The Remake:
Let the Right American One In


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Stills from "Let The Right One In" (top) and "Let Me In" (bottom) - Stills courtesy of Fear Net

Let me begin by saying that upon writing this, Let Me In, the American version of the Swedish film Let The Right One In has yet to be released. My knowledge of the film is limited to the trailer and the little I have read about the production. However, I have seen Let The Right One In, and found it to be a remarkably striking and tender film whose tale of young love, puberty and savage violence is powerful, haunting and unique.

Let The Right One In is not lacking in drama, excitement, violence, cultural relevance, pop appeal, or artful execution.  Nor is it in any way a dense or impenetrable art film. The only thing I can see missing for American audiences is that its characters are Swedish and aren’t speaking English (and perhaps some typical Saw-style horror editing).

Enter Matt Reeves (the director of the J.J. Abrams project, Cloverfield). His remake seems to attempt to retain the original film’s aesthetic (to the point of absolute mimicry), plot, and characters, while making it somehow more accessible to American audiences. The Hammer Films producer Simon Oakes said, “I call it his [Reeves'] version. I don’t call it his remake or his re-imagining of it”[1], adding that the adaptation will stay relatively close to the original, except that it will be made “very accessible to a wider audience”[2]. Beyond the absence of subtitles, what could that mean? Apparently, it involves reducing the sexual/gender implications of the original, and probably adding more violence. Because what is more American than being squeamish about sexuality while hungry for violence?

Even if the Reeves film is very good, if it isn’t somehow fundamentally different from the original, why make it? Does an American copy help the Swedish film in any way? Does it eventually bring a new audience to see the original? Or is it just another way for a studio to cash in on the vampire craze with a slightly more “artsy” vibe? “There’s still a vampire movie niche that needs filling.”

Reeves, at least, expresses his respect for Tomas Alfredson’s original, adding his reasoning behind the remake: “Ours was an attempt to explore the story in a different context.” [3] So they just changed the location?

We’ll just have to wait and see, I guess. The film is due for a theatrical release this October. Early responses look positive, but whose film are they really liking?

(See trailers to both films in the “Related Clips & Artworks” below)

Stills from "Let The Right One In" (top) and "Let Me In" (bottom) - Stills courtesy of Fear Net

Related Clips & Artworks:

3 Comments in response to

The Remake:
Let the Right American One In

  1. jojo1 says:

    Cloverfield and then this…

  2. fareedgorr says:

    The original was amazing!!!!

  3. QPeeps says:

    the dumming down of a beautiful, poignant film.

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