Thoughts on the LET THE RIGHT ONE IN Remake

You go on vacation and it is a relatively slow movie and news week, but my interest perked up upon glancing at the two released stills from Matt “Cloverfield” Reeves’ english language remake of Let The Right One in. First off, if you average out the Row Three contributors’ picks on 2008 films, Låt den rätte komma in was probably the most loved, so most people writing for the site have some sort of emotional stake in seeing it redone for a North American Audience. You know the part where they polish off the rough edges, take out the emotional depth and thematic resonance, and make it a thrill ride (for any or all of the above, see: The Vanishing, Bangkok Dangerous, Nine Queens, [REC], La Femme Nikita, etc. etc.)

But, oddly enough, I am rather interested in such an immediate do-over in spite of the high water mark set by the Swedish version of the film. There is the casting of the two leads, Chloe Moretz who kicked ass in, well, you know, and Kodi Smit-McPhee who give stellar performances in two dark films, The Road and Romulus My Father. Also, the producers are being rather clever in using the title of the first edition translation of the Novel, Let Me In, which at least tells me they took the time to do a bit of looking into how the book and film have been processed over here, and are not slapping it with the same title (causing some confusion due to the proximity of the releases) or giving it some focus-group moniker. Furthermore, I thought Cloverfield was a fairly solid both in the writing department and the directing department, and Reeves is doing both the remake (albeit Reeves did not write Cloverfield). Lastly, the novel has a number of twists and turns that were polished out of the original movie. The author of the novel, John Ajvide Lindqvist, wrote the screenplay and I’m sure he knows his own material, but having an outsiders interpretation, particularly at some of the more graphic elements in the novel, if the producers are willing to go there, would be enough to get me in the cinema.

Really, there is bound to be some disappointment with the remake, due to how familiar I am with the source material and the original movie, but at this point I am not flat out against an English Language production. After all, there have been some good remakes done out there, Gore Verbinski’s The Ring has that knock-out addition with the horse on the ferry, Martin Scorsese’s The Departed was entertaining and added a gritty Boston atmosphere to the story, and lest we forget that both The Thing, The Fly and Invasion of the Body Snatchers all got it right on the second whirl around.

Kurt Halfyard
Resident culture snob.