Thursday, February 10, 2011

Europe is Just Creepier

I watched two versions of the same movie within the same month.  I thought that it wouldn't matter as one was the original foreign concept and the other is the American Redux. Surprisingly, the American version was scene for scene the same as the other.  To be honest, watched might be an overstatement.  I'll explain in a minute.

The movie was "Let Me In"



The foreign version was "Let the Right One In" from Sweden



They call it a Romantic Horror Film!

We watched the Swedish version on Netflix streaming.  It was a phenomenal movie.  Minimal special effects, it was all about the characters.  So while the film is about a vampire and thus has a creep factor anyway, the real creepiness comes from the silence.  There wasn't a soundtrack to the Swedish original.  The silence added to the coldness and discomfort.  Truly a great enhancement to the normal gut wrench.

We received the DVD of "Let Me In" much sooner than expected.  We popped it in expecting to see an American retake with considerable flair.  It wasn't there.  The story was nearly identical.  Music on the other hand was present.  I'm not going to say it took away from the movie, because it didn't.  It's just evident that as Americans, we have a need to fill every inch of film with noise. 

Back to that part about watching being an overstatement.  We finally stopped the movie about 25 minutes in.  It wasn't enticing at all.  I asked my wife why they remade it at all?  Is it so hard to read subtitles?  The obvious answer is yes.  I'm not going to claim I enjoy reading subtitles, but I'm certainly not unable to enjoy a subtitled movie.  I get that they were impressed by the original and probably the book (I didn't read it) so why not capitalize on it?  It wasn't my cup of tea.

I wonder if my reaction would have been as harsh had a year passed between viewings.  I'm sure there would be considerable slack.  Alas, I was just bored and couldn't get through it.  I'd recommend watching one or the other.  The story itself is compelling and definitely worth a view. 

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