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AFF Day 7: Let Me In

Another remake arrives

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If there’s a consistent pattern in American remakes of international genre pictures its how the remake makes the implicit explicit. The relationship with the audience is a different beast on this side of whichever pond, there’s less trust. I say that with Let Me In in mind, which I enjoyed but I didn’t like as much as Matt Semansky seemed to (please see his post from earlier today).

The American remake of the brilliant Swedish film Let The Right One In, about the 12-year-old vampire girl “who’s been 12 for a long time” hits all the emotional notes of the earlier film and recreates many of the actual scenes, for better or worse. Matt’s right, the musical cues are overpowering in places, and I was a bit annoyed by the cheesy fake snow---it actually looks like grated cheese. The authenticity of the Swedish locations and genuine wintry exteriors added a lot to the earlier film.

I was also disappointed that in the remake, though director Matt Reeves has taken so much care with the tone and look, which impressed, yet the CGI applied to Chloe Grace Moretz during her character's bloody feedings was so chintzy. All that flailing around didn’t look very convincing.

But the performances are great, and the mood of the original work is replicated with a lot of authenticity. I just missed some of the unearthly dread of the earlier film. Any remake can't help but suffer in comparison, of course. Maybe if I hadn't seen the first film I'd be a lot less critical.

This will be a weird compliment, but a moment I really enjoyed was a car accident. Shot from the backseat as the car rolls, it’s both disorienting and wondrous.

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