Why Let Me In makes me angry

Kodi Smit-McPhee and Chloe Moretz in the excellent yet superfluous remake of  Let The Right One In .
Kodi Smit-McPhee and Chloe Moretz in the excellent yet superfluous remake of Let The Right One In .

(MA15+) ****

Director: Matt Reeves

Cast: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Chloe Moretz, Richard Jenkins, Elias Koteas.

THIS film makes me angry. Not because it’s bad at all — look, I even gave it four stars — but because it’s unneccessary and shows up one of the biggest problems with Hollywood and audiences.

I have no problem with remakes (most of the time). Sometimes you can take a so-so film and make it better. Or at least different. Sometimes you can take an old film and update it, recasting its central themes and issues into modern times and looking at them in a new light.

But why remake a film that is only three-years-old and almost utterly perfect? And why remake it so closely to the original that it’s almost exactly the same?

I know why Hollywood did it — money. If everyone is raving about the Swedish original (Let The Right One In), then American studios see dollar signs.

But rather than spend $20 million marketing and promoting the stunningly beautiful original, they have to remake it.

Why? Because some people don’t like subtitled films, which is stupid and ignorant. So this weird impulse to remake foreign films is not only driven by Hollywood studios, but also by lazy audiences.

Sorry for ranting, but this really gets on my nerves. Let Me In is quite good — Smit-McPhee and Moretz are the two best child actors around, and the bigger budget car crash in this version is impressive — but I can’t recommend this film unless you’re one of those ignoramuses who won’t watch subtitled movies.

If you aren’t one of those people, then go and watch Let The Right One In. It’s a much more subtle and near-perfect take on this beautiful story of a strange friendship between a bullied boy and the mysterious girl-next-door.

Then, once you’ve seen the astonishing original, come back and watch the near-identical-but-not-as-good American remake and tell me I’m wrong about it being unneccessary.