Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Mini movie review: Let Me In

I know - The Walking Dead has started back up again and I need to get going on the recap.  I'll get it up this week, I promise - I'm just out of the recap habit and need to get my motor running again.  I have watched the episode, however, and can report these two important things: it's an okay but not great episode; and Darryl isn't dead.  Really, that last is the most important of all.

I watched Let Me In this weekend, the faithful American remake of the wonderful Swedish Let the Right One In.  I watched the original in 2009 and at the end of my review said, "I really, really, really hope the Americans don't try to remake it."  Well, obviously they did, and they did a fairly good job with it; but while it's a better, more subtle R-rated horror movie than most of the American dreck out there, it still doesn't hold a candle to the original.  The remake's little boy, as played by Kodi Smit-McPhee, is more creepy than fragile and distracted me by looking like a mini Shelley Duval circa The Shining.  Chloe Grace Moretz is miscast as the girl vampire, not quite nailing either the waifishness or the malignancy the role requires.  Let Me In also reverts to vampirizing Moretz's face to make her scarier; I don't recall them doing that in the Swedish film, instead scoring scare points with tension, menace and acting.

Like the original, the remake does manage some restraint, keeping most of the gore off-screen, including the great swimming pool scene.  But Let the Right One In is the clear winner and if you're only going to watch one of them - and really, you only need to watch one - suck it up, deal with the subtitles and watch the Swedish original.

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