Let the Right One In vs. Let Me In

For discussion of Matt Reeve's Film Let Me In

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Re: Let the Right One In vs. Let Me In

Post by Nightrider » Fri Nov 07, 2014 8:54 pm

seigezunt wrote:I've been wondering if I should see LMI.
I own Let Me In on Blu-ray...simply to keep reminding myself what a great film Let The Right One In truly is.
You should definitely see LMI.
It will make you appreciate JAL's writing and Tomas Alfredson's filmmaking that much more.
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Re: Let the Right One In vs. Let Me In

Post by BravoHotel » Mon Dec 08, 2014 4:57 pm

Sauvin wrote: but it had sexual implication: when these children reached marriageable age, they tended not to choose partners they'd showered with.
I remember reading somewhere that children when growing up learn the scents of relatives, which they will spend a lot of time around and these scents prevent incest between family members by stopping attraction.
I'm not sure of how the mechanics of this work but, growing up around other children this mechanism could be a factor in this aversion to choosing partners they grew up with? :think:
"He's got a cracking smile but he can't dive for toffee."

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Re: Let the Right One In vs. Let Me In

Post by dongregg » Mon Dec 08, 2014 5:49 pm

BravoHotel wrote:
Sauvin wrote: but it had sexual implication: when these children reached marriageable age, they tended not to choose partners they'd showered with.
I remember reading somewhere that children when growing up learn the scents of relatives, which they will spend a lot of time around and these scents prevent incest between family members by stopping attraction.
I'm not sure of how the mechanics of this work but, growing up around other children this mechanism could be a factor in this aversion to choosing partners they grew up with? :think:
From Yahoo search: In college football, an old saying is that a tie game is “like kissing your sister.” Navy assistant director of athletics Edgar E. “Rip” Miller said “kissing your sister” in 1949, University of Kentucky football coach Paul Bryant was credited for it in 1952, and Navy football coach Eddie Erdelatz was credited for it in 1953.

A number of interesting experiments has shown that the constant reshuffling and recombination of DNA is a powerful contributor to how robust a species is. "Birds do it. Bees do it. Even educated fleas do it. Let's do it. Let's fall in love." We do everything because we want to (or to avoid consequences that we don't want). Not surprising, then, that nature builds encouragement and discouragement automatically into behavior that favors the health of a species. Thirsty? Feels good to drink. Too hot? Seek shade. Horny? Court someone. Since brothers and sisters share so many identical genes (first cousins share a lot, too), then marrying outside of your family makes sense. And, along with our dogs and cats, everybody we grow up with is "family" as far as our built-in regulatory responses are concerned.

So, winning a football game is like kissing someone else's sister? Roll Tide Roll. :twisted:
"True paradises are the paradises that one has lost."--Marcel Proust

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Re: Let the Right One In vs. Let Me In

Post by Pissball » Fri Jan 05, 2018 8:12 pm

I just watched both movies, again, yesterday, and the book is still fresh in my mind..
-Even though both characters are somehow the same (I think TA actually play with the cycle Idea) Hakan looks much more a pedo than Jenkins in LMI, also he looks till the end a loyal servant to Eli, while Jenkins looks "fucked up".
-Abby is incredible boring and one-dimentional, that's why LMI didn't gain "trascendence" it stands only in Chloe GM fanbase. Owen is better.
-LMI did a nice job on remaking LTROI, it keeps the slow pace and atmosphere, but more hollywood way, (giving by the score and photography mostly). But lost all it personality in the process.
-Owen is much more opressed than Oskar, and his relationship with Abby feels like his only way out, than a natural connection like Oskar and Eli's.
-Oskar is more isolated and lonely than opressed, and also he is more dorky and submissive than Owen. (Book's Oskar is more complex, and conflicted than both)
-The bullying is better executated in LMI, although that dude Kenny is insufferable, I prefer Conny.
-The pool massacre is also more related with LMI tone (Abby is a monster, the bullies are over-the-top and so is their deaths) than with LTROI (the bullyng is less severe, Oskar is actually a complete dork, two of the bullies are cleary upset with that, the fattie kid actually survives because of that, but the other dude is killed and I felt sorry for him LOL) so the whole secuence and Eli's action seems very exagerated, in fact this is the only time where the novel is more "subtle" than the movie.
-Abby's "growlings" and her shitty cgi-cat-vampire-spider moves are awfull. The cats in LTROI too.
-The "regulars" sub-plot does look akward, or out of place (in the movie) compared to LMI police plot. I wonder how would be use Staffan and Tommy as subplot.
-It's true what "Never Let Me In" (I think) says about constantly showing Abby's barefoot.
-Movie's Eli looks like a childish or younger (and innocent) version of book's Eli. Looks like JAL wrote her as a child in the movie, and as a preteen in the book.
-I can't see Lina's Eli interacting with Hakan and other characters like her paper "sister" does, except the woman with cancer. And even worse, put her in confrontation with Zombie Hakan.
-I don't see either Jenkins or Ragnar's Hakan returning as zombie-vampires, if that happened, Ragnar's Hakan would be a bruttish and clumsy but loyal and creepy GOLEM-like-protector for Eli, and Jenkins probably a brainless murderer zombie. But not rapists, since that lust is not likeable to be present in either character.
-Avila > Zoric.

