Bullied mercilessly at school, lonely 12-year-old Owen (Kodi Smit-McPhee) is pleased to find a friend in mysterious new neighbour Abby (Chloe Moretz). Despite her warnings not to get too close, Owen quickly bonds with his fellow outsider, unaware she hides a terrible secret. Abby is a vampire, decades older than her apparent 12 years, and with an insatiable thirst for blood, she leaves a trail of bodies in her wake.
With Abby's gutsy attitude giving him the courage to battle the bullies, a resurgent Owen refuses to let go of the best friend he's ever had, even as the terrifying truth emerges.
This second adaptation of John Ajvide Lindqvist's novel was met with trepidation by fans of Tomas Alfredson's Swedish original. For Matt Reeves' (Cloverfield) speedy remake to improve upon 2008's universally acclaimed Let The Right One In seemed nigh on impossible, but with a blend of ideas old and new, many believe he has achieved it.
Swapping Stockholm for New Mexico, Reeves' Americanised version loses none of the delicate wonder of the original. Offering a touching love story offset by chillingly primal horror, his beautifully shot, carefully plotted film offers a level of sophistication not often achieved in mainstream horror.
Smit-McPhee and Moretz deftly handle their challenging roles, making the budding romance between the youngsters compelling and heartrending. Despite top performances from Richard Jenkins as the surrogate father helping Abby catch her prey, and Elias Koteas as the police detective investigating a string of murders, it's the young stars who really make an impact.