Matt Reeves’ Let Me In (an film adaptation of the Swedish book) arrives in theaters today with some pretty high expectations attached to it. The original Swedish film, Let The Right One In, directed by Tomas Alfredson, is generally regarded by the film geek community as a nearly-flawless genre piece. An American remake seemed crass, both in its assumption (however accurate) that American audiences couldn’t be bothered to read the subtitles of the original, and in the way its release might be calculated to cash in on the current vampire craze.
So does Reeves’ adaptation justify its existence? Hit the jump for some of my thoughts, plus leave your own in the comments section. Note that SPOILERS are allowed.
I’m pleased to say that despite my initial fears – based on the trailers – that the film would be a shot-for-shot remake, Reeves does give this film its own tone and flair. Set in Los Alamos during the 1980s, with matching color scheme and film score to boot, Let Me In evokes the original’s sense of existentialism and isolation, while still feeling somewhat new. The film does feel heavily inspired by Alfredson’s film, as some shots look almost idential, and virtually every story beat the original hits is also seen here. But Let Me In also offers its own take on some of the memorable sequences from Let The Right One In (including a bravura car crash scene that’s one of the most breathtaking things I’ve seen in any film this year).
In all, I liked some of the changes and didn’t like others, but the net effect of this film may be to expose this unique story to a much wider audience. Maybe some of them will even check out the original as a result, and for that, we can all be grateful.