BBC2: Sunday 15 August, 11.20pm
Bullied at school, solemn 12-year-old Kodi Smit-McPhee thought he was a social outcast – until he meets odd new neighbour Chloe Moretz in a drab Los Alamos apartment block in 1980s New Mexico. Remarkably quick cash-in on the outstanding 2008 Swedish vampire hit, Let the Right One In, capably rejigged as a Rear Window for the Reagan era by Cloverfield director Matt Reeves. Presumably it’s a sop to anyone allergic to subtitles, or to films with titles longer than three words. The boy’s fine (Kodi Smit-McPhee was Viggo Mortensen’s son in The Road) but Kick-Ass pest Chloe Moretz doesn’t begin to compare with the genuinely mysterious Lina Leandersson in the Swedish original. There’s also little sense of the enclosed community so sharply drawn in Tomas Alfredson’s picture. Another big difference in a largely faithful plot transcription is that what was darkly funny in the original isn’t at all amusing here – further evidence, I suppose, that Americans seem to be impervious to irony. In a self-consciously symbolic touch, the face of the actress playing Kodi’s mother is never shown (his dad is just a voice on the phone). As for scares, the most effectively creepy aspect is actually Michael Giacchino’s doomy bass-heavy music.