We rented Let Me In this past weekend, and I have to tell you, it didn’t disappoint me.
Let me elucidate.
I expected to be let down. Whenever I hear “remake” – in any of its various forms, such as “re-imagining” or “updating” – I know it’s going to suck. The original movie sets a standard, the actors define the roles, and stuffing someone else in them is a mistake.
So when I stuck the disc into the player, I knew I’d be let down… IF I continued to compare it to the original movie which spawned it, Let the Right One In.
American movie makers have resorted more and more often to re-doing foreign films which they see as successful and with market potential. The Ring, One Missed Call, The Grudge, and many others – particularly in the horror genre, by the bye – have all been redone from, in the case of the films mentioned, the Asian market (Japan and Korea, most notably). I’m sure movie-savvy folk could prattle off a bunch more titles, but suffice to say, the success of Let the Right One In worldwide guaranteed it would be “re-imagined” here in the US. By a hack company (in this case, it was actually Hammer Studios, masters of the vampire genre but without a title since 1976). And with actors who simply can’t do it as well.
There was a delicate sense of innocence to the original movie which is missing from the new one. That innocence lends an air of creepiness to it. While the new movie certainly didn’t lack for effects, it did lack heart. And it lacked the storytelling communication skills of the first film, too. We get a genuine picture of the characters in that one; we get some of the essential backstory; we understand them and feel for them and can sympathize if not empathize. Not so with the new movie. At least not in my opinion.
And yet, as ballyhooed as it was, how could it do anything BUT fail? The expectations and build-up were just too much to ask of any movie, IMO. They raised the hopes of movie goers to levels no movie could have delivered, I think. But knowing the first film set the bar that high makes it so much more wonderful. If you’ve not seen it yet – and the genre isn’t off-putting for you – give Let the Right One In a view on a Friday night. But if you’re interested in seeing Let Me In, I’d do that first. Just sayin’.
Have a good one.
Copyright 2011 DarcKnyt, All rights reserved