Sunday, August 16, 2009

Reeves' Remake

One of the tidbits I missed in my absense was the news that director Matt Reeves, the man behind last year's Cloverfield, is taking the reigns on an American remake of one of my favorite films of last year, Let the Right One In, from Swedish filmmaker Tomas Alfredson.

The film has been retitled Let Me In for its American theatrical release, set for sometime in 2010, and the central characters Oskar and Eli have been changed to Owen and Abby, respectively. Apparantly Reeves is adapting straight from the novel by John Ajvide Lindqvist instead of from the Swedish film, though I find that bit confusing, what with the title and name changes.

I'm seriously nervous about this development. Aside from not being a huge fan of Cloverfield, I generally frown on remaking movies that are near perfect as they are.

I'm not alone in my apprehension. The original has plenty of fans who are relatively upset. Matt Reeves has responded briefly to the criticism of the project:

"I can understand because of people's love of the [original] film that there's this cynicism that I'll come in and trash it, when in fact I have nothing but respect for the film. I'm so drawn to it for personal and not mercenary reasons...I hope people give us a chance."

This is my issue. I understand having respect for the film and as an artist having your own vision for the material, but I think by remaking it Reeves is only guaranteeing fewer people will see the stunning original, which doesn't sit well with me at all.

Plus, with the current phenomenon that is the teen obsession with vampire tales, I'm extremely nervous that the violence will be toned down to get a PG-13 rating and then the poetry will be completely lost. The beauty of the film was its marriage of the brutality of vampiric legend and the innocence of childhood friendship. Any shying away from the more horrific themes would be a major disappointment.

I'm doing my best to reserve judgment, but I have a baaad feeling about the whole idea so far. Please, Matt Reeves, prove me wrong.


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