6 Days Until Halloween – 6 Of My Favorite Horror Films Of The Past 6 Years: #6: “Let Me In” (2010)

In what just may be the best horror remake in the never ending list of retreads, spin-offs, and sequels. Matt Reeves does something with his take on the Swedish version of the original by (almost) the same name “Let The Right One In”. He takes the source material, expands on it, and winds up making it better than the first. Where the original had an almost tepidly paced, art house feel to the whole proceeding. Which while although maybe made it beautiful to look at. I personally didn’t feel as if they really drived up the horror component in a way that they should have. Enter Matt Reeves straight off his impressive DIY debut “Cloverfield”. Which even though I can’t say I loved that film, I certainly appreciated the hell out of it. What impresses me most about the American remake in comparison to the original Swedish one is the way Reeves more or less stays true to the source material, while making it darker, scarier, and more terrifying. Which in turn ups the ante. But he’s able to do it in a way in which he still captures the alienation of youth, particularly that of the young boy (Kodi Smit-McPhee) and the love story that develops between both he and the young girl (Chloe Grace Moretz, perfectly cast here). But whereas that was the major focus of the original – here Reeves adds different elements like more of an emphasis on developing the character of the father (played by Richard Jenkins) which in retrospect I think the first one could have chosen to do which could have made it more effective, but chose not to. Second in Reeves’s version the violence is viceral and in your face, whereas in the original it was very subtle and heard but only off camera. Lastly, in what I hinted at above but I think is important to highlight again, is the sense of alienation of the McPhee character. The Reeves version really focuses on it and allows the viewer to really get a sense of how vulnerable the boy is and what leads him to seek solace in someone like Moretz. So even though I would almost equally recommend Tomas Alfredson original 2008 version. I can honestly say I would recommend this one even more. Which is saying a lot considering good, quality American horror films are so few and far between.

[B+]