It took me a while to do it but I finally got around to watching the American Remake of the spankingly good Let The Right One In. In a business known for the bastardisation of wonders and the destruction of brilliance how does the remake machine fare with this bit of Swedish gold?
Stylistically Let Me In is chillingly close to the original (which was based on a book of the same name) colour casts are slightly more Hollywood with a preponderance of the warmer colours that Let The Right One In avoided. We have an understandable change of name with Oskar now being Owen and Eli reimagined as Abbey, some of the peripheral characters are changed but overall we have a film that is very close to the source.
In all this works brilliantly to bring the story to the wider public. Many people dislike subtitles so the reshooting with English adds to the ease of the film. The pacing is similar and unhurried and the underlying tragic story remains intact.
A word needs to be said for the actors in this. Chloe Moretz and Kodi Smit-Mcphee are truly convincing as Abbey and Owen respectively, as we see their fledgling romance blossom and we start to side with an essentially “bad” being it is heartrending to know that there is no future for them.
Two diversions from major scenes in Let The Right One In, one an improvement and the other not so much so. The capture of Abbeys guardian is handled with far more style in his iteration. Rather then the silly mistake he makes in the locker room in the source film this time he errs in a car rear. The subsequent locked off camera crash scene is brilliant and effective. Unfortunately the same is true of the climactic pool scene. Rather then the peaceful locked off shot we had in Let The Right One In instead we have a chaotic maelstrom. Still effective but nowhere near as chilling or beautiful as the original scene.
Overall which did I prefer. Well to be honest I am torn. Let The Right One in is a true work of art but strange to my Americanised eyes. It is heavily Scandinavian and this translates poorly. Additionally subtitles, while being better then a dub, still detract from a film. Let Me In however misses some of the brilliance that the original portrayed but manages to be far more accessible to an English speaking audience. I, however, disliked the truly generic Vampire makeup and the awful CGI’d frenzied attacks. Which did I like the best? I’m not telling you!
Well worth a purchase.
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