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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

cinematic roots of: ‘Let Me In’

No movie springs from a vacuum. There are always influences from past examples of the genre, from the previous work of the filmmakers and stars, even from similar films that don’t quite work. If you want to understand where a movie is coming from, take a look at where it’s coming from.

In Let Me In, a child vampire (Chloe Grace Moretz) befriends a child nonvampire (Kodi Smit-McPhee) and violence and bloodshed ensues. This flick sprang from (among other films):

Let the Right One In (2008), the Swedish-language original upon which this new film is based, though don’t expect as much Hollywood-style gore as the remake offers.

Interview with the Vampire (1994), featuring Kirsten Dunst as a doll-like child vampire with adult tastes.

Near Dark (1987), for more vampires in the American Southwest (Let Me In is set in New Mexico); Kathryn Bigelow puts a coven of bloodsuckers into the uniquely American roadside milieu.

The Lost Boys (1987), for funnier kid vampires in the goofy 80s classic, about teens who should be in hanging out and drinking beer instead of hanging out and drinking blood.
Where to buy:
Interview with the Vampire [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
Let the Right One In [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
The Lost Boys [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
Near Dark [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]

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