Let Me In (film)

 Star full  Owen Abby 2010  Letmein cast

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Let Me In (film)

Let Me In

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Matt Reeves
Produced by
Screenplay by Matt Reeves
Based on Screenplay and novel Let the Right One In
by John Ajvide Lindqvist
Music by Michael Giacchino
Cinematography Greig Fraser
Edited by Stan Salfas
Distributed by
Release date
  • September 13, 2010 (2010-09-13) (TIFF)
  • October 1, 2010 (2010-10-01) (United States)
  • November 5, 2010 (2010-11-05) (United Kingdom)
Running time
116 minutes
  • United States
  • United Kingdom
Language English
Budget $20 million
Box office $24.1 million

Let Me In is a 2010 American-British romantic horror film written and directed by Matt Reeves and starring Kodi Smit-McPhee, Chloë Grace Moretz, Elias Koteas, and Richard Jenkins. It is a remake of the 2008 Swedish film Let the Right One In (2008). It tells the story of a bullied 12-year-old boy who develops a friendship with a female vampire child in Los Alamos, New Mexico in the early 1980s.

Interest in producing an English version of Let the Right One In began in 2007 shortly before it was released to audiences. In 2008, Hammer Films acquired the rights for the English adaptation and initially offered Tomas Alfredson, the director of the Swedish film, the opportunity to direct, which he declined. Reeves was then signed to direct and write the screenplay. Reeves made several changes for the English version such as altering the setting from Stockholm to New Mexico and renaming the lead characters. The film's producers stated that their intent was to keep the plot similar to the original, yet make it more accessible to a wider audience. Principal photography began in early November 2009, and concluded in January 2010. The film's budget was estimated to be $20 million.

Let Me In premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 13, 2010, and was released in North America on October 1, 2010. The film was placed on several critics' top-ten list. Many critics noted it as a rare Hollywood remake which stayed true to the original, while others criticized it for being too derivative of the Swedish film. The film earned $24 million in box office revenue worldwide, of which $12 million was earned in the United States and Canada. Moretz won several awards for her performance with critics praising the on-screen chemistry with her co-star, Smit-McPhee. Let Me In was released on DVD and Blu-ray in North America on February 1, 2011, and in the UK on March 14, 2011. An official comic book miniseries prequel titled Let Me In: Crossroads was released after the film which establishes the back-story of Abby and ends where the theatrical film begins.


In March 1983, in Los Alamos, New Mexico, a disfigured man is taken to the hospital. An unnamed police detective tries to question him about a recent murder. The detective is called to a phone and told that the man's daughter was just downstairs. While he is on the phone, the man jumps out of the window, leaving behind a scrawled note that reads "I'm sorry Abby."

Two weeks earlier, Owen, an unhappy and lonely 12-year-old boy who is neglected by his divorcing parents, sees a young girl named Abby and an older man, Thomas, moving in next door and notices that she is barefoot despite the snow. Owen meets Abby one night and asks if she is cold upon seeing no footwear on her feet. Abby states that she doesn't get cold. Owen and Abby become close friends and start communicating by Morse code through the walls of their apartments. At school, a teenage bully named Kenny and two of his friends, Donald and Mark, constantly terrorize Owen, who lies to his mother about it but tells Abby the truth. Abby encourages him to retaliate.

Thomas abducts a woman after breaking into her car while she is inside a grocery store shopping. He awaits in the backseat with a homemade suit on that covers his face & upper body from getting blood on his clothes presumably. It seems to have been made with black garbage bags. Once the unknown woman enters the car with her groceries & drives away, only to be stopped at a train crossing near by. It's at this point that Thomas attacks her & renders her unconscious with chloroform. The scene jumps to Thomas pulling on a rope that is rigged to a tree and the woman. She is suspended in air, upside-down and unconscious with the rope tied around her ankles. Thomas then punctures her carotid artery with a knife and collects the blood using a funnel and an empty gallon sized plastic bottle, but accidentally spills it, losing almost all of the freshly collected blood. Hungry, Abby attacks a concerned neighbor named Jack to drink his blood, revealing that she is a vampire. On another night, Thomas hides in the back of a teenager's car, murders the passenger, and tries to flee, but crashes the car and becomes trapped inside. He pours concentrated sulfuric acid on his face, disfiguring himself to prevent his identification. He is taken to the hospital, bringing the story back to the first scene.

Abby learns what happened and climbs up the hospital building to see Thomas after speaking to the front desk worker who noticed that Abby is barefoot upon departure and couldn't find her afterwards. She knocks on the window and he points to his throat, unable to speak, and leans out of the window; Abby drinks his blood. Thomas passes out and falls to his death. That night, Owen is awakened by Abby who insists he verbally invite her in. She spends the night in his bed upon discarding her clothes and agrees to be his girlfriend. The next day, Owen's class goes ice-skating on a frozen river. When Kenny and his friends threaten to throw Owen into a hole in the ice, Owen, emboldened by his relationship with Abby, hits Kenny with a metal pole, splitting his left ear and causing him to scream in pain. At the same moment, the students spot a body encased in the ice, revealed to be that of Jack, whom Thomas disposed of into the (then unfrozen) river.

Later, Owen sees Abby and, hoping to make a blood pact with her, cuts his finger. Unable to control herself, Abby laps up a drop of Owen's blood revealing her vampire form. Not wanting to hurt Owen, she flees and instead attacks a woman named Virginia upon jumping out of a tree. Virginia's boyfriend Larry witnesses the attack and calls an ambulance upon chasing her off. The next night, Abby admits to Owen that she is a vampire and that Thomas was not her father. Owen discovers an aged photo of her with Thomas as a young boy. As Thomas continued to age, he posed as Abby's father while she did not physically age past twelve.

