"Let Me In" - Discussion & Grading

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Daneel, Sep 30, 2010.

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How would you grade "Let Me In"?

  1. A+

    33.3%
  2. A

    33.3%
  3. A-

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. B+

    11.1%
  5. B

    11.1%
  6. B-

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  7. C+

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  8. C

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  9. C-

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  10. D+

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  11. D

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  12. D-

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  13. F

    11.1%
  1. Daneel

    Daneel Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The remake of the Swedish film Let the Right One In opens tomorrow in North America. Set in 1983, Let Me In tells the story of Owen (Kodi Smit-McPhee, The Road), a lonely twelve-year old boy living with his recently divorced mother in New Mexico. Viciously bullied by other children at school, Owen dreams of revenge, but cannot bring himself to stand up to his tormentors.

    Things change for Owen when he gets a new neighbour: a girl named Abby (Chloe Moretz, Kick-Ass), who is also twelve... more or less. Despite her initial insistence that the two of them cannot be friends, they soon become very close, and she teaches him to stand up for himself.

    All seems to be going well, but Abby harbours a terrible secret: she's really a vampire, moving from town to town with her longtime companion/guardian (Richard Jenkins). As one would expect, Abby needs blood to live, and she will kill to get it. Can her friendship with Owen survive in the face of her true nature?

    [​IMG]

    Personally, I thought this film was very well-made, although I can't give it too high a grade, mainly because much of it feels like a copy of the original. There are a few small changes, some of which are actually for the better (there's no unnecessary subplots involving minor characters, like the couple that live in the neighbourhood, who
    are later attacked, and the woman turned into a vampire
    ). However, for the most part, this is a scene-by-scene, line-by-line remake; even some shots from the original are repeated.

    I think director Matt Reeves (Cloverfield) is a talented director, and if he had just done more to make this movie a bit more distinct from its predecessor, he could have really hit it out of the park. Indeed, the little touches he has added are quite nice, so I think he had it in him. Unfortunately, this film suffers from being too faithful to its source material. The original film was damn good, and while I'm not against the idea of remaking it, this version needed more of its own identity.

    Now, if anyone thinks I didn't like this film, you're wrong: this still manages to be a truly effective horror flick/coming-of-age movie. It's taut, thrilling, touching, creepy, and visually engrossing. As well, the performances are sublime. After pretty much stealing the show in Kick-Ass, Moretz continues to impress here with a very grounded portrayal of the presumably ancient creature forever destined to remain in the form of a child. Smit-McPhee too does well, particularly shining in scenes where he must grapple with the knowledge of his only friend's true, monstrous nature. The development of their characters' relationship, both endearing and unnerving, is handled with skill.

    In the end, I give this film a B. I feel that I should mention if I was not at all familiar with the original, I might have rated it higher. So whether or not you've seen Let the Right One In, I'd say check this movie out: you might just find it to be well worth your time.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2010
  2. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    SPOILERS:

    The original was very atmospheric and I thought that there was a bit of ambiguity in there - surely somebody that old could not remain so 'innocent' - so was she really looking for friendship or is she just very good at manipulating somebody impressionable (and the audience) into believing that she is still a child and into wanting to become her next guardian? I'm not sure I'll rush to see the re-make but I'll give it a go when its available to rent.
     
  3. Starkers

    Starkers Admiral Admiral

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    I think the truth might be somewhere inbetween. This sounds like more than the usual Hollywood butchery of a classic, but also sounds a bit too much like the same film without subtitles, which makes me think, what's the point?

    I'd be interested to see if they retain one particular element from the original
    Namely that she isn't actually a girl
    .
     
  4. Admiral_Young

    Admiral_Young Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I'm looking forward to seeing this film. Probably won't though for a few weeks.
     
  5. JacksonArcher

    JacksonArcher Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I loved the original, but I am very curious about the remake, so I plan to check this out this weekend. I've heard some glowing reviews. My take on the slavish faithfulness of the original: Imagine it like you're seeing the original for a second time but with new actors and some new components. That's the way I choose to see it. I loved the original so much that I have no problem seeing a remake, so long as that it is good.
     
  6. Daneel

    Daneel Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The lines "Would you still like me if I wasn't a girl?" and "I'm not a girl" are still in this version, but there's no implication that she's referring to anything other than the fact that she's really a vampire. Unlike in the original, there's no close-up shot of a scarred pelvic area to suggest that she is a castrated boy.
     
  7. Daneel

    Daneel Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Here's some critics' reviews, if anyone's interested.

    First the good ones:

    And some not-so-favorable ones:

    Of course, we can't forget the most important review of all:

    ;)

    It currently has an 82% rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
     
  8. Starkers

    Starkers Admiral Admiral

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    I guess I'm not surprised.
     
  9. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

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    This film can't win, if it's like the original then they say there's no point or it's too faithful. Yet if they had deviated they would've been torn a new one. It seems to me there's less furor when the film stays closer to the source material so they probably did the right thing.
     
