Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Let the Right One In vs. Let Me In

Like many fans of Sweden's stylish vampire movie from 2008, Let the Right One In, I was disappointed to hear that the movie was being remade for American release. I've watched and compared many foreign horror movies to their American versions and more often than not the American adaptations have paled in comparison to the originals. After watching the American version, Let Me In, I maintain that position.

Let Me In tells the story of Owen, a shy, alienated boy and his friendship with Abby, a mysterious girl who moves into his apartment complex. As their friendship grows the story of who and what Abby is begins to unravel amidst nostalgic 80s settings, Owen standing up to his tormentors, and the murders that Abby's "father" commits so that she has blood to drink.

Let Me In
followed the storyline of Let the Right One In fairly closely. The remake focused less on the bond between the female vampire and her guardian. I was disappointed that in the American version the relationship between the two had to be spelled out for audiences. The idea that plots have to be dumbed down is somewhat insulting, however I can understand why. (Did anyone else see Idiocracy?) Let Me In was also missing a key scene that explores the female vampire's insistence that she is not a girl. In fact the remake goes as far as to play out the scene where the boy sneaks a peak at the girl while she is changing, but then looks away with barely a reaction. In the original the viewer sees that Eli (the female vampire) is indeed neither biologically male nor female. That part of the story being left out took away something from the plot, perhaps due to censorship or someone's idea to steer clear of anything that might offend or shock viewers. Let Me In also shied away from tackling the boy's bizarre fascination with knives, serial killers, and murders: another way to play it safe.

Without having seen Let the Right One In, Let Me In could be considered a decent vampire movie. I'd watch it over any Twilight saga film any day. However, being a fan of the original I think Let Me In was the watered-down version of a great movie.

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