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. The film tells the story of a bullied 12-year-old boy who befriends and develops a romantic relationship with a female child vampire in Los Alamos, New Mexico, during the early 1980s.
Interest in producing an English-language 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. While the detective answers a call outside the room, the disfigured man jumps out of the window, leaving behind a note that reads: "I'm sory Abby."
Two weeks earlier, Owen, an unhappy and lonely 12-year-old boy who is neglected by his divorcing parents, sees a barefoot young girl named Abby and an older man moving in next door. At school, a teenage bully named Kenny and two of his friends constantly terrorize Owen, who lies to his mother about it but tells Abby the truth. Abby encourages him to retaliate, and pledges to protect him.
Owen and Abby become close friends and start communicating by Morse code through the walls of their apartments. Abby's companion Thomas abducts a local teenager and drains their blood into a jug, only to accidentally spill all of its contents. Starving, Abby attacks a neighbor and drinks his blood, killing him and forcing Thomas to dispose of the body.
On a later night, Thomas hides in the back of another car, but is discovered. In the ensuing struggle, the car falls into a ditch and flips over. Trapped, Thomas pours concentrated sulfuric acid on his face, rendering his features unrecognizable and bringing the story back to the first scene. Abby learns what happened and visits Thomas in the hospital, who lets her drink his blood before falling to his death. That night, Owen is awakened by Abby, who insists he verbally invite her in. She spends the night in his bed and agrees to be his girlfriend. The next day, Owen's class goes ice skating on a river. Cornered by the bullies, Owen hits Kenny with a metal pole, splitting his left ear. At the same moment, the students spot the neighbor's body encased in the ice.
Later, Owen tries to make a blood pact with Abby. Seeing blood, Abby reveals her vampire form and flees, feeding on another neighbor. 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. Scared, Owen wants to leave, but he is stopped by Abby who won't answer his demands on letting him out. Owen finally leaves after asking Abby what she will do to him.
Owen sneaks out to spend the night at Abby's. In the morning, the detective forces his way into Abby's apartment and finds her asleep, only to be distracted by Owen. Abby wakes and attacks the detective, killing him. 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 swim class, Kenny, Jimmy, and their friends ambush Owen and begin to drown him, only to be dismembered by Abby.
The next day, Owen leaves town on a train, traveling with a large trunk. From inside, a message in Morse code is tapped out. Owen smiles and taps out a response.