If you haven’t seen Let Me In yet, then SPOILER ALERT!
The funny thing about this film, is that it was probably much anticipated by the people who had never heard of ‘Let the Right One In’, but for the people who had seen the movie, it was practically feared, –there was an air of anxiety for the remake-a-phobics, and we all generally just cowered at our desks while we waited for the release. However, as it turns out, all the cowering, the defeatism, and genuine terror at the American remake machine, was less than necessary. Sure, the Hollywood movie mangler turns out a lot of shitty remakes of great foreign films, but all our fears went almost completely unfounded, this time around.
The atmosphere in this film is largely the same; winter in the American 1980’s, young love, and the inevitability of a pedophilic vampire/human relationship. The irony in this film, the original, and the novel, is that it’s not the vampire that is the pedophile, –it’s the human, and the vampire, who may or may not be the catalyst for that sexual preference. The names has changed, and so have the faces, but it’s almost the same film, –I miss the foreign coolness; the blond hair blue eye’d children, the deserted, barren winter forests, the night lighting, and the one scene I felt was very much robbed of the film, was the woman and her cats. The subplot with the woman turned into a vampire was missing, and I think the film definitely felt its loss, however minimal it might have been.
The other differences, are the clear lines in gender; Eli’s gender is Let the Right One In, is left almost ambiguous, –while Abby’s gender in Let Me In is quite obviously female. American culture is a little more forward, and blunt, so the film is like that; there are clear, definitive scenes which leave a little less to the imagination, and don’t exactly draw as much discussion, –because when everything’s thrown in your face all at once, and everything has clear perimeters, there’s no need for a lot of discussion.
Let Me In was a clear story of a boy falling in love with an ancient vampire trapped in the body of a little girl; we had some underlying themes of pedophilia, –but for the most part, everything was very blunt. Let the Right One In, rarely showed its hand in the same way, and the film didn’t so much shout in your face, as it did whisper in your ear. So while I try to experience each film as its own separate entity, there was no disconnecting these two. They were almost the same, aside from one being Americanized and dissected, while the other, remains enigmatic and subtle.
But, I will say that I did like Let Me In, for sticking fairly close to the original story, and for all the effort from its actors. It was still a beautiful horror film, despite it’s lacking the elegance of its predecessor. Would I watch it again and again? No. Will I probably recommend it to the fearful masses? Yes, because it deserves a chance to be seen, even by the remake-a-phobics.