From its inception, Let Me In has faced a good deal of opposition from fans loyal to its source material. While director Matt Reeves and co. have made an admirable go of assuaging fan fears and earning the benefit of the doubt, a basic resistance to the concept of a Let the Right One In remake has persisted.
In a recent interview (as relayed to us by Cinematical), producer Simon Oakes continued this campaign for the fans’ goodwill by speaking about the motivations behind Let Me In, as well as how it fits in with the Hammer Films idea of horror. However, Oakes also made it clear that Let Me In is not a “re-imagining,” a label frequently slapped on films that have a high chance of angering a preexisting fan base.
I was always of the view that this was a beautiful story. …It’s a story that needs to be seen by a wider audience. …Frankly, [you must] not muck about the basic tenets of the story, which is important. More than anything else, stay true to the imagery and mystique and the mythology of the original, and set it in the right time as well, not update it in terms of its timing.
And from later in the interview:
If you call it a faithful remake, I think that’s true to say that’s what it is. It’s not a re-imagining; the same beats [are there]. Maybe the scares are a little bit more scary.
Oakes goes on to discuss the issues of budget pertaining directly to the quality of the scares, which has some fans running up red flags, but which I choose to interpret as a reference to the CGI cat attack in the original and nothing else. This is probably because I’m still in denial. Let The Right One In was such a refreshing return to psychological horror, utilizing silence, stillness and long takes in ways that few genre films in recent memory have; the thought of an Americanized version constructed to appeal to a wider film-going audience has been unpalatable at best.
The decision to give the remake to Reeves, known for the kinetic and character-bereft Cloverfield (a fact pointed out on every Let Me In poster), has been of little reassurance, though Oakes speaks to this, too, describing Reeves as “a very sensitive, smart director”.
We immediately fell in love with Matt and his take; he loved the original, so we felt that he was going to honor it, which is very important. Secondly, I think there’s something, and I don’t know if he’d like me saying this, quite autobiographical of his own life in the life of Owen, in some respect — where he came from, and his background and so forth. That was important. …He’s astonishing. He has a fantastic intellect, a great imagination.
…really, I think it’s because he’s a storyteller, he knows how to tell a story. If you think of Cloverfield and you think of the technical difficulty in maintaining the focus of story in a film like that, the way he shot it, that was brilliant – to be able to do that, to keep us there, to keep us watching and engaged. I think one of Matt’s great qualities is that he’s a genuinely great storyteller.
It’s this focus on story, character and an avoidance of what Oakes has referred to as “torture porn” and “gornography,” which he believes makes Let Me In the ideal movie with which to relaunch Hammer Films, an aim that makes the venture doubly ambitious. Harboring what could reasonably be described as an abhorrent dislike of torture porn, myself, I have to admit to finding myself hopeful. In a Hostel world, a little Hammer would somehow be reassuring.
The Let Me In cast (top) and their Let The Right One In counterparts
The interview in its entirety is lengthy, in-depth and gives an interesting look into where Oakes sees both Let Me In and Hammer Films going, as well as how they will be presented to the American audience at large. Read it in its entirety by going HERE.
Let Me In will be in theaters on October 1, 2010.
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