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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Hump-Day Harangue: Might the American Let the Right One In Actually Be... Good??

Normally, I use this space as a platform from which to launch my vitriol at this or that outrage going on in the world of horror. But this week, it was suggested to my by BJ-C of Day of the Woman that I use the Hump-Day Harangue as a force for good. And so help me, I shall. Because I'm daring to hope here, and I'm bucking the trend of negativity on one particular hot-button issue going on right now in the online horror community.

I'm daring to hope that the imminent American remake of Let the Right One In... will actually be good.

Granted, there is much working against me in this foolish hope. The very notion, for example, that the title has been changed to the dumbed-down "Let Me In"--a variant translation that loses the nuance and the Morrissey reference--is repellent to me. But I'm trying my best to look past that. I'm trying to keep an open mind here.

This was exactly the opposite of what I did when Quarantine was vomited forth in the wake of the international adulation surrounding [REC]. I adore [REC] and to this day, I have not even seen Quarantine. That one was a bitter pill to swallow.

Similarly, last year, I absolutely fell in love with Let the Right One In, and have championed it ever since. I felt it was robbed at the Oscars, and that it deserved a full-scale American release. So you can imagine my initial depression upon learning that it, too, would be getting the instand-English-language-remake treatment.

But folks, one can only be outraged for so long. Instead, i'm trying to channel my energies toward hoping that Matt Reeves and company do the novel proud. I'll say this: I enjoyed Cloverfield, Reeves most high-profile effort to date. I know there was a bit of a backlash against it, but I found it to be an enjoyable popcorn flick, though admittedly haven't been driven to watch it again since seeing it in the theater.

I guess that's reason to be concerned, since the original Let the Right One In is a film of far greater richness and depth than Cloverfield. It is not a popcorn flick, nor should it be directed as such. Hopefully, Reeves has it in him to wow us with something more evocative and though-provoking than his previous work.

I'll admit, what first got me wondering if this remake could potentially be worthwhile were the amazing posters and one-sheets that were released (leaked?) to the web earlier this week. While some Vault Dwellers have expressed to me their displeasure with them, I found them to be pretty impressive, as did BJ-C, another died-in-the-wool LTROI worshipper and remake-basher. They seemed to capture some of the "soul" of the Swedish original, if that can be said of a poster.

I know, that's a pretyy flimsy reason to hold out hope for a movie. But what is my other option? To let the bile build back up again as I lament the dumbing down of the American movie industry, and the lazy moviegoing audiences that allow it to get away with travesty after travesty? My doctor's been telling me to watch my stress levels, thank you very much.

All I'm hoping for is something that even approaches the original. The movie is going to happen, so at least I can hope for the best. I'll go on record as saying that I actually enjoy the American remake of The Ring better than the original Japanese--so who knows?

12 comments:

BJ-C said...

It will be impossible for me to like it better but i think its possible that i won't completely hate it.

B-Sol said...

There is NO WAY it would be better, not even as good. But since it HAS to happen, I'm hoping at least for a good movie, and not an abortion.

Ms Harker said...

I am EXTREMELY skeptical this film can come close to the original. The poster looks nice, as you said evoking the spirit of the Swedish film. However the Hollywood machine track record of ham-fisted remakes of fabulous international horror flicks speaks for itself.

www.musingcontinuum.com

Matt-suzaka said...

I actually loved Cloverfield and think Matt Reeves is very talented from what I have seen from him thus far. It would be nice if the film is good, but it probably wont be. I do think that the posters are kinda amazing, namely the one of Oscar and Eli. That 'Let Me In' title however is just terrible even in print.

I am actually okay with remakes of older movies along the lines of 80's slasher films and others of that nature. However, I am not all about remakes of fantastic films, that because they are foreign, they are not given any chance whatsoever. Thought things would have gotten a little better after 'Pan's Labyrinth' and 'The Orphanage' and it would seem that I thought wrong.

In the end though, if 'Let Me In' is good or bad, it doesn't matter to me. I still will always have the original masterpiece to watch at any time I choose.

B-Sol said...

AMEN!

Holger Haase said...

Strictly speaking this is not a remake but a new adaptation of the original novel. The English language film rights to the novel were sold before the Swedish film LET THE RIGHT ONE IN ever hit the screens or had become a mega-success everywhere. The author's writer has been quoted as saying that there is room for a second adaptation and if the makers of this film play their cards right they will indeed focus more on the novel than the previous film. My understanding is that there have been a good number of the novel's elements that were not covered in the first adaptation.

scary clips said...

I really enjoy your blog and hope that you continue to keep it fresh with content and new material.

B-Sol said...

That's true, Holger--and one of the main reasons I continue to hold out hope. I do understand they will be going back to the novel as opposed to remaking the first movie.

Planet of Terror said...

I think the immediacy of adapting and remaking a newer film actually bodes well moreso than letting years or decades pass, building even more worshipping and dubbing of a film as being a true classic (see Halloween). The remakes of the The Ring, Ju-On, and REC (all done within a span of about 3-4 years from each other)all stand on their own and are classics in their own right. Each of their adaptations were a success (excluding the subsequent sequel), in making me seek out the originals. I guess what I'm saying here is that if done right, they can be true to the original while expounding upon new ideas.

I have faith in Reeves and I also really dug Cloverfield. I don't understand why anyone hated it. It was a great spin on the monster movie and as you mentioned, a perfect popcorn flick.

I for one am excited.....

P.S. Quarantine had its faults but overall, a quality flick. Definitely check it out B-Sol.

RayRay said...

To take a twist on your overarching haranguing theme, I believe that it is not just the film business that is being dumbed down in America. We rarely learn the classics in literature; we are rarely exposed the the true intricacies in history; our collective understanding of science is an abomination; the newspaper industry as a whole is going out of business. That such banality would be reflected in popular culture is no shock.

B-Sol said...

Perhaps I shall, Planet. Perhaps I shall.

And Ray, I can't help but agree. As an English major, I find it especially appalling in literature. It seems that the tried and true classics are being replaced with more modern, "accessible" books for our young ppl to read. I have no problem with shaking up the curriculum, but its a fact that many great works of literature that were once read by anyone with a high school education have gone by the wayside. Sad...

Andrew said...

Great work...

Nice photo...wonderful thoughts....


Thanks for sharing...


___________________
Andrew
Entertainment at one stop

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