Let Me In comes to Region A-locked US Blu-ray complete with a solid if unexceptional 1080p High Definition rendition in the movie’s original theatrical aspect ratio of widescreen 2.4:1. The problem is likely not the transfer, but indeed the original stylistic choices, which leave the frames bathed in darkness, or half-blurred out in out-of-focus softness. A medium-budget production, the image often retains good object detail, particularly during the more brightly lit sequences, and fares quite well even in its darker scenes, where inky blacks produce impenetrable depth. Filmic grain provides a nice sheen to the proceedings, perfectly suited to the grisly subject-matter, and largely as a result of the over-saturated processing done to the production. Obviously this leaves the colour palette somewhat off-set, with pale skin tones, often tinted settings, and brown/orange-lighting for the night scenes, which gives them an eerie look. It’s not a perfect visual presentation, but it is accurate to the material, and whilst it may not quite make for demo-quality showcasing, it’s still pretty damn good.
On the aural front the movie comes complete with a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track that plays to the production’s strengths. It may be packed with silent moments, but it is one hell of an atmospheric offering, with some subtle observations throughout; peppered with stand-out moments that are pretty successfully shocking. It’s not just for shock value either, as everything from the echoey maelstrom of a swimming pool packed with rowdy school-kids, to the clinical electronic throbbing of a hospital ward – perforated by the continuous, persistent beeping of the heart monitors, gets keen presentation across the well-organised surround fields. Dialogue still largely comes across front and centre – from whispers to screams – and the song tracks, and little scoring that there is, similarly gets a frontal dissemination. Bass is of the rumbling, reverberating kind, throbbing away in the background and kicking into life wherever appropriate. It may not be a conventional track to offer up demo-quality potency, but we still get it nonetheless.
First up we get a full-length audio commentary with the director Matt Reeves who takes us somewhat scene-by-scene through his production. Quite technically informative, he explains a great deal about the filming process – and how they shot certain scenes, and he also discusses his love for the original source novel, as well as the Swedish adaptation. It would be interesting to know if he was bound by any Studio pressure to turn in a tempered adaptation, but that kind of information is not forthcoming. Still, for those who did like this movie, and are interested in hearing the stories about its production, this is a fairly decent listen.
Dissecting Let Me In is a sporadic PiP offering which offers brief snippets from the cast and crew, in on-set interviews; and glimpses of behind the scenes footage and the shooting of scenes. There are some nice comments made, and a few of the storyboard comparisons are quite revealing in showing how well they had this one mapped out (although, again, they were working off the imprint of an already-well-defined movie) but much of the material is edited down from the later featurettes. Some viewers may find it a little too hit and miss.
From the Inside: A Look at the Making of Let Me In runs at 17 minutes and is a slightly fluffy making-of Featurette which thankfully favours behind the scenes snippets over too much final film footage. All the boxes are ticked here – cast and crew interview soundbites and b-roll footage marking the highlights – but you can’t help often feeling that this is little more than an extended promo.
The Art of Special Effects is 6 minutes long and details the effects work on the movie, showing the various stages and layering done to get some of the CG shots finalised. It doesn’t explain why the tunnel and bathroom sequences were so damn unrealistically cheap.
Car Crash Sequence Step-by-Step spends a further 6 minutes looking at one of the most imaginative new flourishes by the director (who narrates this Featurette), and explaining a little about how they pulled it off.
There are three deleted scenes, totalling an extra 5 minutes of unused material. They are largely throwaway but do offer a glimpse into the background behind Abby’s character (something more evident in the original movie, and original source novel, but which isn’t touched on at all in the final film).
Poster Gallery includes promotional images for the movie, together with a few production stills.
Trailer Gallery has both the global run trailer as well as the red-band trailer, complete with added violence.
Finally we get a Digital Copy of the movie included, together with a preview chapter from the unauthorised Let Me In prequel comic.
There’s nothing wrong with Let Me In itself. It’s a well-made, stylish production, with a great story, some unique characters, an unusual setting and plenty of dark, disturbing suspense. It’s a brilliant watch, and I’m sure many who have seen it absolutely love it. But it’s all been done before – and only a couple of years ago – with the Swedish film Let the Right One In. Yes, this is yet another unnecessary Hollywood remake, taking a perfectly good thriller, repackaging it with an American cast and an American setting, then filming it shot-for-shot, practically line-for-line, the same as the original, and calling it one of their best new films in years. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, but I keep hoping that one of these remakes turns out to have some value – stands up in its own right. But no, it seems that it really is just about ripping off other people’s work just to make money. The one silver lining is that this is the first release from the newly revamped Hammer Horror film studio and, whilst I would have hoped for a more original production from them, at least it’s made them enough cash to be back in business for good.
As a package, the US Region A-locked Blu-ray set comes complete with superb video and demo-quality audio, as well as a solid selection of extras. Fans of the movie should consider it a decent set. But those of you who haven’t see the original, Let the Right One In, should really consider checking it out. Maybe you’ll discover a different side to foreign films. Honestly, I don’t know why we watch remakes like this – we’re only encouraging Hollywood to continue in its trend for recycling other people’s material. It’s just not necessary. Go watch the original, then, out of curiosity, check out the remake. Then tell me there’s some justification in its existence.
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