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There’s nothing you can do about it. Let the Right One In got
remade. The film was shot, is completed, and is coming out this fall.
All you can do at this point is try to make peace with the new film,
called Let Me In, and hope that it’s at least sort of good.
Two scenes from Let Me In were
shown at Comic Con last weekend, and they both worked very well.
Director Matt Reeves hasn’t strayed very far from the source at all, and
while he hasn’t made a shot for shot remake, it does look like he’s
remade the Swedish film beat for beat. The new movie is set in the snowy
New Mexico town of Los Alamos (yes, it snows there), and it’s a period
film, replete with Empire Strikes Back shirts
and classic cabinet video games like Gorf. The first scene we saw was
where Oscar – sorry, Owen – takes Abby (nee Eli) out on a ‘date.’ It’s
the moment when she eats a candy and throws up and then asks the boy if
he would like her as much if she wasn’t a girl. Reeves’ direction is
atmospheric and laconic; the movie doesn’t seem to have quickened the
pace over Tomas Alfredson’s classic. It was interesting to
watch this scene play out because quite simply it’s pretty much the same
as the original, with the language and some location details being
changed; while impressed by the tonal consistency, I was concerned that Let Me In would be a repetitive snooze for anyone who saw the original.
second scene helped allay those concerns. It began with Abby and her
guardian – here played by Richard Jenkins – as he’s about to go out and
kill for her. He asks her not to see that new boy next door anymore, and
the vibe is tender and very, very creepy. Then we follow Jenkins as he
goes on the hunt; this scene was a riff on the Let the Right One In scene
where the killer bones a murder. That was set in a high school locker
room, while this has Jenkins laying in wait in the back seat of a car.
Reeves upped the ante on the tension, and then he ends the scene in a
truly spectacular shot that I’d prefer not to ruin for you. I’m actually
not sure why we were shown this scene – I’ve heard from people who have
seen the film that it’s one of the best and most original parts of the
McPhee-Smit and Chloe Moretz both bring the quiet strangeness that
Alfredson was able to get out of his young actors in the original. I
think Reeves loses something by casting two kids we’ve seen before, but
he gains by having young actors able to deliver the performances
necessary. I know I’ve already said this, but what impressed me the most
was that Reeves’ film maintains the stillness of the original; Let Me In feels like an indie movie, not an opportunistic cash-in on a great film. Is it possible that Let Me In could
be very good all on its own, when being judged as a work apart from the
original movie? I think so. Which means that fans of Let the Right One In will be annoyed, as they won’t be able to say “The original, good version.”