Photo Credit: Magnolia Pictures
Vampire movies tend to fall into two camps: the kind with super-attractive charismatic vampires (Twilight, Interview with the Vampire, Bram Stoker's Dracula) and the kind with creepy unnerving vampires (Martin, Nosferatu, Salem's Lot). That's one of many reasons why last year's Swedish film Let the Right One In is one of the best vampire movies ever: it manages to be both.
Let the Right One In, soon to be remade in Hollywood as Let Me In, is about Oskar, a lonely 12-year-old boy who develops a treacherous friendship with an ancient vampire. The twist is that the vampire, Eli, is a girl his age -- or in the character's words: "I'm 12. But I've been 12 for a very long time." Eli is a monster who needs human blood to survive, but she is also Oskar's first love, and their near-romance ends in a finale that's half terrifying gore, half "aww, that's so sweet!"
When the American remake was announced, film fans were concerned that the characters would be made into teenagers (a la Twilight), thereby robbing Eli of her creepy innocence. Lucky for us, director Matt Reeves (the filmmaker behind another unconventional horror movie, Cloverfield) is sticking to the source material. He's cast 12-year-old Chloe Moretz as vampire Abby (guess "Eli" was too Scandinavian). Filmgoers might recall Moretz as the little-sister confidant in (500) Days of Summer, while those of you with kids know her as the voice of Darby on the Disney Playhouse show My Friends Tigger and Pooh. Oskar, now Owen, will be played by 11-year-old Kodi Smit-McPhee, who knows how to handle dark material. He's playing The Boy in this month's much-anticipated film adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's The Road. The rest of the American cast includes Shutter Island's Elias Koteas (he'll always be Casey Jones to us!), The Hangover's Sasha Barrese, The Sopranos' Carla Buono and The Visitor's Richard Jenkins.
If the American remake is half as good as the Swedish original, audiences are in luck. The movie is being fast-tracked to come out next year, probably to make sure that we all see it before we're totally sick of vampire movies.
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