Let Me In

I have a pre-publication of Nic Humphrey’s new book on consciousness, “Soul Dust,” published by Quercus. I hadn’t heard of this publisher before and so looked them up. They are one of the fastest growing publishers in the UK and appear to be bucking all the trends with double-digit growth. This success has been fuelled by being the British publisher of the Stieg Larsson trilogy phenomenon as well as the fantastic, “Let the Right One In” by John Ajvide Lindqvist.

the charming Oskar & Eli

I am pretty much fed up with the vampire band wagon that has dominated publishing and movie-making in the past 5 years, but I will make an exception  for “Let the Right One In.” It is a beautifully shot movie set against the background of an austere working class suburb of Stockholm in the early 1980s. The two child stars Oskar and Eli, are hypnotically quirky and compelling and the movie is a modern classic. So it is no surprise that it is being remade in English by Hammer productions! For those of you who are either too young or not British, Hammer were the leading post-war English company that churned out dozens of low budget horror movies and launched the careers of Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee. I am a bit of a nerd with it comes to Hammer and have paid way too much money for some of their early movie posters. That said, I doubt they will be able to capture the charm of the Swedish original. But the trailer looks good and music sounds pretty cool.

The movie is due for release later this year. I guess I will be going to see it.


Filed under General Thoughts, In the News, supernatural

11 responses to “Let Me In

  1. The original Let the Right One In was just awesome. What a great movie.

    I’ll surely see the remake, but I don’t have high hopes. Then again, there seems to be very much a “whichever one you saw first” thing going with a lot of remakes. For instance, Ringu and The Ring (the American remake) were both considered great movies, but most people liked the first better… but I liked the American version better, and I think a lot of it is just because I happened to have seen it first.

  2. Hammer productions! That is a blast from the past. 🙂 I remember seeing The Quatermass Experiment and being told the history behind it being onscreen. And (oh dear), One Million Years B.C. (1966), with Raquel Welch…

  3. As for remakes, I’ve generally found that a decent film remake is more likely (or at least, we’re willing to suspend our cynicism to give it a chance) to be successful than a remake of a (shudder) TV comedy. I’m thinking ‘Red Dwarf’, ‘Fawlty Towers’ and the recent ‘Kath and Kim’… :/

  4. Heh – came to make a comment and got a compliment (I was the sound designer on the US remake of The Ring – thanks James Sweet. I like to think you liked it better because it had something to offer!)

    I loved the original Let the Right One In, and was skeptical of the idea of a remake, but there are some really great reviews coming out. Good remakes do happen from time to time – I loved Soderbergh’s remake of Solaris and I am a BIG fan of the original Tarkovsky.

    Fingers crossed. Oops. Wrong blog to say that! 🙂

    • brucehood

      Congrats to you anaglyh! I loved both “The Ring” and “The Grudge” but also the originals too.

      BTW I have just watched Koyabashi’s (1964) Kwaidan – which is beautifully shot, and characteristically full of Kabuki-style faces but I have to say that the pace is very slow compared to modern horror which tests the viewers patience.

    • I seem to remember the sound being pretty effective on The Ring. Kudos to you!

      The two scenes that really stuck with me from the American version above and beyond the original were the scene where the horse jumps off the boat — that wasn’t even in the original, right? — and the quick closeup of the first girl who dies.

      The latter is what made me wonder if there was a “which one you saw first” effect going on. When I saw it in The Ring, it was so disturbing that I kept picturing it for days… and because the cut was so quick, my mind just kept filling in more and more horrible details, rather than what it actually looked like in the movie.

      When it came to that scene in Ringu, it just looked cheezy to me. But then again, that scene works because of shock and surprise, and I was totally expecting it the second time around. I am confident that my mental image of what it looked like in The Ring is far different than what was on the screen — the quick cut left my brain to fill in whatever details would be most nightmarish.

      So the question is, was the effect cheesier on Ringu, was it shot less effectively, and/or did it just not work for me because I was expecting it? I’m not sure.

      The scene where the horse jumps off the boat though… That really freaked me out. Heh, actually… major kudos to you, anaglyph, because I thought I remembered something about the sound being the most disturbing part of that scene, and I just check it on YouTube and I was right: The sound when the horse hits the side of the boat on its way down. I remember now, I was feeling so tense and unsettled from the scene so far, and then when the horse jumps you think it’s at least going to be the end of it, and then WHUMP and I wanted to vomit. Brilliant.

      so… you’re work makes me want to vomit, anaglyph! But it’s a compliment 🙂

      • Compliment accepted!

        Working on a horror film is quite tricky, especially when you’re trying to make something with a little bit of panache. Of course, you lose all track of what is ‘scary’ working on the same material over and over for many months, and so it becomes largely an intellectual exercise in trying to work out strategies that will scare the audience. We were gratified to see that our idea of trying to make a soundtrack that was ‘creepy’ as much as ‘scary’ seemed to pay off for audiences.

        As far as the horse scene is concerned, we spent a lot of time on it. It was the loudest scene in the film and I have memories of the sound mixers at Skywalker taking frequent coffee breaks to escape the sheer volume of that reel. But it turned out really well, and the infamous ‘whump’ sound was the cherry on the cake.

  5. I till haven’t seen the original Swedish film, which I’d like to before I see the remake.

  6. Arno

    I saw the original movie and was amazed. I then read the book and was blown away. The movie is actually light and friendly compared to the sheer depressing darkness of the book. Particularly when it comes to Eli’s past and gender (though the movie very briefly gives a hint, the book actually reveals that Eli isn’t a girl). That Oskar will end up as a new Harkan is also something that is more… obvious in the book than in the movie.
    The author also published a zombie novel. I haven’t read it yet, but it is supposed to be as brilliant as Let The Right One In. It is awesome when an author revives not just one, but two subgenres of horror.
    But yes, I am curious how the Hammer version is going to be. Good stuff.

  7. brucehood

    Update: I went to see the pre-release of “Let Me In”
    There are some original moments but it can’t really match the charm and quirkiness of the Swedish original.

    • Arno

      Lucky you. I still need to see it. It will hit the cinemas on the 5th, so only 4 days to go.
      I am particularly curious how they handled a few of the interpersonal aspects.

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