In the hospital the next morning, a nurse goes into Virginia's unit to open the curtains and finds Virginia feasting on her own bloody wrists. She has been turned into a vampire most likely as a result of Abby attacking her the night before and drinking some of her blood. Back at the hospital as sunlight enters the room, Virginia bursts into flames that quickly spread throughout the unit, killing them both and setting the entire floor on fire.

Owen sneaks out to spend the night at Abby's. The next morning, the detective forces his way into Abby's apartment and finds her asleep. He begins to uncover a window but is distracted by Owen. Abby wakes and attacks the detective to feed on his blood. The dying detective appeals to Owen for help, but Owen does not intervene. Abby tells Owen she will have to leave town. They share a kiss and he watches tearfully as she enters a taxi and leaves.

During Owen's swim class, Kenny, his sadistic older brother Jimmy, and their friends, are seeking revenge for the injury Owen had inflicted to Kenny's ear. They ambush Owen and throw him into the pool. Jimmy tells Owen that he will only cut his cheek if he can hold his breath underwater for three minutes or otherwise poke out one of his eyes if he fails before forcing him underwater. After one minute, Kenny and his friends realize this is excessive and tell Jimmy to stop, but he angrily refuses. An unseen assailant breaks through the skylight, attacking the bullies, and Owen sees torn-off limbs sinking into the pool all around him. Owen emerges from the pool to catch his breath and then sees a pair of familiar bare feet come near him. He then looks up, faintly smiling to see an off-screen Abby.

Owen leaves town in broad daylight on a train, traveling with a large trunk with Abby inside. From inside, a message in Morse code is tapped out. Owen taps out a response and then looks out the window, quietly singing to himself "Eat some now, save some for later," the jingle of Now and Later candy, which Abby and Owen had shared in an earlier scene.


  • Kodi Smit-McPhee as Owen, a 12-year-old bullied schoolboy, later Abby's boyfriend.
  • Chloë Grace Moretz as Abby, a vampire who poses as Thomas's daughter, later Owen's girlfriend.
  • Richard Jenkins as Thomas, Abby's adult companion.
  • Cara Buono as Owen's mother.
  • Elias Koteas as a detective investigating the murders caused by Abby.
    • Koteas also provides the voice of Owen's father.
  • Sasha Barrese as Virginia, one of Abby's victims.
  • Dylan Minnette as Kenny, the bully who torments Owen.
  • Ritchie Coster as Mr. Zorić
  • Jimmy Jax Pinchak as Mark, one of Kenny's friends.
  • Nicolai Dorian as Donald, one of Kenny's friends.
  • Colin Moretz as Cashier
  • Dylan Kenin as Larry, Virginia's boyfriend.
  • Brett DelBuono as Jimmy, the older brother of Kenny.
  • Chris Browning as Jack, one of Abby's victims.



According to Hammer Films executive producer Nigel Sinclair, interest in the project initially began in the middle of 2007, before the original Let the Right One In had screened for audiences.

The rights for the English-language film were later acquired by Hammer Films at the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival, where Let the Right One In won the "Founders Award for Best Narrative Feature," and Matt Reeves was quickly introduced as the director. John Nordling and Carl Molinder, the Swedish producers of the original film, were both involved as producers for the adaptation. Tomas Alfredson, the director of the Swedish film, was initially asked to direct the remake, but he turned it down stating that "I am too old to make the same film twice and I have other stories that I want to tell." Hammer Films producer Simon Oakes initially referred to the film with "If you call it a faithful remake, I think that's true to say that's what it is. It's not a reimagining; the same beats [are there], maybe the scares are a little bit more scary." He later said, "I call it his [Reeves'] version. I don't call it his remake or his re-imagining of it." The decision to make a new film adaptation has been criticized by Tomas Alfredson. He has stated on numerous occasions that he is not in favor of remaking his film. "If one should remake a film, it's because the original is bad. And I don't think mine is," he said. Producer Donna Gigliotti said, "We're incredibly admiring of the original, but to be honest with you, that picture grossed $2 million. It's not like we're remaking Lawrence of Arabia." Producer Simon Oakes made it clear that the plot of Let Me In would closely resemble that of the original film, except that it will be made "very accessible to a wider audience."

Writer John Ajvide Lindqvist, on the other hand, says that Reeves told him that he "will make a new film based on the book, and not remake the Swedish film" and so "it'll be something completely different, but it's going to be really interesting to see." Reeves expressed his intent to retain the book's early 1980s setting and his admiration for the book and Alfredson's adaptation. "It's a terrific movie and a fantastic book. I think it could be a really touching, haunting and terrifying film. I'm really excited about what it could be", he said. In response to the criticism he said, "I can understand because of people's love of the [original] film that there's this cynicism that I'll come in and trash it, when in fact I have nothing but respect for the film. I'm so drawn to it for personal and not mercenary reasons ... I hope people give us a chance." When Reeves was initially approached, he at first was against the idea but after reading the novel gained a better appreciation for the story,

I said... that we shouldn't remake it. I read the book too and was completely taken with it and I was really intrigued how personal the story felt. I thought John Lindqvist had written this terrific story, and he also adapted it for the film... I wrote Lindqvist and told him that it wasn't just that I was drawn to the story because it was a brilliant genre story — which it is — but also because of the personal aspect of it. It really reminds me of my childhood.
Matt Reeves

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