Let Me In – DVD review
Swedish masterpiece given Matt finish
Release date: 14 March 2011
2010 * 112 mins * 15 * £15.99 (DVD and Blu-ray)
Distributor: Icon Home Entertainment
Director: Matt Reeves
Cast: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Chloe Moretz, Richard Jenkins, Elias Koteas
Hollywood remake of foreign language horror film. You know the drill. Not as good…lacks the subtlety… Hollywoodisation… Spoon-fed plot… Glossy but hollow, blah, blah, blah… Blah humbug!
Sure, Let Me In isn’t as good as the original, Swedish Let The Right One In. But that movie was a masterpiece of warped, stylish, stylised horror that’d be hard to match. If you’d never seen it, though, and you came to Let Me In fresh, you’d have to admit, it’s one of the best, most striking, most individual Hollywood horror movies for a long, long while. And as a film about a schoolboy becoming beguiled by a girl vampire, it’s a wonderful antidote to Twilight. Especially as she can be pretty gross at times and he’s downright warped.
Like its Swedish forebear it’s stylish, it’s character-lead and it’s as much the tale of a bullied young lad in a snowy, parochial, working class small town (albeit in New Mexico this time) as it is about the vampire who moves into the flat next door. Like the original, its horror is as much about atmosphere and mood as it is about gore (though when the gore comes it’s effective). It‘s an elegant film, with some astonishing cinematography, and gutsy, raw performances.
The main problem is, it’s so close to the original movie (despite the fact that director Reeves and co don’t consider it a remake, but rather a separate adaptation of the original John Ajvide Lindqvist book that both are based on), that if you have seen the Swedish version you can’t help but play a distracting game of compare and contrast. While on most counts the Swedish film wins out, the US movie does come tops on a couple of occasions, especially during a Hitchcockian car crash that’s shot entirely inside the car.
The CG vampire attacks, though… not a good idea. Hollywood just can’t resist playing with its latest toys, can it?
A genuinely fascinating and passionate director’s commentary, two so-so Making Of documentaries (one of which is one of those trashy Channel Four-style movie specials), a visually appealing FX featurette, an analysis of the car crash sequence, deleted scenes (with director’s commentary) and a photo gallery. A decent selection, but it’s a shame more’s not made of the fact that this is the first film from the reanimated Hammer. Oh, and not a single frame from the Swedish film is to be seen anywhere. An artistic decision, or a legal one?