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The Music
The music in Let Me In needed to serve two purposes, according to Reeves. The original score, for which he turned to award-winning composer Michael Giacchino, would set the tenuous emotional tone for the film. The soundtrack's songs, selected with the help of renowned music consultant George Drakoulias, would help evoke the film's 1980s setting.

Giacchino previously composed the Oscar-winning score for the celebrated Pixar film Up, and earned an Emmy for his work on the acclaimed television series "Lost.” He also contributed a piece of music to the score of Reeves' earlier film, Cloverfield, which played over the end credits. This time, Reeves asked him to score the entire film.

The director envisioned an unsettling music backdrop that, like the story, could morph swiftly from dread and loneliness to tenderness and romance. "Michael's work on ‘Lost' made me confident he would create a real sense of suspense,” says Reeves. "He also has a tender emotionality that is evident in his work for Pixar and others. He was able to create a score that reflected all the tones of the film and still bring it together with a single musical voice.”

Reeves and Giacchino share an admiration for the work of the legendary composer Bernard Herrman, who scored dozens of films over a long career, including classic Hitchcock thrillers including North by Northwest and Psycho. "Those are the movies that really kept me on edge as a kid,” says the director. "I wanted the music to be in that same spirit.”

Adds producer Alex Brunner, "We were absolutely thrilled to have Michael come on board to do the score. His music is both haunting and deeply emotional, and has truly captured Matt's vision for the film. The last Hammer ‘vampire' movie was The Legend of Seven Golden Vampires, scored by notable hammer composer James Bernard, and we are extremely proud that Michael has musically brought the tradition of Hammer into the 21st century".

Reeves says he too is honored to be a part of the Hammer tradition. "Writing and directing the first Hammer film in more than three decades brought me back to those great films that scared me as a kid,” he says. This movie is in keeping with that tradition.”

When Reeves called Giacchino, the composer had just been nominated for a slew of awards for Up and was swamped with other offers. But he says he is always happy to work with old friends. "It makes me feel like a kid playing with my buddies,” the composer says. "I already knew from working on Cloverfield that Matt brings a great deal to his films in terms of emotion and storytelling. Story and emotions rule the way I write, so we're a good team.”

The simplicity of the characters also resonated with Giacchino. "Their innocence in the wake of their predicament touched me,” he says. "The film is about vampires, but it is a coming-of-age film about two kids dealing with difficult family situations. Their overwhelming sadness was incredibly compelling to me as a composer.”

Using a bell-like keyboard instrument called a celeste to create the haunting tones in the score, as well as bass drum and a boys' choir, Giacchino followed Reeves' lead by allowing the music to open up as simply and gradually as the action. "The scenes unfold slowly and tentatively, without a lot of dialogue,” he says. "It adds tension to the scenes. I tried to be as patient with the music as Matt was with his directing. For example, in the scene where the police officer enters Abby's house, the music starts with one instrument and eventually ends up with the entire orchestra blaring away by the end of the scene. I really took my time, slowly building the orchestration and melody all the way to the final moment.”

The soundtrack of classic ‘80s pop music places the action squarely in Reaganera America. With the help of music consultant George Drakoulias, whose recent credits include The Hangover, Star Trek and Tropic Thunder, Reeves chose songs he remembered and enjoyed from the period. "We used songs that I thought would evoke that time,” says Reeves. "We were determined not to make it kitschy or fetishize it, but to depict it lovingly and accurately. Consequently, I don't think it looks like a period movie. Even though people who have seen it say it's totally ‘80s, it seems like yesterday to me and the music is a really exciting part of that.”

Ultimately, each piece of music serves to underscore the power of Let Me In's story which, according to Reeves, resides in its mystery and ambiguity. "It's a tragedy, but it's also a love story. There is redemption in the connection the kids find to each other. There's also a dark implication of what the future could be. Some people think it's a happy ending; others find it extremely disturbing. It leaves you to interpret the story as you will. I'll be interested to hear what people think.”

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