I'm deliberately using the original Swedish title above to emphasise as much as possible that this post is about the original film and not the Hollywood cash-in that will be polluting a cinema near you soon.
Without even needing to mention this Mormon garbage, I'll go on the record as saying that all this recent vampire nonsense in the movies and on TV disgusts me. In my opinion it's all soapy drivel that is - quite appropriately - sucking the life blood out of horror. I don't care how sexually explicit or violent True Blood 90210 is - it's drivel. Sorry.
With the exception of the entertaining (but flawed) SF/vampire thriller Daybreakers, only one film in recent years has risen above this dreary mire, and that film is Tomas Alfredson's Let The Right One In. It's not just better than it's contemporaries, it's a masterpiece, both in terms of genre film and cinema in general. I won't bother going into the details of what makes it so great again, as it's already been so widely praised and written about since '08. If you haven't seen it, you should do yourself a favour and see it soon, before the US remake - Let Me In - is released in about a month.
The thing that's driven me to write this admittedly bitter sounding post is that it really annoys me that all the major genre-related websites that championed the original Swedish masterpiece are now giving the remake so much exposure. I know they have to pay their bills, but must they act like such shameless media whores to do so? I've well and truly made my peace with remakes of films over 20 years old. There's been too many over the decades that prove that there's nothing wrong with retelling a great story for a new generation, and that sometimes it even produces better results than the original (see The Thing, The Fly). But the practice of instant remakes of foreign films is one that I'll never condone. I know a lot of the general home video audience is unwilling to give foreign movies a go, but given a couple of decades, these movies can filter through and gain a much wider audience than they had on their initial theatrical run.
I can hear the justifications of the apologists now: but it stars Hit Girl and that kid from The Road! So What? That's a bad thing. The strength of the original lies in the magnetic charisma of two completely unknown child actors (Kåre Hedebrant & Lina Leandersson), both of whom deliver perfect performances. Much more effective than predictably featuring this year's obnoxiously precocious Hollywood "it" kids. But it looks really arty like the original! Yeah, sure, in that totally contrived, mainstream "look how arty and indie looking this is" way. Sorry, not impressed. But they've changed the plot to adhere closer to the source novel! Uh-huh, well the writers were probably pretty desperate to come up with any gimmick that would somehow distance this from the original film and justify it's existence...
... because regardless of what anyone says, the only reason for this remake's existence is money. And a chronic dearth of creative talent. A couple of years ago I saw Let The Right One In at a screening with Tomas Alfredson in attendance, and he was not happy about it. In fact he talked for about ten minutes about how it really pissed him off.
So if you're as annoyed as I am about the defiling of great movies for the sake of lazy people and greedy studios... forget about it for a while by turning off the lights and escaping into the wistful melancholia of Johan Söderqvist's atmospheric score for Låt Den Rätte Komma In. Hit the quote...