TMG Scale 3.0
Starring Chloe Moretz, Richard Jenkins, Kodi Smit-McPhee
This was a very well made, but bad movie. TMG nearly walked out but I endure bad movies so you don’t have too. While admittedly not a huge fan of the horror genre, I can recognize the good from the bad. If you want to jump and scream in a movie theatre right now but want to avoid hurling your popcorn, go see Devil. Devil was not that great but at least it will play with your mind a bit rather than with your stomach.
Kodi Smit-McPhee plays a bullied young boy named Owen. [Much like a cute young gerbil, his true gender was not all that clear at first.] Owen develops an affection for Abby, the darling young female vampire next door. This is all set in your typical suburban, winter week in 1983. Let me stop right there to ask why the heck did this movie have to occur in 1983? Other than the opportunity to use some great props laying around the studio (the props were more from 1975) and perhaps avoid the use of cell phones and texting, the dating of this movie had no special significance. It was like someone was dying to use the Ronald Reagan TV footage or to show hospital scenes with nurses still wearing nursing caps. TMG is pretty sure 1983 was the very last year for nursing caps. It might also have been to avoid the embarrassment that not a single Mac computer was offered for product placement in this film. Virtually every decent Hollywood film these days gets one or two Macs. TMG believes if Spartacus (1960) were remade today, Steve Jobs would get at least once scene with Kirk Douglas checking his email on a Macbook Pro.
Chloe Moretz is the young vampire girl who is struggling with her self image, unending puberty and an acute need for blood. Her “father,” played by Jenkins, is pretty bummed out trying to raise such a daughter on his own. Single Dads with twelve year old daughters might take some solace that no matter how bad your day, it could be much worse. Next time your young tween whines for new jeans or the latest iPod, be glad you don’t have to round her up a gallon of human blood every day. Some Dads of teen girls might argue the difference is petty I am sure.
The acting was superb throughout. TMG gives credit where credit is due. The blood was plentiful and the ick factor was off the charts. This film makes the vampire lover’s Twilight Saga look like West Side Story (1961). There was a subplot romance going on but it was hard to get on board with it given the pure creep factor and McPhee’s child doll like appearance. Some might have found a silver lining in the anti bullying story that percolated between the frequent mauling for blood. Everyone likes to see a bully get his comeuppance, but having his head torn off and his blood drained is a little bit old school.
The real frustration here is that Hollywood seems unable to find a good role for the uber-talented Chloe Moretz. TMG felt child labor laws and basic human morality was violated in her role in Kick Ass. This young woman deserves a good script and I am going on a campaign to see that she gets one.
The moral of the story is simply this: If you date a vampire, mind your manners and always formally invite them in the door. Failing to do so apparently offends the social etiquette of female vampires. Unfortunately, one has to see this movie to fully understand that concept. While the movie may ask “Let Me In,” all TMG could think for two hours was “Let Me Out.”