Let Me In Director Matt Reeves Offers Further Thoughts on Remaking a Cult Classic, Defends Against Twilight Comparisons
Posted on Tuesday, January 19th, 2010 by Devindra Hardawar
More than a year ago, we ran a story explaining why Cloverfield director Matt Reeves wanted to remake the beloved Swedish horror film, Let the Right One In. His personal take on the material led me to believe that perhaps Let Me In could actually end up being a worthwhile American take on the material. Reeves recently spoke to MTV, and offered more insight into his personal connection with the story. He also offered up some thoughts on the inevitable comparisons to other vampire properties like Twilight.
When asked if he considers Let Me In a remake or a reimagining, Reeves replies:
It’s very much an Americanization of the tale that John Ajvide Lindqvist tells. The film touched me. And I read the book, which he also wrote, and it moved me too. It reminded me so much of my own childhood in certain ways. It’s so much about that period of preadolescence, that feeling of being a child and of being bullied, the difficulties of growing up. It’s such a beautiful coming-of-age story, in addition to being such a terrific genre story. One of the things I really wanted to do was find my own way into the story while still being very, very reverent to the beautiful film and to the wonderful story that they created.
I think part of why Let the Right One In grabbed audiences so well was the universality of its themes. The film could have really been set anywhere, which makes transplanting it to another country not so difficult. That Reeves connects so well with the material doesn’t mean that Let Me In will definitely be good, but it’s a much more preferable directorial approach than doing it just for a paycheck.
To the Twilight comparison, Reeves says:
To me, the thing about genre stories that is the most interesting thing is what you do with the metaphor of the genre. You can do a grand, sweeping love story, like “Twilight,” and use that metaphor of the two people that are just being torn apart and the aching-ness of it, and that’s a great fantasy. I think that what people respond to in “Twilight” is the fantasy of it. It’s such a grand, romantic fantasy, and in a way, the reason why I think there is room for a film like ours is, though it’s a vampire film, it uses it in such a different way. Whereas “Twilight” is kind of a fantasy, this will be a darker, scarier kind of journey.
“Darker” and “scarier” are the key words there, because those were the elements of the original film that I think audiences enjoyed the most. It remains to be seen how dark Reeves will be allowed to go with a film about adolescents, but at least we know the leads (The Road’s Kodi Smit-Mcphee and Chloe Moretz from Kick-Ass) are up to the task.
Read the full interview over at MTV.