Let The Right One In (2008)

JUNE 20, 2008


After the superb film Let The Right One In (aka Låt den rätte komma in) ended, I joked to my two friends that it “...was great. Let’s remake it!”, since it was in Swedish, didn’t have any big stars, and focused more on atmosphere and mood than violence and gore, and thus would not appeal to the average alleged horror fan in the States. So imagine my non-surprise when I went home and discovered that a remake was already in the works. *sigh*

Since it’s not made yet, I can’t really trash it, but while I am OK with remakes of older films that could use a fresh coat of paint (even if not entirely successful, I am perfectly fine with the idea of remaking something like Exorcist, in which the entirely different public attitude toward Catholicism today could be used for an interesting angle), I have zero interest in remaking a film simply because it’s “foreign”. It just suggests that Americans are idiots, especially when there is nothing in the film that we couldn’t identify with due to the fact that its characters are in a different country. Something like Shutter is a decent example – it plays on the rather commonplace idea of spirit photography in the East, but here we don’t really believe in that stuff on the average. So remaking it in English and having the characters learn about the idea – fine. Shitty movie, sure, but fine enough idea. But there’s nothing of the sort in Let The Right One In – its themes (adolescent love, bullies, protecting one’s children) are universal.

I love how quiet the movie is (something the remake will likely replace with Fall Out Boy); entire scenes go by without dialogue, or even music (that said, the sparse score is beautiful), relying on the two young actors to sell the ideas of the scene. Both actors are terrific, which helps. This also intensifies the “horror” scenes, as they are relatively shocking in many cases. I mean, the movie’s ostensibly about a little girl who happens to be a vampire aiding her friend, who is being bullied by classmates. What do you think is going to happen?

Between this and Frostbitten, it’s safe to say that the Swedish are at the top of the modern vampire movie game. So many modern films attempt to differentiate themselves by simply rewriting the rules (“our vampires have reflections!”) rather than simply make a good movie, but that is not the case with either of these films (that said, this one doesn’t have any real dealings with garlic or crosses that I can recall). I can’t wait to see this one again, and also to see if the remake “gets” what makes this one so great in the first place.

What say you?


  1. I can't wait to see it... it's been ages since I've watched a "new" vampire movie that was not either boring or hilarious or a variation of those themes.

    And I fear the remake as much as I want to see the original.

  2. I really appreciate the previews you're putting up, man.

    This looks fantastic; I only hope that I get a chance to see this version. You're right on the money about remaking foreign films; though I also suspect it's because it's a lot easier than having to, you know, come up with an original idea.

    And it worked out so well for the Vanishing...

    Really, I'm one of the few people I know that thought the American remake of Insomnia was a pale imitation of the original version.

  3. Looking really forward to seeing this one. I've heard nothing but great things about it.

    The book was good too. I just finished reading it yesterday, in fact.


  4. Is the book in English? What's the title? I'd like to read it...

  5. please add "based on novel". thanks.

  6. yes its in english btw and it has the smallest font ever-- ill send it to you when im finished

  7. I wish Americans would stop remaking everything.
    Americans don't seem to be able to watch foreign movies without any stars. We watch American movies all the time, so get over it, please.


  8. I haven't seen the remake, but I loved this movie. This is the kind of thing I consider a nice romantic film, one I still need to watch curled up with my boyfriend. Really want to read the book, I hear it differentiates quite a bit from the film as far as Eli's background is explained.


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