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(2010), R [Hardcore R*] (1hr 54.75min)

Final Score
Analysis Date
Date Posted
Influence Density
February 7, 2011
February 9, 2011

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(While the Scriptural references are certainly not subjective, my commentary may be and sometimes is somewhat subjective.)

If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary.

(2010), R [Hardcore R*] ... I would bet this film should be a NC-17-equivalent.

Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): EFTI, Goldcrest Post Production London, Hammer Film Productions, Overture Films
Distribution (US): Overture Films, Relativity Media
Director(s): Matt Reeves
Producer(s): Tobin Armbrust , Alexander Yves Brunner, Guy East, Philip Elway, Donna Gigliotti, Jillian Longnecker, Fredrik Malmberg, Carl Molinder, John Nordling, Simon Oakes, John Ptak, Vicki Dee Rock, Nigel Sinclair
Writing Credits: Matt Reeves (screenplay), John Ajvide Lindqvist (screenplay and novel)
Cinematography/Camera: Greig Fraser
Music: Michael Giacchino
Film Editing: Stan Salfas
Casting: Avy Kaufman
Production Design: Ford Wheeler
Art Direction: Guy Barnes
Viewed on Hammer Let Me In Productions DVD

If the filmmakers were trying to make a wholly depressing and morally upsetting movie, they succeeded. I cannot say whether this film or any other film is NC-17-equivalent because I have not and will not conduct analyses of NC-17 (X-rated) movies. But if I had and if I were a betting man I would bet this film should be a NC-17-equivalent.

"Let me in" is, according to the story, what a vampire must ask and get a compliant answer before a vampire can enter the house in which the host resides. "Let me in" may also be, according to the story, an unprecedented melting of a vampire's heart to fall in love with a human and let the human into the vampire's heart. Whatever it is supposed to mean, it is a-l-l based on unholy evil. God warns of desiring evil in many ways in many places throughout the Bible.

R-rated films in the comparative baseline database earned final scores of 54 and below out of a possible 100 points. This film earned a final score of 22 out of 100. It has been a while since I analyzed a R-rated film ... and it will be a while before I do so again. At least a R-rated film of such evil anyway. This film was ugly and, not in just a visual sense, vicious and gory.

Twelve year old Owen (Kodi Smit-McPhee), who is tormented daily by bigger kids at school, happened across a likewise 12 year old, Abby (Chloe Moretz) ... who had been 12 for a very, very long time. Living with he who appeared to be her father -- her mother was dead -- Abby was a loner and kept to herself, warning Owen that she cannot be his friend. While Owen took to Abby almost immediately, bare-footed Abby, even in the snow (that did not melt under her feet), slowly befriended Owen and slowly let him in .... who slowly let her in.

I am not going to spend any time summarizing the plot and story as I usually do nor am I going to summarize the content by investigation area as I usually do. Being so set against this manner of "entertainment" ("entertainment" even that has a 12 year old girl stripping in the shadows to nudity and getting into bed with a 12 year old boy) I am going to leave it all to the listing in the Findings/Scoring section of this report and try to purge the film from my memory. Nor am I going to spend the time to research Scriptures that condemn behaviors demonstrated and images displayed this film. Though I hate the expression "trust me" and do not like to make recommendations, trust me. This film is not worthy of your patronage as a viewer.


If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ] or bold. If you wish to have full context available, the Blue Letter Bible is a convenient source. If you use the Blue Letter Bible, a new window will open. Close it to return here or use "Window" in your browser's menu bar to alternate between the CAP page and the Blue Letter Bible page.


***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
  • Jer. 37:9 This is what the LORD says: Do not deceive yourselves, thinking, 'The Babylonians [the destroyers from within] will surely leave us.' They will not!
  • Ps. 12:8 The wicked freely strut about [e.g., create progressively vile/offensive entertainment with impunity and no consequences and present it to younger and younger audiences every year] when what is vile is honored among men [when enough people continue to defend it, embrace it, enjoy it, want it, submit to it. I call attention to Ps. 12:8 to warn of the creeping desensitizing power of "entertainment."]
  • Col. 2:8 Beware lest any man [by his influence] spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 Be not deceived: evil [kakov: of a bad nature, not such as it ought to be] communications corrupt good manners.
  • Rom. 5:19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
  • Jude 1:4 For there are certain men* crept in unawares [secretly slipped in among us], who were before of old ordained to this condemnation [whose condemnation was written about long ago], ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness [a license for immorality], and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. [*men: anthropos {anth'-ro-pos}, generic, a human being, whether male or female]
  • Matt. 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
  • Luke 17:2 It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. [Offend: skandalizo {skan-dal-id'-zo} - scandalize; to entice to sin; to cause a person to begin to distrust and desert one whom he ought to trust and obey; to cause to fall away.]
  • Ps. 119:133 Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me [let no sin rule over me].
  • John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
  • 1 Thess. 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil. ["Evil" includes all things that are sinful.]


