>Hollywood does it again!
Taking a good foreign film and Hollywood-ising it has become a bit of a trend for studio bigwigs over the last decade or so. Ok, so we were given Godzilla fairly early on, but The Ring started it all in earnest. A pretty good film, but with nothing of the disjointed creepiness of the Japanese version. Then there was the sequel (the less said the better). However, of late, they seem to be getting particularly desperate for original film ideas. So desperate, that they’ve remade The Orphanage, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is in the works, and Let the Right One in has just been released. Each of these films have only been out a year or so before being bastardised by the we-can-do-it-better mentality.
But don’t let me convince you that I’m biased here. I’m not just on an anti-remake rant as usual. Let’s talk about Let me in and decide objectively.
At first, I scoffed at the idea of this remake. I thought the change of title in itself spoke volumes and missed the point entirely. This isn’t a film about a young vampire girl wanting to get in at someone, it’s about both of the lead characters trusting someone for the first time. That’s why it’s important to let the RIGHT one in…you see? Bloody Americans.
Anyway, title aside, the film’s actually pretty good. The book is excellent, the original movie was good but a little slow and I felt it missed the mark on some of the more important issues of the book. Believe it or not, Let me in is actually a good adaptation of the book rather than the film. Some of the issues around Abby’s (Chloe Moretz, aka Hit Girl) relationship with her murdering guardian (Richard Jenkins) are better handled. They’re volatile, co-dependant and in the end deeply impassioned for each other; something the original reduced to paedophilia with no reasoning.
I love the fact that Owen’s (Kody Smit-McPhee) mother is present but barely seen throughout the film. In fact you don’t see her face for the first half of the movie, giving a sense of distance between her and Owen. That’s some awesome cinematography from director Matt Reeves who delivers every step of the way with some excellent camera angles, and the minimal special effects so subtly done that you’re never forced into thinking about the CGI (unless you’re me, but I’m weird like that).
Oh, yeah, well there’s always one isn’t there?
I’m not going to bash on about the acting as I usually do, even though it’s important. Suffice to say there isn’t a single missed mark from any of the actors here. Even Elias Koteas (One of those prolific actors who has been in everything but, unfortunately, never fronted a film of his own.) as the pop-in, pop-out policeman manages to give you character and depth without really saying much.
Now, it’s not perfect. It drags on the middle as its predecessor did and the introduction (which drops you in the middle of the movie and then rewinds shortly after) is a pointless attempt to grab your attention early on. Oh, for shame, Mr. Reeves. But other than having to sit through this section again 45minutes later, it doesn’t hurt too much.
Could this be a return of intelligent, blood-drinking vampire movies after all the chardonnay-swilling, spade-faced, eyebrow-emoting pussies we’ve been spoon fed lately? I certainly hope so!
“A vamp movie with brains.”