I saw the remake last night. I thought it was really well-done. I was a big fan of the original but I think complaints leveled toward Reeves' version, that it didn't have its own identity, I don't think I agree with those points. I think the film establishes its own identity and its own mood, which is darker and a bit more sinister than the original. However, the innocence of the original and the book is still present in this adaptation, which makes it so compelling and complex.
It was fascinating to see a different side to director Matt Reeves here, who did the choppily edited and shakily shot Cloverfield
and Let Me In
is the exact opposite. He really creates this world of loneliness, alienation and silent, building sense of dread. The film is gorgeously shot with a beautiful sense of shot composition. I was also really impressed by Michael Giacchino's dark, pulsating score. It really helped create a darker, creepier mood that worked really well.
It's a fantastically slow-paced film, with tender moments filled with scenes of slow approaching dread and menace. The performances all across the board are very solid, and I agree that Chloe Moretz gives the role of Abby a much more feminine touch than the actress in the original, and in that sense, the ambiguity over her orientation is a bit lost but that's only a minor quibble. We still have enough ambiguity to suggest different scenarios, and I think cutting the sequence where we find out how she became a vampire was a good idea. I like that we get hints at the cycle of her manipulating a new guardian, and the fact that we know little about Abby's origins gives her that much more mysterious allure that only adds to the innocent menace of her character.
I think I might like the original more, however the more I think about this film the more I think I'm undecided. The original was much more innocent and minimalist, and Reeves' version is much darker and more overt in its menacing nature. However, like others have said, the remake flows a lot better thanks to the exclusion of unnecessary sub-plots involving the other minor supporting characters of the building. I remember Let the Right One In
taking its time to really get going, however I feel like even with its slow pace, Let Me In
flows much better and consequently as a result feels like a much more confident film.
Still, Let Me In
is one of the better remakes that I've seen and instills in me confidence in Matt Reeves as a director. I'll definitely look forward to whatever he does next. I'll probably see Let Me In
again, if anything because for some reason it makes me want to explore the film more and more. I'll have to check out the original again as well, and compare and contrast and finalize my thoughts on the original and the remake. If anything, it only proves the strength of the original story and just how powerful and ultimately, much like Abby herself, just how seductive and sweetly manipulative this story really is.