After watching Let Me In last night, I was determined to see the original. Let the Right One In has a 98% on Rotten Tomatoes and I’d heard from a few sources that it was better than the American Version. My experience, that is usually the opinion of many..the foreign is better. In this case, I enjoyed the American version more.
The plot is the same as my review for Let Me In except different actors and different names for the most part. The American film has much of the same dialogue and camera work with a few exceptions. One aspect I thought was very successful in the American version was the way the mother was never clearly depicted. I felt that really added to the story, and in the original the issues with the mother wasn’t quite as clear.
The acting of Kodi Smit-McPhee and Chloe Grace Moretz seems stronger than that of Kare Hederbrant and Lina Leandersson. Although, Lina Leandersson did a very strong performance that was much closer in quality to Moretz than Hederbrant to Smit-McPhee. There is a scene in both films where Eli/Abby puts her hand on her father’s face. In Let the Right One In it looks very awkward and unnatural, where Moretz manages to make it look sentimental.
Another major difference in the films is who is hunting Eli/Abby. Eli is being hunted by a group of friends of which she was seen killing one. Abby is being hunted by the police for questioning. This changes aspects of the two films and I don’t think either really makes that much of a difference. Except…for the cat attack.
The circumstances after Eli’s second attack are very different than Abby’s second attack. To avoid additional spoilers I won’t go into details. Both films have an odd element to the following scenes though, and I’m not sure which one is weirder…but cat attack may have it.
I think both films are great. I love the story of both (essentially the same) and I think the American version just edges out with talent. The tone and structure for both films have made this one extremely memorable and I’ll rate this film just like the other, a Must See Film. With that though, I’d say pick one and stick with it and forget the other exists. Watching both doesn’t add much and I think it will come down to preference.