For those of you who were fans of Let the Right One In and are still in shock that they could ever remake such a masterpiece… keep reading. If you’re one of those people who wouldn’t see it because it had subtitles, jump to the next paragraph. I hate to admit this because I was one of those people scoffing at the remake BUT when I found out director Matt Reeves had a similar response when presented with the projected, my mind was slightly eased and I was intrigued once again. The when I saw the film, even I had to admit he did a successful job at newly re-imagining the novel and drawing your attention to certain things that weren’t in the original film.

For those of you who are Let Me In virgins, you’re in for a real treat. You’re about to be introduced to two of the most interesting characters ever brought to the big screen and this time, you won’t have to “struggle” (my god people it’s not that bad!) to keep up with the subtitles.

Reeves in a way accomplished the impossible – pleasing both parties – but has he made the better film? Find out below…

The Players:

  • Director: Matt Reeves
  • Writers: Matt Reeves (screenplay) and John Ajvide Lindqvist (novel)
  • Actors: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Chloe Moretz, Richard Jenkins, Cara Buono, Elias Koteas
  • Original Music by: Michael Giacchino
  • Cinematography by: Greig Fraser

The Plot:

A bullied young boy befriends a young female vampire who lives in secrecy with her guardian. The two outcasts begin to form a relationship and eventually build an unbreakable bond..

The Good:

  • The Story: This is the exact same basic story as the first film, it was a great then and it’s still great. The dynamic between the characters and the overall arch of the story was once again extremely fascinating to watch, especially through new eyes and a few added twists
  • The Characters: Though slightly different, what makes this story interesting is the relationship between all of the characters involved — nothing is ever simple and all of it has a deeper meaning. Though it’s slightly different in this film, there’s more anger, fear, love, more of everything, it’s still the same thing and therefore still brilliant. There are a few little twists, but they all add up to the same greater whole.

The Bad:

  • The Score (At Times): Overall I actually liked the score, especially in the opening and the horror moments, but the quiet, romantic moments were (much like they are in Hollywood) over-done and too forceful. What was great about the first film is that they weren’t afraid of silence when it was needed. The story and the characters don’t need that much encouragement, the scenes would have been much more powerful if they just let them play.
  • Special Effects: One of the changes that didn’t work for me was the addition of special effects, especially with our young vampire’s “transformation.” It wasn’t that they were bad effects, it’s just that they were just unnecessary and made it seem more like any other vampire film — which this is very much not. I assume this was Hollywood spicing things up a bit, but overall it almost cheapened those moments and would have been better off without it OR by using more old-fashioned techniques instead of CGI which doesn’t really go with the rest of the film or the story.

The Differences:

  • “Father” Daughter Relationship: I won’t say too much about this because it’s something for you to interpret for yourself, but Reeves’ has an interesting take on their relationship and cycles within the movie. Although I liked the idea, I didn’t like what it did to Owen’s character which made him more of a possible necessity for her, not just the love of his life. BUT, it was interesting to think about.
  • Abby’s Age: In the first film it was hinted at that she was much more mature and the actress, Lina Leandersson was perfect for that. In Reeves’ version, he makes Chloe a young girl has been stuck as a 12-year-old and at the same level of maturity forever. It’s an interesting change and one that opens doors to different ideas for the audience to mull over. It was went well with the change in casting. Lina and Chloe are both amazing, but both so different, it was nice to see the character evolve with both their performances.
  • The Kids Relationship: Partly because of Abby’s age and her relationship between her and her “father” the relationship between the two children was a bit more dramatic, one could almost say pushed at times. In the first film it was just love that brought them together, in this film it MIGHT be something else. Whether or not that’s something you enjoy is up to you, but at least it is well handled and explained.

Overall:

This is Let The Right One In made for people who are too lazy for subtitles. The source material and the journey is the same as the first film but there is enough re-imagining/reinterpreting to add some much new discoveries for those of you who will be seeing it again. Overall it’s a good film — which is saying a lot from someone who thought it should never be made! Is it better than the first? I’d say it’s different and possibly not AS great but still a solid film well worth seeing.

Rating: 8/10

Let Me In hits theaters October 1st!

Photos:

Trailer:

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