  10. Starkers

    Starkers Admiral Admiral

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    Lets face it, films like this are remade because a lot of people just won't watch films with subtitles or that don't star Americans. With that in mind I'd rather they did a faithful adaptation than a different version, but as someone who isn't averse to subtitles or films not starring Americans it just doesn't really appeal to me.
     
  11. Dream

    Dream Admiral Admiral

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  12. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell Comfortably Numb Premium Member

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    :guffaw:
    I saw this last night (and the original a few weeks ago.)

    While they don't show the scar, in the analogous scene here Owen does peek in on her while she's getting dressed and he gets a surprised look on his face. They never elaborate on it but at least the hint is there to pick up on.

    I thought it was good and a worthwhile remake. But there was a hell of a lot of chuckling and heckling by stupid teenagers who clearly weren't expecting the kind of movie they got. Some woman also brought a child around 12 years old. :wtf:

    "Would you still like me if I wasn't a girl?" was the biggest unintentional laugh line in the whole movie. The entire audience roared at that one. Once again, I think this version kept too much of the European sensibility and style and it's absolutely not what American audiences are accustomed to. It's too sincere and devoid of cynicism.

    My one real gripe about the movie's execution is the music. It was typical, cliched horror movie music, with the "doom violins" and everything. They should have taken a note from the original and used a much more minimalistic approach.

    This is well worth seeing but I'm not surprised it's tanking. Much like Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (a comparison I never thought I'd end up making), it's a good movie that most people just aren't going to "get" because it was made for a certain audience. It is not your typical Halloween season slasher at all.
     
  13. Dorian Thompson

    Dorian Thompson Admiral Admiral

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    I just got home from seeing it at a before noon matinee. Oklahoma City is like a ghost town; everyone must have driven to Dallas. Why are there spoiler boxes in a discussion and grading thread?

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    I loved it, but I don't expect it to perform well at the box office. Considering the rave advance reviews, I'm surprised it didn't have a better opening weekend. Could the massive flooding and problems in the (densely populated) northeast have contributed to the poor showing?

    Very, VERY well made movie that a lot of people won't "get" or appreciate. The movie isn't a vampire flick. It's a seduction of an alienated boy not old enough to know better into giving up his life.....as no doubt countless others before him had done. They grow up, they can't have sex with her anymore (or do they?), they're complicit in several murders by the time they're old enough to know better. Who would believe them? They can't go to police and they're too in love with her as a child--then they want to protect her--all very murky and vague. Owen "let her in" to his life and his soul. How long could he love her as a contemporary after he matured physically? What a fate.

    Abby may have had genuine feelings for some of her protectors, but count me in as thinking the whole routine was manipulation from the get go. She tells him they "can't be friends" but she was the one who showed up outside at the jungle gym in the courtyard, in the snow, no shoes. You feel sorry for a little girl (prepubescent girl) with no shoes. She finally leaves (out of guilt) but conveniently shows up to save his life? That instills indebtedness in him, and then she has him hooked.

    Who knows how long she's been doing it? I can't believe I didn't immediately grasp that the dorky little boy in glasses in the photos with her was her first protector. I think it was a good idea that this was set in 1983. Was the original made in that year? Methinks this scenario wouldn't play as well in the digital age. Harder to go from place to place murdering when there's an internet data base to track you, and Owen seems too "innocent" for this age.

    I wonder who originally made little Abby into a beast.

    Grade: A
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  14. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    The original was released in 2008, but set in 1982.
     
  15. Dorian Thompson

    Dorian Thompson Admiral Admiral

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    Thank you for the answer. I may have to pick up the original. The more I think about this movie, the more I like it. You know, the girl playing Abby is just the right age to be part child, part "almost woman." She really was the perfect "seductress." Love me, protect me. Owen is doomed to a horrible fate.
     
  16. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

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    I see this a lot as if the DVD doesn't have dubbing. I watched it subtitled but it's not like you have to.

    I am curious about this one but I don't know about seeing it at the theater.
     
  17. Dorian Thompson

    Dorian Thompson Admiral Admiral

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    Go see it. Why wouldn't you go see it? It's terrific. Yes, I'm cheerleading. I love atmospheric, moody dark shit. :lol:
     
  18. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

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    ^^ I guess because I've sort of seen it already
     
  19. Dorian Thompson

    Dorian Thompson Admiral Admiral

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    Fair enough. I hadn't.
     
  20. Dream

    Dream Admiral Admiral

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    I saw the original last year on DVD. I heard this remake is pretty much the exact same as the original. I have a hard time believing that the American cast is better than the first.

    But I might check it out eventually since I liked Chloë Moretz in Kick-Ass.

    Dorian, you should definately check out the original, Let the Right One In. It's great. But make sure you get the dvd version with the fixed subtitles.

    http://www.slashfilm.com/2009/03/24...-one-in-subtitles-but-not-offering-exchanges/
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2010