Let Me In (2010)
Director: Matt Reeves
A young, insecure boy named Owen (Kodi Smit-McPhee) gets his first taste of love when he befriends Abby (Chloë Moretz), the solem12 year old girl that lives next door. The catch is (there's always one) is that she's truly a creature of the night that feeds on blood. You thought your struggles with puberty were rough... think again...
I mucho enjoyed Tomas Alfredson's original Swedish film LET THE RIGHT ONE IN (which was based on the novel of the same name by John Ajvide Lindqvist); I didn't think it was the flawless masterpiece that the masses said it was but I connected to it and appreciated the artistry behind it. Now we got a remake to deal with. Personally I was indifferent when I heard that the good old US of A was going to do a redo. I know some people got upset, I just didn't give a hoot or a nanny. But now its here and I gotta deal with it. So what did I think? Who cares! Stop reading this crap and go surf porn. End of review. Just kidding. Here we go!
As I was watching Matt Reeves (who did the tight CLOVERFIELD) LET ME IN, all I kept thinking was that I had clocked this flick before. It was almost a shot by shot retelling of the original, right down to the same framing. For half the film all I kept thinking was: this was made for mainstream audience who can't deal with subtitles...cause really...its the same shite. As ya can see, I can't comment on this film without bringing up the original. Why? Cause I freaking saw it. Its engraved in my mind right next to them fond threesome memories, so its how its gonna be. On the upside, LET ME IN actually fixed lots of the problems I had with LET THE RIGHT ONE IN. The flick went out of its way to focus on the kids and their poignant relationship. The subplots were toned down (no attacking cats here, thank god) and we didn't even see the boy mother's face (a la Charlie Brown) for the bulk of the picture. Smart move on Matt Reeves part if ya ask me; or my plush Teddy Bear Rocko. By tightening up the plot and putting the bulk of the attention on his two leads, it made their story even more powerful. That resulted in the ending working better for me as well. Our protagonist's final decision made way more sense in this retake. So yeah, at least this remake caught and fixed the muck ups of the original...groovy.
Visually, the film was striking, capitalizing on its snowy setting and eerie subject matter creatively. I really dug on Reeves use of out of focus and static shots that upped the mystery and eeriness of the picture. But straight up, for me, it was the score by Academy Award winner Michael Giacchino that brought it all home with gusto. I was floored! It was some of the best film music I've heard all year and it definitely chimed in to up the impact and emotional resonance of the affair. After the screening I went and thanked Michael Giacchino (saw him at a bar) for that score; that's how good it was. I gotta own it! The actors on hand aced it as well. Kodi Smit-McPhee was credible and likable in all of his imperfections as Owen, Richard Jenkins and Elias Koteas did what they had to do with class and talent but at the end of the neck snap it was Chloë Moretz (yes Hit Girl from Kick Ass) as Abby that stood out the most. I don't think I've ever seen a child actor (she's 13 years old) own the screen like Moretz did. I simply could not take my eyes off her; magnetic was the word and me signed, sealed and mailed to Peru was the result. Moreover, Moretz and McPhee shared an organic and moving chemistry and having that was crucial; they were the heart of the film (which is after all a love story), so props Reeves, props for making that happen!
On the flip-side, I could've done without the dodgy CGI that made Abby's tree climbing excursions look like reject CG footage from Spider Man. But my biggest peeve with this mofo was that I HAD SEEN IT BEFORE; it was so similar to the original that anybody that's seen it will get a bad case of deja vu. Reeves should've focused on adapting the "way out of line" book more faithfully instead of the Swedish rendition. Now that would have been something! So yeah the film lost points for that in my eyes. With that pea souped out, Reeves obviously had a lot of love and respect for his source material and his version not only stuck to its structure for the most part but more importantly it managed to recapture its heart and soul. The art film feel that the original had was retained here and I'll be curious to read how your mom and pop audience will react to tit. Cause even though its in English, I wouldn't call this a commercial opus. So in closing; if you haven't seen LET THE RIGHT ONE IN cause subtitles make you queasy, see this retake on it. Its a powerful, character driven love story about a boy and his vamp crush and if doesn't hurt your heart... you don't have one. Booyakasha!
We get acid in the face, blood, severed limbs (yeah there's a severed head in there...yeehaw), a ripped up ear and a couple more goodies.
T & A
We see one tit and what a tit it was. Pass the Wasabi.
I am assuming that the folks that haven't seen LET THE RIGHT ONE IN will react differently to LET ME IN than I did. Personally, I felt like I had seen the film before, cause... well... I freaking had! 80% of this remake was the same as its source. But that doesn't mean it was not worth a lick of spit. Awkward CGI aside, LET ME IN was on top of its game on every level; visually, acting (McPhee and Moretz were amazing), musically (again...what a score..wow) while sporting its damaged heart proudly on its blood stained sleeve. You haven't seen LET THE RIGHT ONE IN? Spank this remake, its worth the trip. You've already seen the Swedish original? I say see it anyways, it betters it.
The rights for the LET THE RIGHT ONE IN remake were acquired at the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival, after the original won the "Founders Award” for Best Narrative Feature there.
The flick was produced by Hammer Films...yes...THAT Hammer Films.
Tomas Alfredson the director of the Swedish film has been vocal against the remake saying: "If one should remake a film, it's because the original is bad. And I don't think mine is