NEW ON DVD AND BLU-RAY: “LET ME IN”
Vampires can’t see their own reflection in mirrors and, apparently, vampire actors have a hard time watching themselves on the screen.
“The funny thing about ‘Let Me In,’ ” starlet Chloë Moretz says of the blood-sucker movie that has just landed on DVD and Blu-ray, “is that I scare myself when I watch the movie. I know where scary parts are, I know when she’s going to jump up, but I scream anyway. There’s this creepy little vampire girl, and I know she’s going to jump up but I still scream.”
The Matt Reeves-directed “Let Me In” earned strong reviews but was a bit of a fizzle at the box office, but Moretz is hopeful that — like her other signature film, “Kick-Ass” — it will find a following on home video that gives the movie a longer shelf-life in pop culture. The actress has a packed schedule these days — and major projects ahead with key roles in Martin Scorsese’s “Hugo Cabret,” director Ami Mann’s “The Fields” and in “Emily the Strange,” in which she plays the title character, a clever but morose youngster based on the books and drawings of Rob Reger.
Moretz was most memorable as Hit-Girl in “Kick-Ass” — she was a whirling, cursing, killing machine in the subversive masked-man adventure — but much of her career screen-time has been devoted to horror and suspense. Moretz is just a month shy of her 14th birthday, but she’s already an old pro when it comes to horror and thriller films – she made her career breakthrough in the 2005 version of ”The Amityville Horror” and followed that up with “Wicked Little Things” and “The Eye” as well as lesser-known fake-blood fare such as “Room 6” and ”Hallowed Ground.”
None of that, though, prepared her for the startling sight of seeing herself as Abby, the diminutive vampire with a big appetite in “Let Me In.” “I watch the scariest parts in it and I think, ‘Wow that is me,’ but it’s so different when you watch than when you’re there making it. With the music and the effects and the way it’s shot, it’s very, very different and great to watch.”
The film has an unusual heritage. It was a remake of the 2008 Swedish film “Let the Right One In,” which was hailed for its dark, wintry and oddly tender visions of a youthful romance between a kind-hearted, put-upon boy named Oskar (Kåre Hedebrant) and Eli (Lina Leandersson), a mysterious newcomer who lives with an older man named Håkan (Per Ragnar). The passionate reviews for the Scandinavian film made some observers wonder whether an English-language remake was the best idea, but the producers point out that they were moving forward with the deals for the American version before the original became such an international critic’s darling.
Asked whether she used the Leandersson performance as a starting point for her own work, Moretz said she rooted her acting in the ”Let Me In” script and the counsel of Reeves. She did say, however, that she studied the first movie to make sure that she was keeping it at arm’s length. ”The original was really great and got rave reviews, so I did watch what the original girl did because I didn’t want to copy it or do something so close that people would think I copied. The movies are different enough, too, that there was a lot of chances to go a different way. The challenge and opportunity was really the character herself and how to show that she is 300 years old. She is this 300-year-old being but also in the body of a little girl.”
Moretz was talking by cellphone from New York during the interview last week and she said she was a bit starry-eyed while working on her first big appearance on a network sitcom. “I’m on set of ’30 Rock’ in New York and doing scenes with Alec Baldwin and he’s just a phenomenal actor. I just finished a scene with him and he’s great and I’m such a fan. It’s been fun, but there’s been a lot of snow here. I was down on the sidewalk not long ago and there was a car at the curb and its back wheel started spinning and there was a puddle and it all sprayed up. I got hit with all this wet, freezing snow. So of course I’m drenched, just dripping. I’m sitting here still wet. ’Did you have to do that, Mr. Driver?’ “
The actress might have the savvy and wit of someone twice her age (she has 49,000 followers on Twitter) but every once in a while she sounds just like any other 13-year-old. ”The big inside joke on the ['Let Me In'] set was the Rubik’s cubes. There was a lot spent on them. Some people were making them into color patterns and everything. I never solved it. I tried. It would probably take me 30o years to get that one worked out.”
– Geoff Boucher
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REVIEW: “Let Me In” is a shrewd remake