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Matt Reeves Says 'Let Me In' Will Be Darker Than 'Twilight'

by
January 20, 2010
Source: MTV

Matt Reeves - Let The Right One In

Let's face it. Director Matt Reeves (Cloverfield) is remaking the spectacular Swedish film Let the Right One, so instead of incessantly griping about it, maybe we should hear him out as MTV talked to him about the difficulties of remaking an established film, the inevitable comparisons to Twilight, and the tone of the impending Let Me In. From the get-go he knows his battle, "There has been a real bull's-eye on the movie, because people had so much love for that [original] film. I share that love, and for me, what was important was to have reverence for the original while at the same time trying to find the way to make it our own."

Even though the original film (and the book that it was based on) are Swedish, the film has been tailored to American audiences (for better or worse). Reeves confirms:

"It's very much an Americanization of the tale that John Ajvide Lindqvist tells. The film touched me. And I read the book, which he also wrote, and it moved me too. It reminded me so much of my own childhood in certain ways. It's so much about that period of preadolescence, that feeling of being a child and of being bullied, the difficulties of growing up. It's such a beautiful coming-of-age story, in addition to being such a terrific genre story. I really wanted to put you, even more so, into the point of view of the boy and understand his childhood as vividly as it comes across in the book."

Well played, sir. Reeves certainly has a handle on the story itself and is smart enough to know that this isn't just another vampire movie in the way that Cloverfield wasn't just another monster movie. Good to hear. But it sounds like the talent in front of the camera is bringing just as much passion to the project as Reeves. The director talks about his young lead actor Kodi Smit-McPhee (The Road) and his vampire counterpart Chloe Moretz (Hit-Girl from the upcoming Kick-Ass):

"The idea that we have these two kids is kind of a dream. My God, those are very challenging roles! I thought, 'Gosh, can we find a young actor that would do this?' and then Kodi came in, and I just knew we could make the movie. I was fortunate enough to get to meet Kodi, and he read with me one day, and literally from that very moment, there was no question that there was nobody that could play this role except for him. He is just so authentic and real.

[And] Chloe is just remarkable. She was one of the many people who came in, and I was like, 'Oh, my gosh, she's amazing.' The thing that we always talk about is trying to find the way to not have her … she is a vampire in the story, so what does that mean? How do you play a vampire? The idea is to have her not play a vampire at all but have her play the reality of her life and the difficulty of her life, and that's the way these two lonely souls connect."

All right, two-for-two so far. But how exactly is Reeves dealing with the already tired trend of vampires in pop culture, and drawing a line between his film and the teen angst ridden vampire behemoth that is the Twilight Saga?

"I think that what people respond to in 'Twilight' is the fantasy of it. It's such a grand, romantic fantasy, and in a way, the reason why I think there is room for a film like ours is, though it's a vampire film, it uses it in such a different way. Whereas 'Twilight' is kind of a fantasy, this will be a darker, scarier kind of journey. I think it's really about what sort of emphasis the story takes and how you use the metaphor. The amazing thing about genre films is the way to smuggle in different kinds of themes and things worthy of exploration. I think what so struck me about this story is that what it is exploring is so different and so real."

Although the viewer can get the majority of what Reeves wants his film to embody from the original film, I think it's going to be his cast the truly makes the film an entity unto itself. These two young performers have a lot of charisma and at their age, this kind of screen presences commands attention. And importantly, this is what will make or break this remake, which right now is riding the fine line between being despised by fans of the original and actually succeeding. For now, consider me still cautiously optimistic. Check out the rest of the interview with Reeves over at MTV. Does this change your attitude on the remake?

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Reader Feedback - 35 Comments

1

How about showing reverence for the original by leaving it the fuck alone? Soooo sick of the remakes!!

T on Jan 20, 2010

2

The original film was absolutely fantastic in every sense of the word "fantastic". From the writing to the direction to the acting it was all top-notch. So I really feel like Reeves has his work cut out for him. If one part of his re-imagining is less than great, he is gonna come under major fire from this films fan base. I was really depressed by this news when I first heard about it, but it seems like so far Reeves is making good decisions. We'll have to wait and see if he can deliver a thoughtful, well crafted piece or if he is just another cog in the Hollywood re-hash machine. We'll see...

