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DVD Talk review of 'Let Me In' (Blu-ray)

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DVD Talk review of 'Let Me In' (Blu-ray)

Old 01-27-11, 02:59 PM
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DVD Talk review of 'Let Me In' (Blu-ray)

I read Adam Tyner's DVD review of Let Me In at http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/read.php?ID=47515 and...

I really think this is a case of you being too familiar with and in love with the Swedish film to see the merits in the remake. That's a fair enough reaction, but one I don't share.

I like both films, but I could argue that everthing you cite as a complaint about Let Me In can actually be seen as an improvement over Let the Right One In.

The Swedish film is just a little too cold for me. There's no emotional "in." Oskar is too overtly a sociopath from the very beginning. He's going to turn out to be a serial killer whether he meets Eli or not.

Owen in the remake, on the other hand, could go either way. This is a kid with serious psychological and emotional issues, and the movie doesn't shy away from showing that at all. But he's not inherently a little psychopath at the start. He has to be wooed over to Abby's side. For me, that's a more engrossing story.

I thought that Kodi Smit-McPhee was really a revelation in this. I found him a little too precocious in The Road and didn't have high hopes here. He won me over pretty fast. I thought he was outstanding.

Let Me In is overall very similar and faithful to Let the Right, but it also takes a different approach to the material in several key respects. I don't necessarily think that makes it inferior, just different.

I'll be honest, I'm really grateful that both films leave out a lot of the cheesy backstory that weighs down the book.
Old 01-27-11, 03:12 PM
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Re: DVD Talk review of 'Let Me In' (Blu-ray)

Just because it's american doesn't make it a better movie. How can you say that there was no emotional in ? There was a huge emotional in. Oskar was bullied relentlessly, his parents were divorced, his dad was gay,.....of course, he was going to be messed. How could you possibly not feel bad for him ? THAT'S the emotional in. There was also another emotional in ; Eli couldn't go out in the daylight. She couldn't be around people (except Oskar) without wanting to kill them. That seems like a hell of an emotional in to me. There was no way that Oskar was going to be a serial killer without Eli. He only wanted to hurt the people that hurt him. Sounds pretty sensible to me. WITH Eli, I think that he would only kill to provide her with blood.
Old 01-27-11, 03:36 PM
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Re: DVD Talk review of 'Let Me In' (Blu-ray)

Originally Posted by Josh Z
I really think this is a case of you being too familiar with and in love with the Swedish film to see the merits in the remake.
That is absolutely the case, and I admit that it's my failing. I just can't look past it. If I hadn't watched the two back-to-back, I think I would've written a very different review.
Old 01-27-11, 05:52 PM
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Re: DVD Talk review of 'Let Me In' (Blu-ray)

I think the core difference between the two is that the original is about protection, and the remake is about destruction. Eli saves Oskar, whereas Abby does what Owen would, if he hadn't been overpowered.
Old 01-27-11, 05:59 PM
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Re: DVD Talk review of 'Let Me In' (Blu-ray)

If I were a better writer, I'd have something insightful to say like that.
Old 01-28-11, 02:05 AM
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Re: DVD Talk review of 'Let Me In' (Blu-ray)

I agree with Josh but I am torn on this film. If I hadn't seen the Swedish film then this would have been a masterpiece. Now it is more apt to use that cover song metaphor. It's the same song, just done differently. Both versions are brilliant takes on the same story.

It's always hard to do criticism of this sort without contradiction. How does one criticize a film for being too faithful but then criticize the parts that are different because they are different? I see that a lot. Also, how does one say "here's how A did it, and here's how B did it differently," without it coming across as "B did it wrong"? I see this mostly in adaptations from books or plays into films as well as in remakes of foreign or older films. Often, because we are exposed to "A" first, we defer to it as better or "right", when that is not always the case. If they aren't going to change things or do different takes on them, why do it? People get too caught up in the differences sometimes and miss out on the whole. This film had some things that I liked better, some I liked better in the Swedish version. But differences are not the same as mistakes.
Old 01-28-11, 12:24 PM
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Re: DVD Talk review of 'Let Me In' (Blu-ray)

Originally Posted by Spottedfeather
Just because it's american doesn't make it a better movie.
Likewise, just because the earlier film was foreign and had subtitles doesn't automatically make it better. Just because it's a remake doesn't automatically make the American version inferior.

How can you say that there was no emotional in ? There was a huge emotional in. Oskar was bullied relentlessly, his parents were divorced, his dad was gay,.....of course, he was going to be messed. How could you possibly not feel bad for him ?
I guess there's a difference between feeling bad for him and actually empathizing with him. There's already little hope for Oskar by the time we meet him. There's no way this kid is going to grow up to be a normal functioning adult.

There was no way that Oskar was going to be a serial killer without Eli. He only wanted to hurt the people that hurt him. Sounds pretty sensible to me.
The point is that I think Oskar would hurt those people. Not just that he fantasizes about it, but that he will eventually find a way to do it for real. Eli just pushes him along on the path a little faster.

Owen, I believe could still be redeemed. He's messed up, but there's still a glimmer of hope within him. Abby has to manipulate him and bring him around to her side. That version of the story is, for me, a little more compelling.

WITH Eli, I think that he would only kill to provide her with blood.
I fail to see how that makes him any different from Hakan. He's still a serial killer, regardless of his motives.

Again, I like both movies. I'm with caligulathegod when he says that there are some things I like better in one version and some things I like better in the other version. The CGI in Let Me In is really atrocious, but so is the cat attack in Let the Right One In.

I liked that the Swedish film leaves Hakan's backstory more ambiguous, while the American film explicitly states that this character (he's unnamed, I think) met Abby when he was Owen's age, and that Abby is simply repeating the cycle. (In the book, Hakan was a pedophile who was already an adult when he met Eli. That's another thing I'm glad both films dropped.)

The American movie removes THAT SHOT. (You know the one I'm talking about.) I understand that the MPAA would never have allowed it, and that the movie gets by without it. But it's very shocking and has huge implications in the Swedish version that are only hinted at in the remake.

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