COMIC-CON 2010: Slowly but surely, ‘Let Me In’ builds some goodwill

July 25, 2010 | 1:20 a.m.
Let-me-in-poster-usa-01

Let Me In” began the long, Scandinavian road to fan acceptance Saturday, as Overture Films, Hammer Films, director Matt Reeves and the cast went in front of the Comic-Con faithful to plead their case.

Director Reeves, evincing the look of a Silicon Valley programmer and the speaking style of a professor, acknowledged right off the bat that he was facing an uphill climb. “A lot of people are worried,” he said. “I  love that movie. The thing is, that movie will exist…. This is another interpretation that I hope you’ll love.”

Reeves’ remake has taken heat practically since it was announced, as ardent fans of Tomas Alfredson‘s original “Let the Right One In” have questioned the need for a new film. The release of the trailer did little to quell those fears, showcasing little more than an assemblage of generic horror-movie scenes.

But footage shown at Comic-Con — including a scene between young vampire Abby (Chloe Moretz) and her caretaker (Richard Jenkins) was more reassuring, reflecting a movie that is manifestly more restrained and mood-driven than the trailer would suggest (if not quite as Gothically affecting as the Swedish original).

Jenkins said he sought the emotional depth that would elevate his role beyond innumerable entries into the genre.”I love the idea of trying to make a human being out of someone who does what he does,” he said.

And Reeves, who resisted the urge to age up the preteen characters and also insisted on setting the film in the 1980s, said he sought to recreate a Reagan-era suburbia in line with Alfredson’s soulless Stockholm suburbs. (He did, however, acknowledge the need to leave some things out from John Lindqvist‘s original book: “If you put everything  in from the novel, you’d have a 10-hour miniseries.”)

“Let Me In” still has plenty of ground to cover before its October premiere, not least on the business side, where the commitment of an in-transition Overture to a broad, heavily-supported release remains a question. On Saturday, at least, it won a small battle.

– Steven Zeitchik

“Let Me In” poster: Overture Films

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