A little bit of hype is a dangerous thing. I had been hearing a lot of hype about Let The Right One In, a Swedish vampire film (a description that barely scratches the surface of this beautiful, layered, amazing film), for months now, and I finally saw it yesterday here at Fantastic Fest… and it lived up to every bit of that hype. If you don’t see this movie quite close to the top of my ten best at the end of the year, a cinematic miracle happened and another masterpiece was released between now and December 31st.
Yes, a masterpiece. The movie is visually gorgeous, moving, filled with wonderful performances (from kids!) and doesn’t reinvent vampires so much as refresh them. This is a film that should, without a doubt, be competing for Best Foreign Film at the Oscars. It is that good.
But it’s not in English, so of course it’s being remade. And now we know who is remaking it: Matt Reeves, director of Cloverfield.
Look, I don’t want to get into a debate about the quality of Cloverfield. I don’t want to get into a thing about the virtues or lack thereof of remakes. I simply want to say that whoever thought Matt Reeves was the right director for this heart warming and heart breaking story of two 12 year olds who fall in love is either a visionary genius able to see levels of talent in the guy that no one else can see or a complete asshole. If Reeves shocks me and pulls off a film that is – literally – even half as good as the original, I’ll be stunned. Blown away.
But I doubt that happens. The big rumor is that the remake will have the 12 year olds be teens, a decision that I believe truly ruins the entire story in a major way, and one that proves the ignorance of those behind the scenes.
There is nothing to be gained by remaking this film. A remake will not improve upon the original. You can’t add to the story by making it take place in America, or throwing in more ‘action’ scenes. A rock n’ roll soundtrack will not raise Let The Right One In to a new level. There are very few levels to which this film can be raised, as it’s just that good.
Matt Reeves, please walk away from this project. Please don’t say ‘They were going to make it anyway, so at least they should have someone who loves the original making it.’ Walk away and save yourself. And to my readers: please don’t support this remake. Support the original vision. Do it not for the movie, but for yourself as a movie lover. Films like this come along so rarely. Why does Hollywood feel the need to shit on them?