Miss Twisted casts a critical eye over Swedish favourite, Let The Right One In and its American counterpart, Let Me In…
HOW IT HAPPENED
Hammer Films acquired the remake rights and offered them to the Swedish film maker who directed the original. Tomas Alfredson declined the offer stating; "I am too old to make the same film twice and I have other stories I want to tell." So the job was offered to Cloverfield director Matt Reeves. While John Ajvide Lindqvist, who wrote the novel, insisted upon writing the screenplay for the original, he interestingly trusted Reeves to rewrite it for the remake.
Whilst in production this remake caused one of the most controversial uproars so far. Because people misinterpreted Matt Reeves 'Americanizing' intentions.
The original is set in Stockholm where culture, economy, religion and politics had a completely different influence upon citizens and therefore Reeves felt that much would be misunderstood by the newly targeted audience. So he used that terrible word 'Americanize' that seems to put party poppers in most film fans pants!
However, he didn't mean he was going to rip out its heart, fill the gaps with boobies and blood, add a few million dollars worth of digital effects and pay out a bundle to stir up unwarranted hype. No, he simply wanted to re-tell the story in an American context while paying respect to the original.
LET THE RIGHT ONE IN was hailed 'movie of the year' by Empire magazine, the first foreign film to achieve this since 'City of God' in 2003.
Both received critical acclaim with reviews calling the original 'Genre-busting' and LET ME IN, 'A rare Hollywood remake that stayed true to the original'. Both Swedish and American versions received a huge amount of rightfully deserved awards, which perhaps pays testament to the spell binding novel, both films are based on.
Both of these movies are worthy pieces to any decent film collection, but in my opinion the original is ever so slightly superior. It has a more gothic and emotive feel about it and is visually stunning.
Almost every scene contains red or red/orange referring to blood which our little vampire girl needs to sustain life. Around fifty shots use computer generated imagery, but it is done with such care, in such a subtle way, it is almost unnoticeable.
Both of these movies are simply different, yet respectful, adaptations of the same novel so they truly do run practically side by side, however the foreign original pips its American sibling to the post.
My opinion? This is not your usual case of ‘Original vs. Remake’, but instead ‘A FAITHFUL ADAPTION’ of the same book.
- Miss Twisted is off to buy a copy of the novel -
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LET ME IN (American Version)
Released: October 2010
Run time: 1 hour 56 minutes
Written & Directed by: Matt Reeves
Distributed by: Overture Films, then separate companies in the U.S and UK
LET THE RIGHT ONE IN (Swedish)
Released: October 2008
Run time: 1 hour 55 minutes
Writer: John Ajvide Lindqvist (Screenplay & novel)
Director: Tomas Alfredson
Distributed by: Sandrew Metronome