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Re: Let the Right One In vs. Let Me In

Post by SpartanAltego » Fri Jan 05, 2018 10:31 pm

Let the Right One In (film) suffers from a lack of character depth for pretty much every actor outside of Eli and Oskar due to the streamlining of the story. The bullying is hilariously "cinema bullying" that lacks much of the visceral terror in the novel, the helplessness and fear. I always start laughing when Conny is on-screen, the kid is just so adorable trying to seem intimidating.

The use of leitmotif throughout the film is a touch too strong; sometimes it seems like the only track you hear is a portion of the complete Let the Right One In main theme. It's beautiful, transcendent, but if Star Wars only ever used variations of Duel of the Fates or The Godfather repeated the Immigrant Theme every twelve minutes for 2/3rds of every film's runtime it would quickly lose its novelty.

Kare and Lena are real treasures, it's a tragedy neither of them appear to be active in any silver screen projects. They have an on-screen presence that few actors can match, and they positively crackle when they share the light. The differing portrayals of their respective characters also make them memorable; Kare's Oskar is a little dorkier and warmer than Oskar of the book, removed of some of his darker elements which make him easier to empathize with. Lena's gotten endless praise in these circles so I don't think I need to lay out the reasons why she elevates the film.

There's also something to be said for the relatively light gore and the visual storytelling, the choices of scenery and backdrop. It lends a strong surrealist vibe to the film that makes it easy to suspend disbelief and accept the reality of vampires before your eyes. It's like a fairy tale. Yet it also means that the moments when you must feel the weight of violence before you (pick any death sequence), it falls too lightly. Nothing feels real enough, events slip to the side like the oddities you might notice while dreaming but dismiss during the experience.

The film boasts a powerful ease at compelling emotion from its audience via the score and the lead actors, but the problem is that the emotions aren't backed up by a contrasting weight of character and actions in the parts outside of the romance. The inclusion of the subplots such as Virginia and Lacke only weaken the film because they do not share the strength of the core narrative in acting or power; they distract the palette with merely serviceable portions instead of something just as bold and flavorful. So we're left with a mixture made from three parts great, one part silly, one part mediocre, and a missing spoonful of gravity.

Let Me In oddly inverts the formula I've just laid out. There's certainly a sense of gravity to the story, the violence, and everything that entails. It's downright oppressive - the intro is the aftermath of Tomas' experiment with pore cleanser, and the first two thirds of the film are told in restrospect. It sets a sense of doom on even the bonding between Owen and Abby, because the audience knows that something ugly will come in the future.

Wisely, Reeves knew that there simply wouldn't be enough runtime to tell the core story and subplots without them hindering one another. The film blitzes past and pays only the barest mind to its supporting cast in favor of putting a microscope on Owen, Abby, and - most engagingly - Tomas, Kenny, his tag-along bullies and his brother.

Excising the other storylines means the core story is not diluted by their presence, but it also serves another purpose because the film is very concerned with the nature of violence, and the interplay violence has with human emotion. Love, in particular, but also hate and the varying shades between. Owen's first act of retaliation against his oppressors comes from the emotional support offered by Abby, who gives him validation by telling him to strike back, that his suffering is unjust and undeserved. The very next scene they have is him going to Abby to excitedly tell her about the experience, what he did (on the surface for himself, but implicitly for her approval), and she rewards him with a kiss.

Tomas' devotion is also a form of love, one hat has been worn out by time and trials into something painfully recognizable. Domestic, even. Two people who merely care for each other, tolerate and resent at worst, but still have the barest connections to remain a pair. He kills for Abby out of love, even in the absence of any visible return of that devotion. The consequences of his love for Abby are what put the film in motion, with his botched attempts at securing her the blood she needs to live.

The bullies are humanized far more than the film (though less than the novel) through the single inclusion of Kenny's volatile relationship with his brother. It becomes immediately clear that the elder brother's example and bullying attitude is the mountain from which the waters of pain flow down, all the way to Owen. You have to wonder if Kenny's behavior is, in some way, a way to emulate and thus earn the love of his brother. There's always a root somewhere for a person's evil, says Let Me In. Nobody is born awful; Tomas was once a smiling kid in a photo booth, Abby kills only to live, and Kenny is merely a shadow of his brother's example. It's only through love that they are twisted: Tomas becomes a serial killer, Kenny becomes Owen's personal nightmare, and Abby commits the only murders on screen that cannot be justified by self preservation or sacrifice when she slaughters the bullies to save Owen.

