LET ME IN
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!
Tomas Alfredson-The Director of Let The Right One In!
It was way back in 1998 when I discovered a whole new world of horror. Just sitting down to watch my new acquired VHS copy of Ringu, I did not know what to expect or wish for, if truth be told I was probably not expecting that much, a horror from another part of the world, a premise about a haunted Video tape did not really enthral me like it should have. Of course afterwards just has the final credit left the screen and the tape stopped I had to eat my own words. Not only was I scared out of my bone at what I had just witnessed, but I was also terrified that maybe, just maybe Sadako may actually crawl out of my Tv set in the midst of the night!
It was the start of a love affair of all things foreign when it comes to horror. Even now thirteen years later, I still hunt down all the titles even though J Horror which was born thanks to success of Ringu has now died a very slow death. For nearly a year or two after my first watch, I banged on to who would ever listen about the quality of such film and when it was announced that a re-make was due, I for one was probably one of the most excited horror fans on the planet. You see I have friends who have no time for any film that needs the aid of subtitles so when The Ring was released I ran with my mates to see theirreaction at such a compelling film. It was though sadly, one of the worst experiences of my life.
Moving the premise to America lost some of the essence that the original gained. Maybe because it was set in a place like Japan that give it an awe, a believable factor that this shit could happen. Seeing the movie Americanised left it flat, a once mystical concept became daft and silly, but what kept me going was the end, surely they could not get that wrong?, but the shit CGI effect ruined the entire picture, and to this day I still wont watch The Ring. Maybe also its because the actors are familiar to us. The reason again is why I find the remake of The Grudge dull compared to its J Horror counterpart is because it just has Buffy The Vampire Slayer fighting the ghouls. A foreign horror has actors and actresses we are not familiar with so it brings an uncomfortable feel to it all, its like we invading their world, sharing their nightmare, given it a required beauty to the horror which aids the film, unlike the remakes which has the newest star of The OC in the starring role.
In this very thread, deep in the mist of pages back is the original review of the Swedish film Let The Right One In, and I gave it a stunning 5 out of 5. It was one of the finest horrors of many of year, a dark love story with a gothic fairytale has its landscape. As soon as it was released and gained this massive cult following then it was only a matter of time before the Americans jumped on board. Again I was wary, once bitten twice shy is a phase I use now and regular readers know of my not so much love for the remake business. So was my worries justified? Did Let Me In just end up as another Ring.????
We start in 1983 and we meet Owen (Mcphee-The Road) a 12 year old shy boy whose suffering from his parents divorce and from the school bullies who see him as an easy target. Quiet and withdrawn, the only thing in the world Owen needs is a friend, someone he can talk to and play with. Neglect has brought a sense of rage inside him, he picks up knifes and stabs trees in which he pretends there are his bullies, Owen is confused and in need of some help and out of the blue comes the answer in the shape of Abby (Mortez-Kick Ass), a new girl who moves in next door. Revealed to be 12 years old herself, Owen is drawn to this mystery bare footed girl who feels no cold and is fascinated by the noises that come from the walls inside her flat. It seems Abby is different to everyone else, Abby has a secret, one that will not only cause danger to all those around her, but may change the life of Owen for good!
Its hard to write a review when its best not to know what happens, if you could not be bothered with the Swedish original (with its poor takings at the box office then its a good chance you weren’t) then you probably do not know what happens in this film. All I can do is get to the point and say is it worth the watch!
Well, I do have issues with Let Me In. For a start I was quite annoyed with director Reeves-Cloverfield– bare faced cheek in the credits by saying he wrote this film. When he was approached and asked to make this sequel he originally turned it down flat saying he could not better the original film. After a few talks and which I admire. his stubborn refusal to make the lead characters older (why?) he agreed, but he wanted to do it his way and also told everyone involved not to watch the original. Now I know why! To say he wrote this script is a mockery, I mean come on, this is so much alike and virtually a shot by shot remake that it must have taken him an hour. Yes he does add some bonus scenes which do enhance the story, but he is not fooling this horror fan for his gallant cheek.
That aside it is one of the better adaptions that the Americans have got their hands on. The two leads are quite wonderful, both showing a promise of future sucess. Reeves shows a deft hand in some scenes most notably the car crash which is beautifully done, and while its what you wanted from an American redo, it just lacks that fairytale goth vibe that served the original so well. Maybe it was because I knew what was coming that it made the viewing experience somewhat redundant for me. What did not help is that I knew each scene before it happened and after the hour mark I realised “what was the whole point of watching this!” when I have the original in my collection. This is not a complaint or a negative towards Let Me In, but if I have already given its blueprint a five star rating, how could this offer anything new or different. Let Me In fails to have the dark edge that its Swedish counterpart managed to raise to the surface now and again, and there are two scenes that fail to reach the horrific levels that I was expecting!
So what this boils down to is: If you have not seen the Let The Right One In then award Let Me In a five out of five, but if you adore the Swedish classic in which some describe “a masterpiece” then award its American cousin a 3.5 out of 5, because watching them both, its hard to spot the difference and mocks the claim of Reeves that he was ignoring the film and adapting from the book!!!
OVERALL: Works wonderfully if you have never seen the classic, but with that Swedish film still fresh in the mind, Die Hard fans of Let The Right One In will just sigh and wonder what is the point!!!
[pt-filmtitle]Let Me In[/pt-filmtitle]