This man has seen LET ME IN, ya know, that remake of the utterly brilliant LET THE RIGHT ONE IN on Netflix Instant now!
Published at: June 29, 2010, 3:26 a.m. CST by headgeek
Hey folks, Harry here... with a really anticipated film here. I really enjoy the hell out of CLOVERFIELD, really admire how it was put together and what it did. And I think LET THE RIGHT ONE IN is just fucking flat out brilliant. So I am really curious to see how this all comes out in the end. At this point there's still a lot of time of changes. Edits, reshoots, ya know, finishing the movie kinda things like score, color timing, full on sound mix. All that. The following review has spoilers, but the author of it meant the review for the filmmakers. He really liked the movie, but felt it had problems that could be answered. And so he's firing back at the filmmakers in hopes of fulfilling his duty in watching and giving feedback to the filmmakers. The rest of us, let's respect that exchange and hope for the best, ok?
Harry and Co.,
As a long time viewer/reader of your site I am always hopeful that one day I will be able to post an advanced review of a film that is eagerly anticipated by my fellow Ain’t it Cool fans. Tonight is my chance.
The Film: “Let me In”
As a fan of both the book and the original film, “Let the Right One In”, I feel compelled to say that there will be plenty of spoilers laced throughout this review, so read on with warning.
We were told that we were one of the first few audiences given the chance to see this film and that it was not finished. Music, effects, color, etc were not finished and please take that into account.
I am going to keep this short and simple.
The movie starts off with a title card announcing the location of a city( I cannot remember the name) in New Mexico, 1983. We see an ambulance, police cars lights a blazing and hear sirens and EMTs talking about the poor schmuck that they are rushing to the hospital. We see them struggling with the guy. We next see a detective asking to talk to the guy who has received severe acid burns, so severe that they do not allow him to speak according to the nurse on duty. The detective goes into the room and begins to try to get the guy to confess by putting down a pad of paper and a pen. Suddenly the detective is called away by nurse to talk on the phone to the nurse downstairs. Apparently the guy had a daughter come to visit and then she disappeared. Unfortunately the next thing we hear is a scream. The guy has jumped and is now street pizza. He did leave one message however, “Abby forgive me”. To me this was a very different way to start the film and I have a feeling that anyone coming into this fresh was a tad confused. I was hopeful for a few minutes. From there however the film pretty much follows the 2008 film with very little to add.
The Good – The acting is superb and I cannot think of two better actors than Kodi Smit McPhee( The Road) as Owen and Chloe Moretz( Kick Ass) as Abby. The intimate moments of their characters feels real and innocent.
The setting of New Mexico in the 80’s does not feel hammered in. You get the feeling that this is not exactly the right side of the tracks. This is outside suburbia and anyone who does not get out is going to stay there and rot. The days are peaceful but nights offer just a hint of things that lurk in shadows.
The Bad – I really did enjoy this film but have nothing but criticism in hopes they will fix stuff that was left out and possibly even go back and add to this film to bring out its’ full potential.
Let’s start with beef “numero uno”! Why the name changes? Are Oscar and Eli so foreign that the name change had to happen? Owen and Abby just seem tacked on.
The beginning scenes establishing Owens’ character with a nod to Hitchcock’s “Rear Window” are interesting. You have “the body”, and “the lovers” but that’s it. Unlike the books’/movies’ characters of the bar flies you really don’t get much chance to totally sympathize with these three characters that ultimately become Abby’s victims.
The pacing is very staggered and the script is kind of all over the place. We never really understand why Owen is acting out and stabbing with a knife in the dark until slightly later. We never get Abby’s back story, which according to the cast list of IMDB I have a feeling was at least considered if not filmed. The bullying of Owen seems fresh and not something that has been going on for too long. In fact all the characters in this film, except for Owen and Abby when they do connect, seem isolated from each other.
“The father’s” killing technique is so implausible. In this respect they should have mirrored the book and previous film. To have him hide in the cars of his victims is ridiculous? These scenes got far more laughs than cringes of fear from the audience.
The Musical score is great, but the choice of using “Do you want to Hurt Me” brought more laughs. There are tons of great moody 80’s or even late 70’s music they could have used and yet they did not.
Finally this leads us to..
The Elephants in the room. The decision to first make “The father” one of possibly, many of Abby’s paramours and not a pedophile driven to murder is an interesting choice. The scene where Owen sees an old photo booth set of photos with what is clearly Abby and “The Father” as a child is one of the better scenes. However this seems like a way around a touchy subject.
The violence is just not there. Few shocks and leap out of your seat moments. I know this story is really at its’ heart an odd duck of a love story, but the book offers so much that could have been added in regards to actual creepy, check behind you as you leave the theater horror. Eveni the ending which could have been a gore fest was in my opinion toned down. I leave out all the book has to offer in hopes all who read this will pick up the book and save money by not going to this movie in October.
Next and this is my final beef. HUGE SPOILER!!!!!! The decision to not clarify that Abby is really a castrated young male vampire leads me to ask if this was again to make this film more digestible to the movie going public. Was Matt Reeves just afraid to make a truly brave film? I had high hopes after reading the interview with him on this very site. It seems he was just content with making an almost shot for shot re-make of the original that “Twihards” would go to.
I am sure there will be more reviews about this and I know mine will be the least articulate, but if you use it please call me NAMSNAD.