October 30, 2010 6 Comments
Let me In (6.5/10)
Directed by Matt Reeves. Starring Kodi Smit-McPhee, Chloe Moretz, Richard Jenkins
Let me just start by saying that I don’t really see the point of any English Language remake, especially when the new film in question is so close to the original that you sometimes even forget which one you’re actually watching.
Matt Reeves decided to play it safe, very safe if you ask me. In various interviews he’s been claiming that he never really wanted to make a vampire story, but more of a story about friendship between two people who both happened to be outcast. Well, yes fine, fair enough. But all this was in the original movie too!
There is absolutely nothing new in this film. No apparent reason to have a remake if not for the fact that people are just lazy and cannot be bothered to watch a subtitled film. So, let’s encourage laziness and remake exactly the same film without those annoying subtitles! And while we are there, let’s add a little bit more blood and gore, that green tint that nowadays seems to be the only color of horror and let’s add more music, filling up every single second of silence in the film (I thought there was just way too much music!!).
I don’t really want to rubbish this film. It was after all very well handled, and at least they didn’t really make fools out of themselves. Let’s face it, it could have been so much worse. Thankfully the director and producers decided to be quite reverential towards the original source (the Swedish film itself was drawn from a novel, which is also one of the sources from this US version) and in the end didn’t really piss all over it.
My criticism is probably a bit biased because it starts from the premises that there was just no reason to remake it, especially just a couple of years after the first one. So let me try for a moment to pretend this is no remake (almost shot by shot in a few cases!) and let’s look at it as a piece of work by itself (it’s hard but I’ll try).
To be honest, it’s beautifully filmed. Every shot is carefully framed and composed, sometimes to the point that it becomes a bit too unreal. The idea of never showing the mother for example, seems a bit too forced in places… and let’s face it. It’s nothing new. Steven Spielberg had done it before in ET (and before that, Tom & Jerry Cartoons or even Peanuts). The parallel with Spielberg is interesting, since apparently Director Matt Reeves did have a meeting with Spielberg before he started filming. Spielberg gave him various tips about directing children (things like “Do listen to what they have to say and don’t force your idea about how they should do things), but also he was the one who suggested that both young actors should keep a diary in which they should write daily, in character.
Whatever Spielberg’s suggestions were, Matt Reeves did a really good job with the 2 kids. The performances from both Kodi Smit-McPhee, Chloe Moretz are very very good indeed! Little Chloe is clearly destined to greatness, as she has already shown her capabilities in “Kick Ass“, and after this one, we can probably even expect some nomination in the forthcoming award season.
So, to wrap it all up. It’s a competent film, without any single original idea in it. If you haven’t seen the original you might like it (or probably think it’s all a bit slow), but if, like me, you’ve seen and loved the original, then you’ll be left with a slightly sour taste in your mouth, wondering “Why… Why… Why?”. Well, probably because some American think it’s easier to spend 29 million dollars than to tell people that they should spend a couple of hours reading a bunch of subtitles in a good film.