THE PLOT THUS FAR
A bullied young boy befriends a young female vampire who lives in secrecy with her guardian.
WHAT WE THOUGHT
A lonely and bullied 12 year old boy Owen (Kodi Smit-McPhee) whose parents are getting divorced, whilst at school he is bullied by Kenny (Dylan Minnette) and his two friends Mark and Donald. Meanwhile a 12 year old girl Abby (Chloe Moretz) and her father/guardian (Richard Jenkins) move in to Owen next door. Soon they strike up a friendship as a unique bond forms between them, but she appears strange, at one point Owen tells her she smells bad and despite it being winter with snow on the ground, she often goes outside in the courtyard of the flats they live in to see him barefoot without any shoes, but dosen’t feel the cold. There is a reason as she has a terrible secret of being a vampire where her father goes out and kills innocent strangers to obtain their blood so she can survive and eventually Owen becomes entangled up in everything when he finds out her secret and he stays with her despite knowing the truth.
This is a fantastic film from start to finish, it’s beautifully made with a very bleak atmosphere. The cinematography gorgeously enforces this. It cleverly mirrors the loneliness the two children feel in their lives, Owen who is bullied with no friends and parents who are on a verge of divorce and Abby who is also socially isolated due to being a vampire along with her father who is torn at helping her but wanting to give up. This film takes an intelligent insight into two kids with fractured souls who fit together in a unique and unexplained way of being whole. The friendship that blossoms between them is wonderfully depicted and builds up in a believable pace. This is due to surprisingly excellent performances from McPhee and Moretz who perform a terrific job of capturing the essence of their characters and radiating a very mature presence on the screen, which is an incredible accomplishment.
In my estimation, the director has come on in leaps and bounds since “Cloverfield”, a movie with a clever idea that was hampered by a poor cast and so-so execution. Here the director sets a mood of oppression and isolation from the very earliest frames and never lets up. The locations are used superbly, as are lighting and sound to create the gloomy world poor Owen is stranded in. The film undeniably belongs to Chloe Grace Moretz as the young vampire Abby. This girl is an absolute powerhouse of an actress, turning in a dark, subtle and convincing performance that belies her tender age of 12. If she does not make the shortlist for next year’s Oscars, the Academy needs its collective head examined. She embodies the potent mixture of lovable innocence and animalistic darkness within Abby with such ease, you will be genuinely astounded.
The Blu-Ray comes with an audio commentary from the director and a ton of deleted scenes. You also get a FX breakdown, trailers and a look at that freaking awesome car crash sequence. The A/V Quality is reference quality, as Greig Fraser’s stark cinematography comes to life on this 1080p transfer. The True HD 5.1 track is simply flawless, as Abby’s brutal attacks move across the entire soundstage. The second disc in the set is a digital copy. In the end, this is a must-buy for all readers. What kills me though is the weird packaging choices. Basically, the packaging glue to hold the back slip and the free comic reprint onto the Blu-Ray case. Really weird choice, but it doesn’t hurt my recommendation.
RELEASE DATE: 02/01/2011