Friday, 21 January 2011

Let Me In

Part of Monday nights RBC Film Club evening was spent discussing the reincarnation of the great Hammer Film Production company, best known for a string of horror films released in the 1950’s and 1960’s. From what I can gather a private equity firm Cyrte Investments, led by Dutch producer John De Mol, the man that inflicted Big Brother on the world, have acquired the rights to Hammers library which features the likes of Count Dracula , Frankenstein, The Mummy and the Quatermass franchise. It is to be run by two ex- executives of Liberty Global the international media company and one of the largest broadband providers in the USA. It is planned to make two or three horror/thrillers a year, the first of which is the American remake of Sweden’s best domestic film of 2008 Let the Right One In directed by Mat Reeves, who was responsible for Cloverfield, now re-titled Let Me In (2010).

Let’s get the obvious out of the way, firstly there was no real need to remake the original movie and secondly the new American version is not quite up to the standard set by the original. As I said in my ramble about the Thomas Alfredson version, his was a sensitive study of a unique relationship that refused to be tainted by the dire circumstances that surrounded it. Alfredson depicts the loneliness of the two main characters with great skill. A sweet uplifting romantic film that was deeply moving. I admitted to being completely captivated by the young lead actors particularly by Lina Leanderson who played Eli.

The biggest problem for these that have seen Let the Right One In is that the new film holds no surprises. Putting all that to one side; let’s try and look at this remake objectively. It’s more of a creepy vampire movie with obvious shock aspects, than a study of the relationship between the two twelve year olds, Owen played with fresh faced innocence by Kodi Smit-McPhee (The Road 2009) with Chloe Grace Moretz, the brilliant young star of Kick-Ass 2010, as the ageless Abby. As with a lot of American films the tension is “pushed” by the soundtrack rather than a natural build up. The basic story is much the same, other than a bit more involvement by the police characters, although Reeves did claim that he had rewritten the story based more on the best selling novel written by Ajvide Lindquist.

To be honest it’s not a bad remake and if you have not seen the Swedish original you will probably enjoy it a great deal. But if like me, you fell in love with the original this quote from Darren Conner sums up my ramble “Like a joke you've already heard but the previous person told it better. The joke was good - so it was still funny - but not as funny...”

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