecting to like the American version better. The higher production values and non-foreign sensibilities usually win me over.

    But I was way off. The thing is, the movie completely hangs on the girl's performance, and Hedebrant (Swedish) is significantly better than Moretz (American). They also chose a much better look for her in the Swedish film, using a combination of makeup and costume that definitely left the impression that there was something wrong with this girl.

    As I think someone may have alluded to above, the uninvited entry scene is leagues better in the Swedish version. In fact, I kept wondering if they were going to actually do anything with it in the American ("...any second now").

    As for the pool scene, I have seen a few people (including reviewers) say that they felt the Americans really screwed up the finale, but I honestly did not see enough of a difference to matter or care about. In fact, aside from a couple of positional / direction changes, they are nearly identical. Enh.

    If I could mix and match though, I'd take the American boy. The Swedish boy (character) seemed much like a low-functioning retard whereas the American one just seemed like an average kid.

    Also, I'd take some of the refinements made in the American script. Three in particular stick out in my mind, involving her first protector (the nature of their relationship), the note she leaves for the boy (timing), and another subplot I won't mention here (for spoiler reasons) that was entirely excised in the American version probably because it served no point (that added... what to the story?).

    Is it better enough for a second viewing? Enh, probably not. Its still nearly the exact same plot (scene-for-scene almost). But if you are going to watch it again anyway, go ahead and pick up the Swedish version. Grab the BluRay edition though. I understand the DVD has some truly horrific subtitling.
     
  12. el Chalupacabra

    el Chalupacabra Lieutenant Commander

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2011
    Location:
    Kuiper Belt, Sol System
    +1
     
  13. marillion

    marillion Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2003
    Location:
    Workin' in a coal mine...
    The original was a LOT creepier, if you ask me.. And if you want full on craziness/creepiness, read the book.. Holy crap!!

    I'll be interested to see what happens when they (there's always a "they") make his second book Handling the Undead into a film.. The book is quite good..
     
  14. Dark Gilligan

    Dark Gilligan Writer Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2005
    Location:
    an uncharted desert isle
    This. Any sympathy we feel for Abby is meant to echo the feelings that are stirred in the boys who try to "save" her. We want to believe that Owen is different from the other caretakers, that the love between he and Abby is real, but in truth we're shown no evidence of this. We're as much her victims as they are, which to me is brilliant filmmaking. Bravo to all. But yes, Abby is a monster... enormously skilled in manipulating those around her in order to survive. An author friend of mine (who loved the movie, btw) says that anyone who thinks this is a love story doesn't really understand what a healthy relationship truly is.
     
  15. Starkers

    Starkers Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2001
    Location:
    Behind enemy lines
    I really want to read the book at some point. I guess I should see the US remake, but it just seems wrong with the original being so good.

    On the subject of the differences between the two I think Mark Kermode made an interesting point. He said that Let Me In is a film about vampires that happens to feature children, whilst Let the Right One In is a film about children that happens to feature vampires...
     
  16. JediKnightButler

    JediKnightButler Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2000
    Location:
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Couple more interesting observations/questions about the movie (before the thread fades into oblivion):

    1.)How many previous vampires might Abby have sired since she became a vampire and how many might have survived and are wandering around elsewhere? I'm speaking, of course, of the woman (that "survived" her attack) that we find out later that she unintentionally sired? Given the tragic fate of the woman/vampire that she sired as a result of her aborted attack, one might conclude that the survival rate of newborn vampires is probably pretty low due to the likelihood that most of them wouldn't be aware of their condition and able to protect themselves on their own (and avoid bursting into flames at the first ray of sunlight). SOMEBODY had to have sired Abby in the first place and protect her long enough for her to learn what she had to do to survive but, of course, we're never given much of her backstory though.

    2.) When Abby's caretaker dies, did he willingly sacrifice himself for her (seeking "release from death) or did she decide to dispose of him because of his "failure" with his latest attempted attack. Based on what we had seen up to the point, my perception was that he was in torment and actually welcomed getting caught and wanted death at that point (foreshadowing of what will eventually happen to the boy?) and Abby basically "released" him from his responsibility to care (almost like putting down a sick pet). Did anybody else read that scene differently? I think that we can debate the point about whether or not Abby is a "monster" but she conveyed what seemed to be genuine care and sympathy for her "caregiver" at that particular moment.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2011
  17. Worf2DS9

    Worf2DS9 Writer Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    Canada, eh
    I picked up Let the Right One In from the library this weekend and gave it a look. It was good, but I much prefer Let Me In for its look and the way the various scenes were staged. And considering that bullying at school is one of Oskar's primary issues, these scenes were pretty tame in comparison to their more harrowing U.S. counterparts. With poor Owen, you could really feel his terror in those scenes.
     
  18. DeafPoet

    DeafPoet Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2005
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta
    A lot of that is true, but I disagree that Abby is fundamentally manipulative. Her line "I'm 12, but I've been that way for a long time" is useful in that regard. Sure, she's chronologically very old, but she's still basically 12. There really isn't a lot of guile to what she does. It's a necessary that she has a caretaker but that's true of any 12 year old. It's simply a fact of her existence.

    Sure, it's tragic and certainly not healthy, but I don't think she's selling Owen a bill of goods or anything. She genuinely does care for him and yeah, the whole thing's not going to end well, but she's simply doing what a vampire's gotta do, more out of habit and necessity than any sense of manipulation. It looks like manipulation to us, but how well did you really understand machiavellian stuff when you were 12?
     
  19. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell Comfortably Numb Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2001
    Location:
    where it hurts
    I guess your perspective will be based on what kind of developmental stagnation vampirism causes. If you're "made" at a young age, will you ever mature emotionally, or will you maintain the mindset of a child forever? Given that her existence requires either killing or manipulating others into killing for her, there's a level of maturity involved that I think goes beyond whatever she had at the time of her death/undeath. I think even if you are stagnated in many ways, you would be unable to escape the reality of what you're doing and would have to make a conscious choice to draw others into your world to do your bidding. Yeah, she may actually care for him, but in the end his usefulness to her is tied directly to his ability to protect and feed her, and given that Owen's not the first person she's done this to, she should be fully aware of the consequences of their relationship even if he isn't. Their positions are utterly unequal--he would have no idea what he's getting into.
     
  20. Worf2DS9

    Worf2DS9 Writer Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    Canada, eh
    How exactly would their new arrangement begin during these early stages? I can't see Owen going out at night and killing people for a jug of blood at this point. Would Abby take him out for a while to "show him the ropes"? Or would she do the work herself until Owen is older and strong enough for the murdering and bloodletting?