Fear of Subtitles: The LET ME IN Trailer

I’ll admit, before I actually watched this trailer, I had intended to post a list of possible ways to further crassly Americanize* Let the Right One In, Swedish director Tomas Alfredson’s stirring 2008 vampire film. Truthfully, though, the American-made remake Let Me In doesn’t look all that crass–just sorta dull. The last half of the trailer** rapidly cuts between various people running, gasping, and lurching backward, but there’s no sign that director Matt Reeves’ new film trades only in ‘gotcha’ scares or entirely does away with the muted creepiness of the original. And yet–understanding that for any casual reader of writing-about-film, articles about remake fatigue are now about as tired as film remakes–I’m compelled to single out Let Me In as a particularly unnecessary movie.

Right One*** dramatizes the friendship between a 12-year-old boy and his vampiric new neighbor, and with close attention to aspects of late childhood that are near-universal: fear (not of monsters, but of other kids), a sense of isolation from the adult world, and the wonder, confusion, and trepidation that members of the opposite sex invite in the prepubescent. (Like with any good horror film, it’s not really about the thing that it’s about, and the whole thing is handled with such deftness that you really ought to see it if you haven’t.) Right One‘s an infinitely relatable movie, is the point, and I suppose the appearance of (even) a (workmanlike) remake bothers me because the most obvious explanations for the new film’s existence speak poorly enough of American audiences that I’d prefer to go on ignoring them.

* For the curious: during my bike ride home from work, I decided to suggest using old Don LaFontaine clips in the next trailer but ruled out any jokes about Taylor Lautner or Megan Fox. In any case, it’s probably best that this was never written.

** Still weird: the concept of an international trailer for a film transparently aimed at reluctant U.S. markets.

***Which will make for a pretty perfect abridged title, if the ’08 film is indeed better than the remake.

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