So, when I first heard they were remaking Let The Right One In – I rolled my eyes. First, I knew it had only been greenlit because there were vampires involved. Second, I had seem the Swedish film and while I felt it was well done, I wasn’t sure I liked it. Of course, I had rented it for a good scare, but it really isn’t a scary movie. It’s creepy, it’s weird, but scary was not what came to mind. Then I saw the first trailer for Let Me In and could tell they had copied the scenes from the Swedish film and wondered why you would even bother remaking it.
But then Let Me In came out and got surprisingly good reviews…and I became curious. Could this remake be watchable?
Well, last night I finally popped in the DVD after letting it sit on my desk for a month. I figured, hey, it’s 11:30, I’ll watch a little bit and then finish it tomorrow after work.
I couldn’t turn it off.
Which was odd because it really was almost the exact same movie as the Swedish film, yet at the same time, there were enough small tweaks, added moments, that sucked me into the movie. Or maybe it was because I didn’t have any preconceived notions this time, I knew exactly what kind of story I was getting into – a relationship between a young boy, a boy who is bullied in school, whose mother is so absent from his life that she never even appears in the frame with him and we never see her face (though I can’t decide if this was a cool artistic decision or a sort of “I want to be artsy” thing…but I liked it) – and the girl next door…or, at least, the creature that resembles a little girl.
This is a movie I’d love to discuss with someone who had not seen the Swedish film. I knew what was coming, I knew the whole story, so things that might have been shocking to others were not so much for me.
It’s hard for me to evaluate this movie! I will say the film was very well acted, by both of the leads especially. The editing and the shots, while mimicing the style of the Swedish film, had some interesting moments of their own that somehow made this version…better? Perhaps. I felt the story moved a lot smoother, I was able to understand certain connections that I only remember being hinted at in the original. But maybe that is just the English speaking size of my brain, the American side, being able to process it all faster than it could when I was watching and reading subtitles.
But I couldn’t turn it off. 1:30am rolled around and the credits finally rolled and I really did enjoy it. I don’t know if I’d watch it again, it ends on a very melancholy moment, but it did have some good moments.
Just know, it’s not really a scary movie. It’s got suspense and elements of horror, but in the end, like all good stories, it’s about relationships. This relationship just happens to be between this lost boy and really lost girl/vampire…thing. But it is worth seeing, even if you have not seen the original. In fact, you might enjoy it MORE if you haven’t seen the original because you will get to be surprised as the plot unfolds and won’t have to try to figure out why you liked the American version more.