Halloween Horror Countdown:31: Let Me In

So: an ambitious endeavor. I’m gonna try to post a horror movie review for every day in October, leading up to All Hallow’s Eve. Impossible, you say? You don’t even care, you say? Well, luckily I can’t hear you, cause you’re saying things to your monitor. God, you’re dumb.

Let’s start off with Let Me In, a remake of the Swedish film Let the Right One In (2008), which is an adaptation of the Swedish book of the same name, by John Ajvide Lindqvist. The book, amazing. The original film: awesome. If you want to know more about these two things, go watch JD’s Weekly Blargh here. I do a 5 minute video review to catch you up!

So, how does this Americanized version hold up? It’s good. For an Americanized version. It’s a slighter quicker pace, it’s slightly gorier, but not nearly as creepy and foreboding, for some reason.I’ll get further into what I mean below..but Spoilers Ahoy, people!

SPOILER ALERT:
There are several things amiss here. The Lacke/Victoria relationship, as well as the group of drunks they hang out with are all but missing here. Which is fine, because really, do we NEED them to get the main story here? No, not really. I actually found them kind of irritating in the original, but have grown to dig them as I read their story in the novel. So they aren’t really missed in the remake. Lacke/Victoria actually do show up briefly, to get what they need done, but that’s over right quick.

Also missing in this version, as it was in the original, is the novel’s subplot of Hakan, Eli’s care-taker…who’s story does NOT end after Eli drinks and leaves him to plummet to his doom at the hospital. There is a WHOLE other huge thing happening with him afterwards. I don’t wanna ruin it here, in case you actually wanna read the novel, but yeah. Some fucked up shit goes down, people.

DOUBLE SUPER SPOILER ALERT!!!
And speaking of fucked up shit: Eli, as I assume most of us know, isn’t actually a GIRL. Eli is actually a boy named Elias. We get a very obvious hint in the original, in seeing Elias’ mutilated crotchal region, and also, how she spends most of the movie saying “I’m not a girl” but of course we assume she just means she’s a vampire. But no, really. She’s a boy vampire. I was taken aback when they briefly showed Oskar spying on Eli, only to get a big ole heaping of gross, but really? We can’t allude to any of that in the American version? A story about a little girl being a literal MONSTER, but she can’t be a cross-dressing, eunuch monster? Silly-town, ya’ll. Silly-town. Leaving out the castration idea castrates the film, I think. It’s part of what makes the original so…disturbing, and lead me to actually read the novel. I wanted to find out what the shit was going on! So disappointing.

END SPOILERS.

Everyone here does a great job, acting-wise. Chloe Moretz does another fine performance as Abby, impressing me yet again. Though the original Eli was creepier, for some reason. Plus, I just liked the name Eli better. Kodi SmitMcPhee and Elias Koteas also go their due diligence here.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a good movie. And I’m REALLY hoping for a director’s cut that shows what American audiences clearly weren’t deemed ready for. But in order for this film not to be castrated, it needed to be castrated.

When not hosting the PopTards Podcast, fist-bumping his own nethers, discussing movies, comics and other flimflam here, JD is graphically designing/illustrating/inking for a living, hanging with the @$$holes over at www.aintitcoolnews.com and Booking his Face off over here.

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