"I'm burning, I'm burning for you..." says the radio as Tomas is in the car struggling with his final victim, shortly about to be burning in a more literal sense and having spent a good part of his life burning himself spiritually through the deeds of murder. Love is a fire that warms but also consumes, and whatever good is in you can be swallowed by the hunger of passion if you let it. And when you burn, chances are that fire will spread to someone else. Owen's love toward Abby leads him to propose a blood pact; Abby's love for him lets her resist her instincts and run away, deflecting them onto the Virginia-stand in who shortly thereafter burns in a tornado of flames. Owen was spared the fire because it was set on another; that's an implicit consequence of any relationship with Abby (and Eli, like it or not). Tossing the heat of your love on strangers so that you can continue to enjoy its light.

Let the Right One In is a story of love, yes, but also all the costs that come with it. The price of violence, the roots of violence, the ripple effects your actions have on others. The original adaptation captures the beauty of love, but it's only Let Me In that captures not only the sweet but the bitter of it all. It's common to prefer sweetness, even at the expense of narrative. Certainly that phenomena has been witnessed at play here in the troves of saccharine fanfiction, and the reaction to Let Me In strikes me as similar to the initial reaction to "Oskar at 40" among the forum. Too dark, too bitter, too far from the happy fantasy where only Oskar and Eli matter and their actions can never hurt their "pure" love or their "innocent" spirits.

Let Me In, like the novel, says that transcendent love is possible. But it has a price, and nothing can be obtained without consequence. It's really just too bad that Reeves seemed afraid to be too different, because we're left with a film that is frankly reasonably well made and has strengths, but is nowhere near the potential it could've had. It needed to create its own unique moments to underline its focus, the way Alfredson's film did. Eli vomiting out the candy and subsequently being hugged by Oskar is incredibly sweet and fairy-tale esque, befitting the focus of that narrative. Let Me In couldn't possibly capture the magic of that moment because Let Me In isn't about the same things that its opposite number is. The photo strip, Kenny being bullied by his brother, Tomas' relationship with Abby, those are all shining pieces of a greater narrative that sadly never entirely floriuishes. It's like stripping off pieces of one excellent piece of art and taping them over another: individually and whole they are both compelling and striking. But when it's just patched together you get disappointment because neither of those art pieces are whole, neither of them realize their entire potential.

Looking at Let the Old Dreams Die really helps me see why JAL approved of Let Me In as worthy in its own right. Because those little flashes in there of something original, the change in tone and focus, a lot of it is weird and different the way that LtODD was weird and different. Let Me In isn't entirely a retread of things we've seen before (though in some ways it is, to its detriment) and for many that seems a damnable offense. It's got strong lead actors, a unique take on the Oskar/Eli forumla via the sadder and less "pure" love between Owen and Abby, it has several excellent moments. But it isn't greater than the sum of its parts the way that Alfredson's take was, despite being competently made.

A crippling element is that Let Me In's soundtrack is just plain dull. It's painfully generic, soap-opera esque, to the point it undermines otherwise good scenes. I complain about the overuse of leitmotif in the original adaptation, but repeating a single transcendant track, while a little irksome, is still a step above just having an array of mediocre ones. If the composer had been different, Brain Reitzell being my premiere choice, oh how Let Me In might've shined.

When it's all said and done, the novel remains my favorite telling of the tale. But Let Me In is my favorite adaptation, because it does some elements differently and overall offers a different taste. Alfredson's fairy tale (and I do not use that term derogatively) is worthy, but it shows me little that I haven't already experienced in a deeper context in the novel.
"The dark is patient, and it always wins. But its weakness lies in its strength: a single candle is enough to hold it at bay. Love is more than a candle. Love can ignite the stars." - Matthew Stover

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Re: Let the Right One In vs. Let Me In

Post by gattoparde59 » Sun Jan 07, 2018 7:37 pm

SpartanAltego wrote:
Fri Jan 05, 2018 10:31 pm
When it's all said and done, the novel remains my favorite telling of the tale. But Let Me In is my favorite adaptation, because it does some elements differently and overall offers a different taste. Alfredson's fairy tale (and I do not use that term derogatively) is worthy, but it shows me little that I haven't already experienced in a deeper context in the novel.
That was a well thought out comparison giving valid reasons to favor Let Me . I guess I see Let the Right One In as a darker rendition than you do. The darkness is subtle, but very much present in the film. For example in Connie's first scene he simply flicks Oskar's nose, but emotionally we see a good bit more than one little indignity. Oskar actually reenacts his own degradation which takes place off screen (and was actually cut from the film). By the way I totally accepted Connie as a little monster.

Yes the film has a surreal fairy tale quality, but the dream-like qualities often become disturbing. I am not the first person to say that this is a dark fairy tale.

Ika Nord as Virginia worked for me by giving us another window into just how cursed Eli is as a vampire. I think the effort to tell her and Lacke's story paid dividends which are totally lacking in the Let Me In version.

I really liked the novel and comparing the novel and the film I find myself nodding and saying how well the different aspects of the novel were adapted for the film.

I'll break open the story and tell you what is there. Then, like the others that have fallen out onto the sand, I will finish with it, and the wind will take it away.

Nisa

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