As soon as a re-make of Let the Right One In was announced, film fans around the world let out a collective internet groan. It’s not as if this sentiment is without merit considering the crop of 80’s horror classics that are in the works of being re-made (Fright Night, The Monster Squad), as well as the way foreign films are treated by the Hollywood re-make machine (Eddie Izzard’s commentary on re-makes seem apt [begins at the 1:03 mark]. So just how did Let Me In, the U.S. re-make of Let the Right One In, compare to the original?
Note: to avoid redundancies, let me clarify that Oskar and Eli are the boy and girl from Let the Right One In and Owen and Abby are the boy and girl from Let Me In. Also, this post contains major spoilers for both films.
My wife pointed out that there is a difference between re-making a story and re-telling a story, as we’re always re-telling similar tales with different window dressings. Michael Haneke’s Funny Games is a clear example of a re-make: it was first made in 1997 (Austria) and re-made, shot-for-shot, by Haneke in 2007 (U.S.). Alternatively, something like John Carpenter’s The Thing is a re-telling of The Thing From Another World, which itself was based on the short story Who Goes There? by John W. Campbell. Let Me In is an example of the latter re-telling, not a mere re-make. Continue reading