Look, I really tried to view this without prejudice and in its own right, but this US remake of the Swedish “Let The Right One In” is a strange beast and it’s impossible not to make comparisons if you’ve seen both.
This film suffers from having things that are merely suggested at in the original being made explicit and thereby removing the eeriness – whether that’s the overdone CGI (wolf eyes, again, really?), the grating Romeo & Juliet references, the chronology chop-up to add instant drama in preference to a slow build-up, to name but a few. What was interesting was how some scenes were reproduced almost exactly from the original, but others completely rewritten mainly, it appeared, in order to fit with the very car-dependent nature of US life.
It seems as though the aim was to make the story fit into the mainstream horror formula, but for me, at least, it totally destroyed the atmosphere of the original. The over-loud ambient music that drowned out some of the dialogue didn’t help either.
Chloe Moretz seemed oddly miscast and ill at ease in this role; Kodi Smit-McPhee did a fair job but was too obviously a pretty boy made to look a bit geeky (a shoo-in for playing the young Ashton Kutcher if there’s ever a biopic, though).
The fact that there’s still a watchable film at the end of this remake is thanks to the strength of the original story and not to the cosmetic surgery that’s been inflicted on it to make it palatable to US tastes.