Groans could be heard from horror fans when it was announced earlier this year that there would be an American remake of the very cool 2008 Danish vampire film " Let the Right One In," which became a cult hit on DVD.
It's a dreamy, surreal, downtrodden tale of a young boy who discovers that his young girl neighbor needs blood to survive — and gets it.
The film is a beautiful work of moving art, with lush, haunting visuals, and there's a brilliantly conceived underwater attack scene near its climax that had cinephiles drooling (a DVD extra went into great detail about how the scene was shot).
So we fans of the film were dismayed to learn that our underground "find" would be Americanized. We feared it would be dumbed down for the masses and trade its eerie subtlety with the jump-and-scream tactics found in so many mainstream horror films. The title was even changed to be more literal: " Let Me In." Sigh.
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It wasn't exactly reassuring, either, that the director would be Matt Reeves, whose previous credits included the special-effects-laden, shaky-camera monster flick "Cloverfield" and the dead-on-arrival David Schwimmer comedy "The Pallbearer."
The whiny squeals could be heard throughout the blogosphere (or maybe that was just me): Why can't Hollywood just leave good films alone?
But scenes from the remake were screened at the recent Comic-Con geekfest to rousing approval and full trailers have hit the Web (it'll be released in theaters Oct. 8). It looks to model closely the original's somber tone but not be a shot-for-shot retelling (Reeves has said his vision will be closer in narrative to the John Ajvide Lindqvist novel).
This new version certainly showcases some striking young talent, with Kodi Smit-McPhee (phenomenal as the kid in the little-seen "The Road") and Chloe Moretz (phenomenal as the kid in the slightly-more-seen "Kick-Ass") in the lead roles.
So it seems the ranting is turning into anticipation. And this week, an interesting online viral campaign was launched at www.helpme.net that matches the film's mysterious playfulness and reveals character history. Visitors to the site must answer a series of odd riddles to advance to the next level and reveal teasers to the film. It's fun and creative.
No word yet on whether the original's ending scene will be ruined — er, improved upon — in the new film.
Here's hoping at least that is left alone.
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Don't let the indies fade away — The wonderfully whimsical " Micmacs" is now playing at the eastside Warren Theatre. It's the newest from visually inventive director Jean-Pierre Jeunet, who gave us "City of Lost Children," "Amelie" and "A Very Long Engagement." The film, which is in French with English subtitles, likely won't be around long so catch it while you can.
It's a shame that the riveting documentary " Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work" departed Wichita after just a week, because it's a moving, insightful film that deserved to be seen.
But on Friday, " Get Low" is set to open in Wichita after playing at bigger markets for several months now. The film has Robert Duvall getting Oscar buzz as an elderly 1930s Tennessee coot who throws his own funeral while he's still alive, just to see who shows up. The film has been a festival favorite, and is also getting rave reviews for performances by Sissy Spacek and Bill Murray.
Look for my review in Friday's GO! section.