Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Eat some now. Save some for later.
14th October 2010 (Australian release date)
Dir: Matt Reeves
12-year-old Oscar (Kodi Smit-McPhee) is struggling with his parent's divorce and the boys at school who bully him. When Abby (Chloe Moretz) moves in to his apartment building the two begin a cautious friendship as they attempt to cope with their hardships.
Chaos reigned the day it was announced Cloverfield director Matt Reeves was set to tackle the remake of popular Swedish vampire flick Let The Right One In. Once people realised that the world wasn't going to end some even got excited, hey it could even be good! Reeves said early on that he loved both the novel, written by John Ajvide Lindqvist, and the original film, screenplay also written by Lindqvist, and that in his approach to making Let Me In he wanted "to try and translate that story very thankfully but to an American landscape." Further, that his retelling was focused primarily on the coming of age aspect of the story, with the vampire character serving the main plot, that of Oscar's family and schoolyard plights and his friendship with Abby.
I suppose your reaction towards this film will depend on the following poorly constructed chart.
Okay so perhaps it's a bit more complex than the above. Matt Reeve's re-imagining of this childhood vampire story does have several elements in its favour but if you've seen, and enjoyed, the original film it's hard to take those blinkers off and fully enjoy this film. Constantly I was thinking, I've seen this before, yep this is where this happens, oh here we go now she's going to... and as such there is little to no tension in what should be a fairly tense film. The closing scenes are a prime example of this. I won't go into details for those who may not have seen the original, but the events that take place in the swimming pool should be shocking; instead, knowing what is about to happen, I shifted awkwardly in my seat for the fiftieth time.
What is good about this film are the performances; Chloe Moretz and Kodi Smit-McPhee are not only two of the most intriguing up and coming actors in Hollywood today, but they have brilliant chemistry. Richard Jenkins as 'The Father' is truly wonderful to watch, but then again, when isn't he? His scenes were my favourite in the entire film, both nerve wracking despite knowing the outcome, and touching. The overall atmosphere and tone of this film are accomplished, though beg one to question what the difference is between the two films apart from the language.
I had hoped Reeves wouldn't stick to his desire to present us the exact same story merely in a different setting; many of the pop culture and political references throughout the film should have had more of an impact than they did, causing me to again pose the question, why? Essentially the friendship exists regardless of nationality, political climate, language and so on, however Reeves could have tapped into present day insecurities to really solidify this film.
A seemingly unnecessary remake that offers some enjoyment for first time viewers to this story, or to those who have seen the original and who perhaps saw more in this film than my blinkers allowed me to.
3 / 5