Let Me In Comparison

Yesterday we saw the first image from Let Me In, the new adaptation of the same novel that spawned the Swedish film Let the Right One In. The first image showed only Chloe Moretz as Abby, the vampiric young girl who forms an odd friendship with Owen, a boy in her new apartment complex.

Now there’s a new image that shows both Moretz and Kodi Smit-McPhee, who plays Owen. If you’ve seen the Swedish film you’ll recognize this as nearly a dead-on recreation of one scene. Does that help ease concerns about the nature of this new version?

This image comes courtesy of the LA Times, which has an article about the film and, specifically, the fact that director Matt Reeves is making the movie under a certain amount of disapproving fan scrutiny. The LAT seems to be in Reeves’ corner, saying that those expecting a movie that looks like his last film, Cloverfield, “will be shocked by his new film’s stillness, as well as the patient and exacting mood.”

Reeves says of his version,

We tried to create the approaching, foreboding dread of movies like ‘The Shining,’ where you feel like something wicked is unraveling and it’s not going to end well. That’s what I responded to about the original, the juxtaposition of those tones, this very disturbing story but at the center of it there are these very tender emotions. That’s a very unusual mix, and that’s what drew me in and dug into me.

I like this shot quite a bit — Chloe Moretz looks more as I’d envisioned her, for one. And I’m curious to see if this is actually a frame from the film rather than an approved still shot on set. If you remember the scene in the original film, as seen above, it was shot mostly in close-ups, with only a couple of oblique medium shots that featured both characters equally prominent in the frame. The close-ups might have been motivated by practical on-set issues, but they also heightened the sense of isolation each character felt at that point in the story.

If Reeves has shot some of these scenes with wider framing, the physical performances of each actor will have more prominence. The scene might be tense and uneasy, but it will feel quite different from the original. That’s a good thing — even in seemingly small ways like that, I want to see Reeves put his own stamp on this one.

Bright Star cinematographer Greig Fraser shot the film, and Reeves says of the look, “I want the photography to have this kind of messy realism, to be beautiful but gritty.” And yet this shot suggests that the movie might have some of the same fascination with geometry and parallel lines seen in the original.

Let Me In (Rubik's Cube)

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