Modern Classics – Let me in (2010)

This is a English language remake of the original Swedish film, Let the Right One In which we reviewed earlier this week. Both movies are of course based on the novel, Låt den rätte komma in.
This version from the revived Hammer Films whilst not quite up to the standards of the original Swedish version is  a bloody good film. It’s structured differently from the original and starts at a point which was three quarters of the way through the original movie. It then jumps back a couple of weeks before bringing us back to where the film started. However despite this change of structure a lot of the scenes that follow are direct copies of those in Swedish movie.

TOP - Swedish version BOTTOM USA version

Once again it is the romance between the young stars that drives the story forward – but just because this is a romance between a human and a vampire it is nothing so purile as the Twilight series. The film, like the original, is a faithful telling of the original novel. The novel’s author had this to say about Let Me In – “I might just be the luckiest writer alive. To have not only one, but two excellent versions of my debut novel done for the screen feels unreal. Let the Right One In is a great Swedish movie. Let Me In is a great American movie. There are notable similarities and the spirit of Tomas Alfredson (director of the original movie)  is present. But Let Me In puts the emotional pressure in different places and stands firmly on its own legs. Like the Swedish movie it made me cry, but not at the same points. Let Me In is a dark and violent love story, a beautiful piece of cinema and a respectful rendering of my novel for which I am grateful.”

That Owen (oskar, in the original movie) is doomed to grow old while his young love remains eternally twelve is spelled out in greater detail in this version – this is a weakness since these points were both much more subtle and more complex in the original movie . Many of the secondary characters are also less developed than they were in the original film, which creates none of the claustrophobic community feel . Owen’s mother in this version is rarely seen, in fact we never see a clear shot of her face throughout the film and her religious fanaticism is brought to the fore. Maybe this is done to suggest the disassociation Owen feels with his family. Indeed his  father is not seen in this version, only heard on the telephone.

In short Let Me In is a cut above most recent horror films – it just isn’t quite as good as the Swedish original.

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