On the one hand, it's the first time I got to see a Hammer vampire film (of any description) on the big screen!
On the other hand, it's a remake of a film I saw less than two years ago (sure, THE CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN can be considered a remake, but it was twenty-five years after the Karloff film and VERY different).
On the one hand, director Matt Reeves avoids the most glaring liability of the near-perfect original (no CGI cat attack sequence).
On the other hand, he also avoids the single most disturbing image (and all that it entailed, which was even worse in the book) from the original while leaving in the provocative line "I'm not a girl!"
On the one hand, Reeves tops the original with a suspense-action sequence (set in a car by a minimart) that's completely his own.
On the other hand, he drags out a climactic sequence involving a police officer to overwrought SILENCE OF THE LAMBS levels, even though we all KNOW how it's going to turn out (if you didn't see the original, the trailer spoiled it nice and proper just in case).
On the one hand, the casting is terrific: I may have thought THE ROAD was seriously overrated, but it wasn't the fault of young Kodi Smit-McPhee; and anyone who saw KICK ASS just KNEW that Chloe Moritz was GOING places. The horrors of bullying hurt just as effectively here as they did in the original, and the characters (even though reduced in number from the source) come through very strongly in all cases.
On the other hand... no, not this time. There is no other hand. LET ME IN suffers from coming out too soon after the original, true enough. But it's a very honorable adaptation of the source material and should not be blithely dismissed. It's a remake in a way that THE CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN (to give but one example) certainly WASN'T, but it ain't Gus Van Sant's PSYCHO and it ain't QUARANTINE, either. It's a decent film and very much worth seeing on its own.
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