May 28, 2010

On My Radar: The American Remake of "Let the Right One In"

I haven't seen the original Swedish film adaptation to Let the Right One In, and it's not likely that I will in the near future, but there is a consolation of a sort hitting theaters this fall: an American remake of the acclaimed vampire movie, retitled Let Me In.

I can't help but be skeptical about the movie sight unseen, however, since I tend to hold a cynical attitude towards movies that I feel are unnecessary remakes. The Swedish film is only two years old, I think, and it did manage to garner at least a niche audience on this side of the Atlantic where the other 99% of movies from Europe go ignored by American/Canadian audiences. Unlike a Japanese horror film that gets zero attention, I believe there was a built in audience for the Swedish movie, Let the Right One In, because of the novel's English translation (Side note: If you haven't already, you can read my review of the book here).

Regardless of an audience demand for a remake, we're getting one, and the director Matt Reeves is on the defensive. I think he'll successfully diffuse whatever impotent animosity there is by horror fans and bloggers about his Americanization of a heralded film. Between now and the fall, he and the studio Overture Films will have plenty of time to quell critics--at least until it hits theaters, then all bets are off.

I'm not overly familiar with Matt Reeves' track record in Hollywood. I do know that I disliked Cloverfield considerably, which he directed, and was never a fan of "Felicity" (he co-created it with J.J. Abrams). But I should be able to give the guy the benefit of the doubt, as the story in Let the Right One In is a different beast altogether from the kind that Cloverfield was. Plus, I think the casting choices could turn me around, as Chloe Moretz (from Kick-Ass) and Kodi Smit-McPhee (from The Road) strike me as strong, apt casting choices.

Bah, time will tell. My humming and hawing is merely a public display of imploring and hope that the movie does justice to the book. And that's the key for me. I really liked the book and I worry just how much Hollywood's influence will pollute the adaptation. I'll keep my fingers crossed.


  1. I think it's smart to be cynical of remakes, esp when it seems like nothing original comes out now a days. And I can't even think of a remake that has ever been comparable to the first movie...

    Great post!

  2. I dug The Ring and The Departed as remakes, but yeah ... most of them are just not necessary.