Let Me In (2010)
Directed by Matt Reeves
Didn't I already review this?
Oh yeah I did. As most horror fans already watched Let the Right One In (review here), we all probably were comparing the original while watching the remake. I can't say I blame you. I did the same thing.
Everything I wanted to say is pretty much in that original review. The American remake is almost similar to the original though upon reflection I have to say the Swedish film is a little better.
Oddly enough, it's because I saw it first. Something about seeing the Swedish version and watching superb characters, a mesmerizing story and that stellar invitation scene the first time around sticks in your mind. Seeing a replay in all American speak makes it less powerful sorry to say. That's not to say the film is any less better. It's still strong with stellar performances by Chloe Moretz and Kodi Smit-McPhee.
Director Matt Reeves does a beautiful job of shooting the film, the story still emotionally impactful and the performances top notch. But it's that damn elephant in the room (the original) is kinda standing there going...."What? I wasn't good enough?"
I'm totally stealing from my original review.
Let the Right One In [or Let Me In] is a movie that is a journey in to a fantastic world, where the love of two people, be it tweens or grownups, is complicated, tender and always full of hardship.
But choices have to be made. And everybody has to live with the consequences.
A bullied young boy befriends a young female vampire who lives in secrecy with her guardian.
Seriously. I'm not going into an in depth review here. I wrote all my thoughts about the Abby and Owen relationship in my original review. I explored the themes, the relationship and the vampire mythos they created. So read that in my first review. So what else is there to talk about?
I'll say this. Chloe Moretz (who was last seen in the awesome Kick-Ass) gives an outstanding performance as Abby. From playing a vicious Hit Girl to tender blood sucking vamp, she shows a clear understanding of what makes her characters tick. Her blood dripping savageness is mixed in with an innocence lost. You have to applaud the balance of her performance as Abby.
Kodi Smit-McPhee (who I last saw on The Road) does a good job as Owen, our bullied tween. He has a soon to be love struck champion feel to him. Like in the original, Owen is not overtly shocked by seeing Abby's true nature but mesmerized by it all (and even possibly blinded due to his undying love for his new girl).
What I didn't like was the overt use of CGI to make Abby look like Blade in Blade 2. WTF was that all about? The original film lacked any of that and worked. Reeves figured he'd Clover some field into Let Me In and it totally wasn't necessary.
Finally, I was waiting for the invitation scene (which I have said is utterly inventive as it is brilliant) and I'll admit the Swedish version handles it a little bit better.
Check out the original.
The blood dripping from the ears and the eyes. It looks like Eli is crying. Also the way its shot, you see Eli's face dead on like Oskar does. In Let Me In, its a bit more distant. Abby has her head down and you can't see the pain that's being inflicted.
It's still a powerful scene in Let Me In but clearly it's done so creatively and in your face in Let The Right One In, it hits you like a ton of bricks. I hate to compare but I HAVE TO. The remake was made only 2 years after the original. 2 years!!!!
Let Me In is one step below the original but it's good enough to stand on it's own for the American viewing audience. It has the alienation, the loneliness and it develops the relationship of two people (no matter their age) as they connect in the frigid winter of Nowhere, America.
I'd like to say it had the same impact as Let the Right One In, but I can't. The remake was made because Let the Right One In was so successful and so powerful. If the original didn't captivate us, no way would Hollywood goes all remakey. That's what Reeves had to realize. And that's exactly what Director Tomas Alfredson said about the remake:
"Remakes should be made of movies that aren't very good. That gives you the chance to fix whatever has gone wrong. I'm very proud of my movie and I think it's great, but the Americans might have another opinion. The saddest thing for me would be to see this beautiful story made into something mainstream. I don't like to whine, but of course - if you spent years on painting a picture, you'd hate to hear buzz about a copy even before your vernissage"
(vermissage meaning the start of an art exhibit)
I couldn't say it any better.
Blood and blood and blood
The Jaded Viewer's Final Prognosis
If you can't stand subtitles, watch the remake. But if you want to see the original in its now classic glory, it's the only way to see it. And because of this, we have 2 ratings.
1/2 (if you've seen the original)
(if you haven't seen the original)
Check out the trailer.