Let me start off by saying, in general, I don’t like remakes. I get very attached to a good movie and have no interest in seeing someone “re-imagine” or “update” it. If the movie stands the test of time, why do it again? Besides for money. There are some good ones, but for the most part they’re ugh. Imagine my surprise when I detected no ugh factor in Let Me In, the remake of the amazing Let The Right One In. This might be because it’s less a remake and more the American version. The original is Swedish.
To those who’ve never heard of it, it’s basically a vampire love story. Now if you just rolled your eyes at the thought of another one of “those” movies, please bear with me. If ever there was a reason to make an exception on a vampire movie, then this is the one because it’s THAT good.
To keep things simple, I’ll be referring to the original in my description, but both movies are near identical right down to the dialogue.
His evenings are spent alone, in a play area within his apartment complex, thinking how he’d love to get even with his tormentors. It’s here that he meets Eli. She’s recently moved in with her father next door to Oskar. He’s immediately taken with her because she’s as much an outcast as he is. Also in an apartment complex full of adults, she’s the one person his own age. She’s not receptive to this and tells him up front they can not be friends.
Eli has issues getting close to people because she’s a very old vampire. And this is one of the many reasons I love this movie. She’s not a vampire pretending to be a little girl, she’s an old vampire that looks like a little girl. Going to school like other kids is not part of her life because she’s not a kid. Despite this, she can’t deny developing feelings for Oskar.
They learn Morse code to communicate through the walls of their apartment and sneak off to spend time together. There’s nothing sexual about the relationship, which came through so much stronger for me because of their age. Their feelings represent the core of an adult relationship, stripped of all the physical. Oskar isn’t trying to get in Eli’s pants and she’s not fretting over her hair or makeup. They simply care deeply for each other.
This is the scene that completely sold me on how powerful their bond was. It’s a little bloody, but not to the extent of being censored if it was on a network. Just figured I’d throw out a warning if anyone’s squeamish. Scroll down for a quick summary of the scene.
Eli is asking to be invited into Oskar’s apartment. He’s wants to know what will happen if he doesn’t and Eli, looking a bit saddened, walks in. Seconds after she’s convulsing and bleeding as if she’s being torn apart. Oskar stops the process by inviting her in and hugs her so tight it seems he’ll never let go.
Eli didn’t have to do that. She could’ve turned around and left. But she made the decision to show Oskar what she was and trusted him enough that he wouldn’t let her die. Powerful stuff folks.
I won’t give away the rest of the movie, but it builds to a very satisfying conclusion including a HEA for you romance fans.
I prefer the original, but if subtitles or dubbing isn’t your thing, you can’t go wrong with the American version. It’s almost shot for shot like the original with only minor changes. My main recommendation is you watch at least one version of this movie.
So what do think? Seen either version or is there another tragic/beautiful romance that touched you like this movie did for me?