October 21, 2010

Post #200: Bloodsucking Fiends: A Love Story

Well, it's about flippin' time! After a year of hearing everyone rave non-stop about it, and falling head over heels for the American remake, I've finally joined the club. I've finally seen Let the Right One In. And, I have a favorite. Which one did I prefer? Take a leap and find out.

Give you all you need to drink and it will never be enough!

Since I can't be pressed to write a full review of the film when the purpose of this post is to compare LTROI with Let Me In, I'm going to take a cue from Simon and jot a down a few random thoughts on Sweden's take before diving into the meat of the article.

-Why does everything look like it's lit by halogen lights? Moon don't glow that brightly, even in Sweden.

-What the hell kind of school let's bullies get away with this shit? I mean, really. How have these kids not been kicked out?

-Loved the music! Wonderfully sombre and moody.

-Both kids are great! Don't hold a candle to Chloe Moretz though.

-Cat thing was friggin' stupid! Served absolutely no purpose other than to show off the low budget of the film. Those were some fake lookin' felines!


-Wish all vampire moves were like this. Take away the sexiness of them, lose the dumb as hell sparkly thing, and bring them back to their roots. Vicious, scary, and dangerous!

-Really liked how Eli cries after killing her victims. Does a good job of showing how guilty she feels.

-Scenes with Dad are a nice addition.

-Simon, you better comment the hell out of this post for my plug!


I find myself in the unique situation of seeing Let Me In before Let the Right One In, which is why my thoughts sound like that. Though it may not come through in the notes, I still loved LTROI. Brilliant film! How that didn't get at least an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Film is beyond me.

Anyway, now that I've caught up to you cultured people and seen both, which one do I prefer? Be prepared to hate me.

I prefer Let Me In.

I know, I know. Here I am going with the big budget, American remake over the smaller budgeted foreign gem, but, you know what? Screw you! I have good reasons.

First off, let me say that the performances of the two kids are great. Both Kare Hedebrant and Lina Leandersson do fantastic jobs. But, neither of them comes close to touching Chloe Moretz in terms of quality. Both Hedebrant's and Leandersson's performance would be considered great performances for veteran actors, but Chloe Moretz's performance would be considered a great performance for someone like Marlon Brando. Does that analogy make sense? Leandersson's performance as Eli conveys all the emotion needed for the character, but, she keeps this weird sort of smile on her face throughout most of the film, including the most emotionally draining moments for her character, which significantly detracts from the gravity of the situation. That being said, Leandersson does succeed in making us empathize with her, but Moretz as Abby does that and so much more. The confusion and pain she portrays, the way her eyes sadly trace over the face of her protector before he dies, the way she says goodbye to Owen against her entire will and then returns to save his life, all make up an acting job that even the greatest actors working today would be jealous of.

Let Me In also looks better, but that's all budget. Even so, the environment doesn't look like it's lit by fluorescent  lights; the scenes at night have that lovely amber tone to them. The world just looks more foreboding and scary. Abby/Eli also seems more dangerous in Let Me In, as the scenes of her ripping guy's throats out, and the climatic scene at the pool, are significantly more brutal. That's not necessarily a plus, just an inevitability. The American version was always going to be more violent. Gotta try and ring in the idiots.

The relationship between Owen/Oskar and Abby/Eli is also better handled, in my opinion, in Let Me In. I don't know, I just felt more for their love story than the Swede's. That could be the fact that they were speaking my language, but I'd like to think I'm not that shallow. The way it was written, framed, and acted made me connect more with the kids in Let Me In. I can trace it to one line, the part where Abby quietly utters "I told you we couldn't be friends" as Owen storms out of her apartment. That line, and the way Moretz said it, summed up the relationship for me. They couldn't make it work, despite the fact that every fiber of their being wanted it to. That line isn't in LTROI. The scene is, but not the line. LTROI took too many breaks from the relationship with the Dad's scenes or the gang of drinking buddies, making it seem just a tiny bit more like an afterthought.

Also, Owen/Oskar's parents were much more fleshed out in Let Me In. In Let the Right One In, they are just there, but in Let Me In, they are actually given something to do, even if they are never on screen. Owen's mom is a religious nutjob who, it is implied, has a drinking problem. His dad is never around, and is completely incompetent when it comes to helping his son. There's none of that in LOTRI, making it just one of the many things Matt Reeves added that deepen the story overall.


Let me divert some of your hate real quick. Let the Right One In does do many things better than Let Me In. They just aren't as obvious. For starters, the dynamic between the bullies is more fleshed out. The leader is a righteous dick in both, but, in LTROI, his two cohorts seem to be timidly following along because they don't want to be victimized, instead of being fully into tormenting Owen/Oskar. That came off as more realistic, and made the scene where they are butchered that much more chilling.

The cop in Let Me In doesn't exist in Let the Right One In. Instead, he's a drunkard who's friends are killed by Eli. He sneaks into her apartment to try and avenge them, but we all know how that turns out. The idea of a man losing his life because he was simply trying to do right by his friends is a much more disturbing concept than a cop who just poked his nose in the wrong area.

But, all these gripes are pointless because the fact remains that both Let Me In and Let the Right One In are great movies; I just find myself liking Let Me In more and more as I continue to think about it. It could all be because Let Me In was the one that introduced me to this story, and Let the Right One In, for me, is just another adaptation of it. But, that doesn't make me like it any less. Both earn solid ECSTASYs from me, but only Let Me In gets the "On A Whole New Level!!!" prefix. I know. You can't fathom it. Let it sink in, digest it for a little bit. Maybe you'll find it in yourselves to accept me again one day.

Let Me In

Let the Right One In


  1. Like hell. I love bad jokes.

    Thanks for the pluggin, my good chum.

    But I kind of thought you were talking about the Christopher Moore book.

    I liked Let Me In better, but that's because I couldn't find the original in anything but dubbed.

  2. Like hell. I love bad jokes.

    Thanks for the pluggin, my good chum.

    But I kind of thought you were talking about the Christopher Moore book.

    I liked Let Me In better, but that's because I couldn't find the original in anything but dubbed.