    As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.
    (The objective heart of the CAP Analysis Model, independent of and insulated from the Summary / Commentary section.)

    Let Me In (2010) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - Zero out of 100
  • images of gore and horror in intro
  • medical emergency peril
  • flashes of acid burn gore
  • adolescent boy with a knife pretending to be a slasher, twice
  • breaking and entering - auto, twice
  • stab of semi-alive victim to cause bleeding
  • draining blood of victim
  • graphic gore - victim, repeatedly
  • girl with glowing eyes sucking the blood of a victim, graphic
  • "vampire" girl breaking the neck of her victim
  • illegally disposing of body
  • older boy whipping smaller boy with pocket pointer, injury
  • intense bully threats
  • pain of divorce
  • assault to kill
  • car wreck, graphic
  • injury gore, repeatedly
  • pouring acid over head and torso with flesh dissolving
  • acid injury gore, graphic
  • adolescent girl with blood streaks across her face - long sequence
  • more bully threats, repeatedly
  • adolescent boy cutting himself to get blood to make a pact
  • "vampire" attack with gore, repeatedly
  • intense gore, repeatedly
  • bleeding gore of young girl
  • bloody shower water
  • firearm for offensive
  • adolescent boy ignoring police command
  • flesh ripping
  • adolescent girl all bloody, repeatedly
  • adolescents implementing arson to distract authority
  • older boys abducting and assaulting younger boy, graphic
  • adolescent's decapitated head sinking in pool
  • sounds of slaughter of 3 adolescents with visual hints

    Impudence/Hate (I) - Zero out of 100
  • 12 uses of profanity by adolescents
  • 17 uses of the most foul of the foul words, most by adolescents
  • ignoring mother's instruction
  • marital friction
  • adolescent boy peeping through door jamb
  • middle school mischief
  • adolescent boy lying about sexually harassing adolescent girl
  • tormenting of smaller boy by bigger boys, repeatedly
  • lies, repeatedly
  • boy trashing mother's healthy food in favor of junk food
  • lie to lure victim Romeo & Juliet movie playing before adolescent crowd speaking of death and suicide
  • lie to hide whipping injury
  • adolescent girl ordering caregiver
  • son stealing mom's money
  • adolescent running away to be with fleeing "vampire" girl

    Sexual Immorality (S) - 36 out of 100
  • adolescent boy peeping with telescope
  • man fondling woman's bare breast with adolescent boy watching
  • adolescent boy sexually harassing adolescent girl
  • adolescent boy and girl making out and in public
  • young girl in a dress lifting knees above young boy's face
  • Romeo & Juliet movie scene with him getting dressed and her in bed nude before an adolescent crowd
  • adolescent girl stripping to nudity in the shadows then getting in bed with an
  • adolescent boy
  • homosexual reference
  • young girl in towel only
  • adolescent boy peeping at adolescent girl getting dressed

    Drugs/Alcohol (D) - 68 out of 100
  • drinking
  • smoking, twice by adolescent
  • drugging to unconsciousness to facilitate draining blood, twice
  • talk of teens drinking and smoking

    Offense to God (O) - Zero out of 100
  • one use of God's name in vain with the four letter expletive and 17 without it, mostly by adolescents
  • suspicious use of faith, the scriptures and prayer
  • "vampire" girl flying
  • "vampire" girl licking blood off floor
  • young girl's eyes glowing, repeatedly
  • belittlement of faith-based belief
  • impossible physical feats, repeatedly
  • vampirism throughout
  • woman sucking her own blood
  • body bursting into flame

    Murder/Suicide (M) - 27 out of 100
  • suicide, twice, graphic
  • murder in car, twice
  • murder by "vampire" attack, repeatedly, some seen, some unseen

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    There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.

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