Let Me In (UK-US, 2010)

We are in a horror movie

Another pointless remake as it has – to date – only taken $12m at the North American box office. Remakes are meant to make money! Of course there never was a point in remaking the Swedish original because it was so good; this version didn’t fail at the box office because everyone had seen the first film.

It’s difficult to judge close remakes as the first film tends to mold expectations however it can be interesting to consider differences. If the film’s financially successful, then the adaptation has managed to tap into a zeitgeist. As Let Me In has failed in doing the business there’s little we can say about this film.

Though it is co-produced by the latest incarnation of Britain’s most famous house of horror (Hammer), it is typically American and has been scripted and directed by Matt Reeves. Typical because it makes the piece more generic: the music keeps telling us the character is sinister; in Sweden the characters were normal (so the film was more unsettling). Ellie/Abby – the vampire – becomes more of a monster, and so less of a lost little girl. And so on…

Reeves must have been tempted to put his stamp on the film but all he does is mangle superb set pieces: particularly the climax. Reeves fails to hold his nerve to ‘show’ it all in one shot. Similarly, the subplots of the locals are more or less dispensed with and the victim who bursts into flame in the hospital loses all pathos and looks ridiculous.