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Stephen King Names 'Let Me In' The Best Movie Of 2010

by Kevin Jagernauth
November 24, 2010 5:57 AM
7 Comments
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Geeks love to champion films but it seems that this year, they either stayed away or couldn't convince anyone other than their Internet friends to go to the movies. "Kick-Ass" and "Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World" failed to set the box office on fire, but perhaps most deserving of mainstream appreciation and fanboy admiration, Matt Reeves' "Let Me In" was unfairly and unfortunately overlooked when it hit theaters last month.

As much as his taste can be dubious -- in past years the author has listed the likes of "Death Race," "Lakeview Terrace," "The Ruins" and "The Last House on the Left" as his favorites -- Stephen King gets applause from us this year for topping his best of 2010 movies list with "Let Me In," a move we hope will get the film the exposure it needs. The remake of Tomas Alfredson's cult hit "Let The Right One In," is arguably even better, delivering a more realized world, strong performances from both Kodi Smit-McPhee and Chloe Moretz and solid special effects. Reeves nailed the tone and tenor the film required, while delivering a film that is more emotionally satisfying and rich than its predecessor. Oh yeah, and the score by Michael Giacchino is ace. In fact, don't be surprised to find it on our list of the best flicks of year when we get ours out later next month.

Anyway, check out the rest of King's list after the jump. It's not entirely terrible, just don't expect anything resembling arthouse fare. And this might be the only place you'll find the ridiculous "Takers" on any year end lists. [EW print edition via /Film]

10. Green Zone – “one Iraq war movie that puts story and suspense above shrill outrage.”
9. Jackass 3D
8. Monsters
7. Splice
6. Kick-Ass
5. Takers – “This satisfyingly complex cops-’n'-robbers movie features great performances … and the armored-car heist is the best action sequence I’ve seen this year.”
4. The Social Network – “succeeds where Michael Douglas; Wall Street sequel fails.”
3. Inception
2. The Town – “Bad title, fantastic movie. … a strangely intimate film”
1. Let Me In

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7 Comments

  • googergieger | November 25, 2010 5:09 AMReply

    Simple question. If you watch Let The Right One In and don't see Let Me In(which I did) will you be missing out on an actual new story? Honestly does Let Me In tell a story not found in Let The Right One In? Does it serve any purpose? What will you get from Let Me In that isn't found in Let The Right One In? It is a remake. It's beyond a fact it's a remake. It changes things on a superficial level. All reviews have said all that is artful and meaningful in the remake is found in the original. Seriously folks, you can like the movie. It's a good movie. Just a pointless one. I mean seriously, you read the reviews for Let Me In and wonder why Gus Van Sant's Psycho was so hated.

  • RT Jones | November 25, 2010 2:33 AMReply

    Just jumping back in to add a couple of more thoughts to the conversation. First, I do not think it demeans Let Me In to call it a remake. The Magnificent Seven is a great western (one of my all time favorites) and is a remake of one of the great films of all time, the Seven Samurai (one of my top 5 films period). There are many other examples of excellent movies that are remakes so, while I do think Let Me In is a remake, I don’t think that is an insult – and I did think that Let Me In was good, just not nearly as good as the original (just my opinion). Second, Daniel Thron mentions below how he thinks the original frames the vampire as a predator, unlike the new one. I think that goes right to what I was referring to in my rebuttal review below – that different people can watch Let the Right One In and come out with totally different views about Eli’s motivations – and Eli’s and Oskar’s future. Being the optimist (or, perhaps, just Pollyannaish) I saw both love and need as being the motivation for both Eli and Abby – love of the human boy and need for companionship (or a daytime guard/blood supplier), but I saw the love as being even stronger in the original. However, both Eli and Abby want to be loved and taken care of – just like any 12-year old (emotional 12-year old, at least). Also, I never saw Eli as being a consciously deceptive creature or, at least, not as much as Abby – but, again, that is what I loved about the original – that different people can come out of it with totally contrasting views about what is happening and the points that are being made. Anyway, I have read interviews with Tomas Alfredson (the original’s director) where he thinks of the story as a love story – one that transcends sex and gender – but that he also wanted to allow viewers to come to their own conclusions about motivations, etc, as does the book (although I understand that we shouldn't always put too much stock in what the director or writer says about their own work). Finally, I think it is great that these two movies generate such interest and loyalty among so many of us – and I also hope both are seen by a lot more people in the future.

  • Jordan | November 24, 2010 11:55 AMReply

    Both 'Let Me In' and 'Let The Right One In' are incredible films. 'Let Me In' is not simply a remake. It is one of the best films I've seen in a long time. Anyone that hasn't seen 'Let Me In' but likes to talk trash about it only does so to fill a void by spewing hate on the internet, one of the most sad ways to make oneself satisfied.

  • Daniel Thron | November 24, 2010 10:26 AMReply

    Happy to join The Playlist in the minority on this one, and am excited to see this film get the credit it deserves. Let Me In is not simply a remake; it also plays as a companion piece to the original; using identical sequences to make an entirely opposite point. I actually feel about the original films ending the way RT above feels about the new one -- though I don't mean it as a criticism. The original frames her more as a predator, and him the unsuspecting victim; whereas in the new one, instead of being revealed as a deceptive creature, she is represented as a real little girl who actually cares about the boy, but feels locked in by her life. Likewise the boy realizes early on what is happening, and, it seems to me, makes a conscious choice to go ahead with it because he loves her. The film is about making choices of the moment versus those made long term - both Morning in America/ Reagan theme, and the Now and Later song being the most direct phrasings of the concept. The girl is the literalization both the inevitable happiness and inevitable dread of the boys future. The film is an extension, and an exploration of the original -- not a 'remake,' and I hope it finds greater success on DVD.

  • googergieger | November 24, 2010 10:00 AMReply

    Let me add to what Jones said. As I agree with him and the overwhelming majority. One shouldn't get a free pass thanks to hindsight. Reeves went in with only that. Here's a great near perfect movie. Let me take some of the complaints found in the original from a small but vocal minority and make those changes happen. That isn't art or talent, that's hindsight. You shouldn't tackle a remake because you can make a movie slightly better. You see two movies and they both tell the same story, except one has a genuine heart and soul and the other is a superficial robot that shows. Let Me In is indeed a good movie made out of a great one.

  • Damien | November 24, 2010 9:14 AMReply

    Here, here RT Jones, I could not have said it better. Kudos for a great rebuttal review.

  • RT Jones | November 24, 2010 7:48 AMReply

    “… arguably better [than Let the Right One In].” After reading dozens of reviews and surveying various review aggregators, I have to say that yours is a minority opinion. Nothing wrong with that, and often the minority opinion is correct – just not this time. Where the original was subtle and complex, allowing viewers to come to their own conclusions about the motivations of the vampire and the future of the two lead characters (conclusions that can change with multiple viewings), the remake led viewers by the hand to one, and only one, possibility – a repeating circle of young boys recruited to become protectors/suppliers. And the obviousness of the remake was furthered by the dialogue (e.g., “maybe I want to get caught” – Duh! Show it (as in the original), don’t say it – from creative writing 101) – as well as by the musical score’s heavy-handed cues. Also, while the acting by the child actors in the remake was quite good, it still failed to achieve the dream-like naturalness of the two Swedish youngsters. No, Let Me In was a good remake – but it copied the visuals of the original, eliminated the complexities from the plot, and added special effects that took away from the story – making it something much less than Let the Right One In.

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