14 September 2010 | Copyright1994
What a shocking surprise!
As a fan of the 2008 Swedish film "Let The Right One In", I was originally very frustrated when I heard the news about the upcoming remake. "How do you ameliorate something that is already perfect?", I asked myself. I treated the remake with hostility and vowed to stay away from it. And then, I decided to open my mind.
I attended the world premiere of this film at the Toronto International Film Festival on Monday, September 13. I am very lucky to live in the proximity. This was the first year that I've attended the festival. Before seeing "Let Me In", I saw "127 Hours".
I liked the idea of seeing the remake of a film that I recently gave a second viewing. I thought it would be a fun challenge to sit there and compare both films while watching.
Before the screening (or it might have been after), the director, Matt Reeves (who launched his career with "Cloverfield"), was welcomed on stage to say a few words. It surprised me to find out that he, too, thought the original was fantastic and didn't understand why he was asked to remake it. However, after reading the book as well, he had the desire to work on his interpretation of it. After this speech, I gained a significant amount of respect for this man.
When the movie began, I was only expecting something satisfactory. But as the story progressed, I was breathless. It was a very captivating, interesting take, and I loved all the little modifications. I honestly believe that "Let Me In" is one of the greatest American remakes of all time.
Nevertheless, I still see the original, "Let The Right One In", as a superior film. Although it may be a biased opinion, I preferred the mood, atmosphere, and cinematography in the original. While the remake seemed to take a greater interest in the horrific violence, the original had the perfect blend of genres (thriller, romance, horror, fantasy). Both films had many beautiful contrasts: coldness vs warmth, chaos vs peace, guilt vs innocence, darkness vs delicacy, and despair vs hope.
I must also mention that I preferred the sense of ambiguity presented in the original. Very few questions were answered, and the whole film was more of a mystery left to interpretation. In contrast, Matt Reeves was more clear and direct in his screenplay with the mystery surrounding his characters. It's all a matter of personal preference, though. I believe that most people will prefer what Matt did, since the original has a certain style that less people can appreciate.
Despite the comparison, I believe that they are both great movies that can be enjoyed by everyone. Fans of the original-- rather than being narrow-minded and boycotting this version-- should give it a chance and appreciate it for what it is. Wouldn't you want more people in North America to discover this mesmerizing vampire tale, anyway?
I really enjoyed every aspect of "Let Me In". The child actors, Chloe Moretz (Kick-Ass) and Kodi Smit-McPhee (The Road) were both excellent choices. They proved to us, once again, that they are among the only child actors who actually have talent. Now that I think of it, the only thing that didn't impress me was the music. For an original score composed by Michael Giacchino (Up), I was quite disappointed. It was mediocre, in my opinion. It didn't convey the same emotion as Johan Soderqvist's music in "Let The Right One In".
Aside from that, "Let Me In" is a surprisingly great film for the fans of the original. And it would probably be a bloody masterpiece for those who haven't seen it. And yes, that lame vampire pun was definitely intended.