Professor Brian O'Bilivion on Jan 20, 2010

3

i agree with #1. and the director says this will be "darker than twilight"? twilight was teen angst crap........and it wasn't dark.

beavis on Jan 20, 2010

4

twilight wasn't even ark. It was sparkly

Josh on Jan 20, 2010

5

Why is everything a remake? I wish I could just remake other people's work and pass it off as "my own visualizaton," and while there are many times that I enjoy "reboots," completely remaking a film such as this is a bad idea in my opinion. Just as many of the awesome Japanese horror films have been remade into awful American counterparts. Minus Gore Verbinski's "Ring" which still scares the shit out of me.

Jeffro on Jan 20, 2010

6

Remakes are cool and all, but at least remake stuff that is more than 2 years old. How about just re-releasing the original so it plays somewhere other than LA and NY. I bet most people won't even know this is a remake because they never heard about the original. I wonder if other countries remake american movies just to "Russianize" it or "Germanize",etc. why do we as a country feel the need to make everything American? part of me hopes they do the original justice, mostly because I do like the cast. If this fails will studios stop the Americanization of rad foreign films?

theotherbluth on Jan 20, 2010

7

Alvin and the Chipmunks is darker than Twilight. What's this proving?

SlashBeast on Jan 20, 2010

8

I loved the original, but I've never understood why people are so angry about remakes. Either it will suck or not. If the latter, great. If the former, no loss; it certainly won't hurt the original any. I think a slightly different interpretation could be good here, so long as it retains the same emotional quality.

Petoria on Jan 20, 2010

9

He wants to remake it so other Americans appreciate the fine art of the original, I have it downloaded, but have never seen it, lol. A bit scared to. I hate sad and depressing movies, especially ones that make you think.

danielvutran on Jan 20, 2010

10

Reeves' intention wasn't to say Let Me In is darker than Twilight as if that is some sort of achievement or bold choice. He's trying to distinguish the film from the grand fantasy romance narrative that Twilight has, and reaffirm that this isn't like any of the other vampire flicks/series out there.

Ethan Anderton on Jan 20, 2010

11

what ever happened to waiting 10 years to remake a film? WHY NOT REMAKE BAD I REPEAT BAD FILMS????

Xerxex on Jan 20, 2010

12

First of all, I'm probably one of the few if any person who didn't like the original. It was ok towards the end, but i felt the pacing was entirely too slow for its own good. Simply because of the praise i heard i watched it and i was very disappointed. And now that this remake is coming, i have mixed thoughts. Maybe it could be better. Maybe not.

Efrain on Jan 20, 2010

13

I'm definitely gonna check it out. I hope it's REALLY dark, like The Ring. I hope it's gonna be awesome. I hate people who hate remakes.

Lincoln on Jan 20, 2010

14

Considering twilight is about as dark as a light bulb... this wont be an accomplishment. all of it is trash

vincent cipollone on Jan 20, 2010

15

The original is SUCH a GREAT film. The tone, the pace, the characters, everything. I don't see how a remake would do any good to it... I guess the only thing would be that the story will reach a wider audience and - if it is a good remake, which i doubt - it will bring an element of knowledge and interest about the original for those who haven't seen it. [Extra note: comparing the story in ANY way with Twilight is a BIG mistake. The only common thing is the figure of a vampire, but that's pretty much it. In any case, someone can compare it with Blade or with Dracula and that would be equally wrong)

leinergroove on Jan 20, 2010

16

What the hell? Comparing Let the right one in with Twilight! Twilight was a candy love story not even a vampire movie.

dex on Jan 20, 2010

17

Fell in love with the original on the 1st watch. A true classic.

