By M.W. Griffith, guest reviewer.
Few films are able to haunt and captivate me like “Let The Right One In.” Directed by Tomas Alfredson and written by John Ajvide Lindqvist, who also wrote the novel in which the film is based, the story centers around a bullied 12 year old boy (Oskar) who befriends a 200 year old vampire child (ElI) who moves in next door along with a mysterious older man named Håkan. It’s a Swedish film, which explains some of the strange names.
The names aren’t the only thing about this film that happens to be strange. While the two kids are communicating via morse code through the walls of their apartment, Håkan steals off into the night, killing local residents and draining their blood to sustain Eli. I’m not one for spoilers, so don’t worry. The disturbing sequences of events that befall the characters are shown to us in a rare form, of which American producers haven’t yet perfected. The bleak atmosphere, gritty subject matter, and graphic content tend to turn American studios running for the hills. However, such movies (The Ring, The Eye) are well received by viewers and critics alike. Let The Right One In received widespread international critical acclaim and won several rewards, including the European Fantastic Film Festivals Federation’s Golden Méliès in 2008 and the Founders Award for Best Narrative Feature at the Tribeca Film Festival, among others.
This film belongs on the shelf next to the original Ginger Snaps. For all of you Twilighters out there, feel free to remain in the safety of Stephenie Meyer’s arms and leave the real vampire tales to us adults. Sure, the film is a controversial love story. However, it is not a Saturday morning Vampire Diaries sort of film. Trust me, the R rating is very deserved.
We are indeed living in the age of remakes, and although this film was released in 2008, the English language rights were sold before the film even made it to theatres. That’s right. Not only are we going to get a remake of “Let The Right One In” somewhere in 2010, but the director Matt Reeves is changing the title to “Let Me In.” Apparently, he has some sort of strong personal connection to the novel and the film, and is very eager to dig his grubby fingers into it, despite the obvious contention that the original title must have been too intelligent for American viewers.
This is not a film that needs to be remade. Seriously. It happened to have been perfect as it was. The fact that Matt Reeves is credited to Under Siege 2: Dark Territory doesn’t make me feel any better about this sure-bet catastrophe. True, he directed Cloverfield, but that wasn’t a retelling of a story that was already critically acclaimed to begin with. This is an obvious attempt to appease the Twilight audiences, and I am certain that the rehash will be PG-13 and watered down with every cliché in the book (Not the book from which the original was based).
Already, actor Kodi Smit-McPhee (The Road) revealed to The Herald Sun that he is up for the lead role in the film. Production for “Let Me In” begins and wraps this fall for a 2010 release, and all that I can say is since nobody asked for this remake… at least do it right if at all. Sigh. He’s probably hard at work on an incredibly lame and offensive sequel called “Let Me In Again.” If I decide to see this film in the theatre, I imagine that I will be screaming LET ME OUT!!!
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M.W. Griffith gave this film a 5 of 5.