Yes finally I saw it and it's time for me to talk about it. There have been a lot of things said about this movie, that it is the best US remake of a non-English speaking film, that despite being a remake it maintains originality, that it isn't even a remake it's just another adaptation, that it's better than Twilight, some even say it's better than it's even better than the original Let the Right One In.
Well, it's not the best Hollywood remake, it comes in #3 there, #2 being Christopher Nolan's Insomnia and #1 being Martin Scorsese's The Departed. For originality, not really, it doesn't introduce anything new but we'll get the that later. It most certainly is not a second adaptation of the novel, those who say that need to read the fucking novel because you'll notice that it's different from the novel in the same ways that the original was. Better than Twilight? Well... that pretty much goes without saying. But better than the original? Seriously? Has someone been taking crack? This is not as good as the original nor is it even close!
Well you all should know the plot by now, it's the same as the original except the names have been changed, Oskar and Eli are now Owen (Kodi Smit-McPhee) and Abby (Chloe Grace Moretz) and Hakan is now John (Richard Jenkins) Also you'll notice that it has been further condensed, the Chinese Restaurant Regulars have been reduced to just people living in the same apartment complex. That's kinda disappointing but I did like the way they introduced those characters, through Owen spying on them through a telescope, gave it a slightly Hitchcockian feel.
Now this film does have a lot going for it, the cinematography is wonderful, the sets are fabulous Richard Jenkins plays a wonderful John and McPhee and Moretz are just great they truly do the job just as good as Kare Herdebrant and Lina Leandersson, but even so, in my heart they'll never replace those two, Kare and Lina were perfect to me. Elias Koteas does a great job as the newly added character credited as "The Policeman" he's edgy and paranoid throughout, I never thought I'd be impressed by this new character but I was.
Matt Reeves has done a wonderful job in changing the scenery to an American setting, unlike those stupid J-horror remakes that just feel like they Japanese films with American protagonists. No, this film actually transports us away from Sweden and puts us in New Mexico, USA, people driving everywhere, cops kicking in doors and breaking out the pistol and kids hanging out in the video arcade (no Xbox 360 for you Owen hahaha!) just makes it feel so authentic. Also this film is a different colour if that makes sense, Let the Right One In was sort of a sterile white whilst Let Me In is more of an American feeling dirty brown.
Another cool thing I noticed was the cool tributes to old Hammer films. Yes Hammer made this movie and seeing this is a bit classier than what they are used to they sit had to have a few things in there that made it look like a tacky horror B-movie, not that that's a bad thing :). John's mask is a scary looking black plastic bag with eye holes cut in it, yes he's wearing a mask meaning he's playing the unseen stalker this time as opposed to the old "What's the time?" "The time? Oh it's-mmmmffff!", just like Hammer is used to. This allows it to differ just a little from the original and also adds suspense and horror to the film. Another B-movie tribute is Abby's monster-like look, I preferred Eli's animalistic look but Abby's look is awesome and comes straight from a supernatural horror B-movie :
Okay, I've said a lot of good things about it, now for the bad stuff. The main problem is that it pursues the same thematic elements that the original and does so well but does so in a less clever, less subtle and more obvious way. Like at the beginning we are introduced to Owen's outcastedness (if that's a word) by him sitting outside the pool in all his clothes staring at the floor whilst everyone else swims, whereas the original managed to achieve that menacing social awkwardness through a simple hand tapping on a table, which was pure genius.
A lot of people praised it for just focusing on the the relationship between the two leads and John's part in it, but that is something I didn't like, upon doing this it neglects the other characters making them seem kinda worthless. A lot of conflict arises with Eli's first victim, he has friends who care about him, one friend in particular who is totally distraught, whereas Abby's first victim appears to me to be just some guy, who really gives a fuck if he gets killed, well the cop does, but that's because it's his job it's just too impersonal. There was one thing about that aspect that I thought added to it was the neglect of his parents, his mother's face is never seen, or when it is it's overshadowed and his father is only on a phone, I thought that added to the loneliness aspect quite well.
I also found the music scores to inferior, they weren't bad, just not as good. I love the dark brooding scores of Let the Right One In whereas here these scores... well... I dunno I'm not very good at describing music but these ones just don't resonate as well. The songs from the area which they include are awesome though, but nothing tops "Kvar i min bil" that song fucken rocks!
And finally one more thing is that this film is far less ballsy than the original. The original had some "dark themes" going, of course those "dark themes" were never explicitly stated just nicely implied. With these two main "dark themes" Let Me In pursues one of them really far only to wuss out on it eventually and the other it pretty much goes out of it's way not to include. Those of you who are familiar with the source material will know what I'm talking about, it has to do with John's identity and Abby's crotch and those of you who aren't familiar I won't spoil it for you.
So in conclusion I must say that to anyone who hasn't read the book or seen the original film then this film will probably strike you as something wonderful whereas if you have read or seen the original then you'll find this a touch on the annoying side but still good nonetheless, it's an excellent film.
It just scraps into a 4 star rating from me, I guess I would recommend it.