Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last year or so, horror fans, then you already know that Matt Reeves’ latest project, Let Me In, is the American-style twist on Tomas Alfredson’s haunting 2008 Swedish film Let the Right One In.
Keeping in mind the entertainment culture we all exist in currently, where it seems like every other genre project announced is a remake in some fashion, Let Me In is one project that this writer has been following very closely since the news first broke in early 2009.
Now with its October 1st release date getting closer, Dread Central had the chance to speak to the Let Me In director and cast while they were on hand at the 2010 San Diego Comic-Con to promote their endeavor and find out just how Let Me In compares to Alfredson’s Let the Right One In and why, no matter what the language, this haunting story of love and revenge resonates with everyone who worked on the project.
Veteran actor Richard Jenkins, who portrays Abby’s guardian in the film, actually had no idea that Let Me In was considered a remake when he first signed up for the project.
“I actually didn’t know there was another movie when I signed on for Let Me In,” explained Jenkins. “Then I found out about it and had heard all of the accolades it received so that made me nervous to even see it still.”
“Hearing how great it was and how high the bar was raised with that take on the story certainly was a lot of pressure and not necessarily what I needed to hear when building my confidence to take on this role,” Jenkins joked, “but in all seriousness, I think what Matt has done here is something truly beautiful.”
Chloe Moretz, who astounded genre fans with her breakthrough portrayal of tweener crime fighter Hit Girl in Kick Ass, had the daunting task of portraying Abby, a mysterious teen who befriends a lonely neighbor boy named Owen and struggles with her own immortality and the pain of never growing any older than when she first became a vampire. For the ingénue, it was a demanding but rewarding role.
“Abby is such a complicated character,” explained Moretz. “That makes it really difficult to just pigeonhole her as only a vampire. She is still a kid in many ways, but she’s also 300 years old. Abby hasn’t become a woman yet, and because she’s still an adolescent that yearns to become a woman, she has to figure out her place. Even though she’s an old soul deep down who has seen so much in 300 years, she thinks she knows so much, but in reality, she really doesn’t.”
For the role of Owen, Reeves found an up-and-coming Australian actor Kodi Smit-McPhee to be the essence of a tragic teenager tormented by his home life as well as his peers. Smit-McPhee, who wowed audiences in last year’s The Road (alongside Viggo Mortensen), spoke about tapping into the character of Owen and finding out what makes him tick.
Smit-McPhee said, “Owen is a really isolated kid. He’s got a whole world he’s conjured up inside his head so that he can deal with getting bullied at school and the fact that his parents don’t seem that involved with his life. When he meets Abby, he finally feels like he has a friend and someone that he can look forward to seeing every day. For him it is an immediate connection between them.”
Reeves, who became somewhat of a pop culture icon himself with his 2008 breakout hit Cloverfield, discussed with Dread Central how much John Ajvide Lindqvist’s novel spoke to him and how he adapted the story for US audiences.
“I think Alfredson’s film is a masterpiece, and I don’t think anything we’ve done with Let Me In can touch the integrity of that film. The original novel just really touched me, and I completely related to the story from what I experienced in my own childhood. My goal was to take this story and translate it into an American context while still remaining faithful to the source material,” said Reeves.
“Lidqvist grew up in the 80s, like me, and when I met with him for this film, we talked about how a lot of the story is semi-autobiographical for him and how we related to each other on that level,” Reeves added. “I feel like I’ve done a great job by doing his experiences and this story justice but putting it into a more personal context within my own way of storytelling. I know there will be comparisons between the two films, but I feel like ours is solid enough to stand on its own two feet.”
Check out more from everyone in our exclusive Comic-Con video interviews below.
Let Me In – SD Comic-Con Interviews
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