Darunia on Jan 20, 2010

18

I hope the vampire girl is mad slicing people up with a sword and it has a heavy metal sound track and the people explode into meaty chunks. Also I hope the kid isn't the little weedy guy that was in the 'original' (whatever that means), and he is like a kid but with adult-bodybuilder-sized muscles that he uses to rip apart cats and eventually when he learns vampire kungfu and can transform into a robot at the end he rips apart horses and cars. The twisted love story in the real version of this film was much more realistic than Twiglet, and I think that made it even more twisted and dark enough. - But re-makes makes the world go round...

crapola on Jan 20, 2010

19

I'm still amazed anyone liked the original enough to remake it. ugh what a horrible waste of celluloid.

Jimmy Love on Jan 20, 2010

20

Martin Scorsese won an Oscar for remaking a movie. So I guess that works too. I love original "Let the right one in". I hope the remake is at least just as good.

casshern on Jan 20, 2010

21

this comment worries me. the original was ok, overrated though

L1A on Jan 20, 2010

22

Man, he shouldn't even be comparing it to Twlight

staatz on Jan 20, 2010

23

Fuk this re-make and all other re-makes!!!!! This movie was brilliant and should be left alone. Capitalist america/hollywood trying to cash in on everything they have NO balls to take a chance on. F U hollywood!!! FU!!!!!!

jimmey on Jan 20, 2010

24

the original is the best vampire film i've seen in ages,a classic that should be left alone.should be nominated for best foreign film at the oscars.

tobi,leader of the akatsuki on Jan 20, 2010

25

"It's such a beautiful coming-of-age story, in addition to being such a terrific genre story." Beautiful coming-of-age story? Did he *see* the movie? Beautiful movie, sure. But the tale of the movie is a tragic one, even if there's glimmers of warmth and happiness. The man and the boy are merely two ends of the same story. I'm not optimistic, but I'll try to be hopeful. This remake will likely bring more mainstream US attention to the original, so there's at least some good we can count on.

chris r on Jan 21, 2010

26

darker than twilight? whats your scale? beauty and the beast was darker than twilight.

harrison on Jan 21, 2010

27

There no Hunks in let the Right on in/ Let me in. Like there is in Twilight or Twatlight i call it. Let the right one in is mutch better than teen crap it's darker, just abetter story altogeather. 🙂

Cineprog on Jan 21, 2010

28

Whywhywhy do you Americans make remakes?? I haven't heard of any Europeanized American movies yet... No wonder you guys no so little about other countries and cultures...(sorry for generalizing 🙂 Watch a foreign movie and learn to read subs people 😉 Looking forward to an Americanized "City Of God"....

Kasper on Jan 21, 2010

29

Remakes and Reboots is a all-hollywood idea, donno if they think the American population are stupid and don't understand the original movies or just lack of own ideas. It's just too sad.

Carmen on Jan 21, 2010

30

Matt Reeves bad decision

Torkel on Jan 21, 2010

31

What I'm wondering is how he is going to "Americanize" the sexual and perverse storylines, which have just as much to do with the film as the angst. Even the Swedish version shied away from much of what was written in the book and if I know this country, it will shy away even more. Wouldn't want to offend our tender sensibilities. Too sad. Just read the book and forget the movies - that was the real deal.

Annie on Jan 22, 2010

32

He just cut to the chase and remake Twilight. We'd all be better off.

marc on Jan 24, 2010

33

Loved Let The Right One it's become my favourate movie and book and I am livid that the americans have decided to do a english version and that they have also changed the names of the to main characters. I will not watch the remake out of pure princeble as all Hollywood remakes end up being a pile of garbage and completly alienate the original's.

RichEchelon on Jun 1, 2010

34

People who thought the original was overated or crap are absolute fuckin idiots who's favourate films are probably the twilight shitty saga. FYI Twilight raped the vampire genre, it's up to films like let the right one in to save it.

RichEchelon on Jun 1, 2010

35

Remake useless movies, not a movie like "Let The Right One In" that's brilliant and flawless. MAKE MOVIES BETTER, NOT WORSE. It just show how low respect some Directors have for foreign pictures. Directors that destroy good movies should be imprisoned, Damn them to hell!!

Me on Jun 1, 2010

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