It’s a constant disappointment to me that English speaking peoples cannot watch films in other languages. It both confuses me and is no surprise whatsoever. The dichotomy here is centered around the fact that it’s simple and commonplace to read a subtitle, for it is simply a sentence or two, but that I know full well that people are lazy and generally dimwitted.
The overwhelming disappointment however is truly in my grievances for the filmic experiences that these dunderheads are missing out on. Not only that, they are actively missing out on them. They are actively deciding to eschew these films. This is one step away from refusing to watch black and white films. And only one step away from genuine mental retardation of the highest order.
Let the Right One In is a remarkable Swedish film romance, masquerading as a horror film. Made in 2008, from the 2004 novel of the same name, it follows Oskar and his burgeoning relationship with new neighbour Eli, a vampire.
Ok, so it’s not groundbreaking stuff, but it’s poetic, touching and great to look at. The bleak Stockholm weather, the suburban dourness of the apartment building and the inanity of the people’s lives is juxtaposed by the romance between the two 12 year olds and the astonishing violence and gore surrounding Eli’s feeding. Eli is looked after by an older father figure who eventually offers himself up as food after failing to get her the blood she needs. Oskar discovers her true nature and, an outcast himself who is relentlessly bullied, embraces her if she will him. When, in the final scenes she massacres the bullies, a piece of cinema that is visceral and really quite shocking, even at this point in the film, it is an act of compassion not hate, or even really violence. Eventually Eli and Oskar leave together, it’s lovely.
Critics around the world applauded it. It was voted into the top 10 films of 2008 by dozens of reviewers and won countless awards but, and here’s the ‘but’, they were mostly for foreign, or foreign language, film. Why?
Let Me In is the American remake. Made by the Hammer Studio, revitalised under the American parent studio Enterprise.
Touted as a ‘re imagining’ not a remake, that old chestnut. So similar in plot, character and dialogue as to be embarrassing this is a perfect example of an American cash-in project. They took a critically applauded film, that the biggest paying film audience didn’t see, because they won’t, and made it in ‘American’. There’s nothing different, except the names and location.