Let the Right One In

It has to be the simplest motivation out there – it’s even excusable at times. You can’t fight hunger, right? And if your meal of choice happens to be the earth’s self-proclaimed dominant species then well, you’re going to have to get a bit creative. Like all predators, the secret is to surprise your prey. As the following list will show, this can be done many ways – some much more creative than others.

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Tomas Alfredson‘s directorial follow-up to the beloved Let the Right One In is, on the outside, appears to be a drastically different film. Taken at face value, Let the Right One In is about a boy following in love with a vampire and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy is about the search for a high-powered government mole. Digging deeper, both films are startlingly, but beautifully similar. They’re stories about repressed loners, even down to the smallest of characters and the most intimate of moments. At the center of the lonely bunch is George Smiley, played by Gary Oldman, in an all internal and “it’s-in-the-eyes” performance. Very few spies are as emasculated, cold, and unsuave as Smiley & Co. Unlike the Bonds and Bournes of the spy world, by the end of this film, no one will wish they were these characters of the Circus. A few weeks ago I had a chance to sit down with both Alfredson and Oldman for a quick interview where we discussed the paranoia-causing structure of the film, the gray enigma of George Smiley, and how much politer British spies are.

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We continue our journey through a month of frightening, bloody and violent films. For more, check out our 31 Days of Horror homepage. Synopsis: Based on the novel “Let the Right One In” by John Ajvide Lindqvist the film Let Me In is relocated from Sweden to Los Alamos, New Mexico. Owen (Kodi Smit-McPhee) is a friendless boy, a victim of bullies at school. Not a day goes by when he isn’t pushed, shoved, harassed and threatened. With no one to turn to, not a friend, or teacher, not even his parents who are consumed by a bitter divorce, Owen retreats into  violent fantasies of revenge. One night a man (Richard Jenkins) and his daughter Abby (Chloe Moretz) move into the apartment complex and Owen becomes curious about the girl who only comes out at night, sits in the cold with no shoes or coat, but seems untouched by the frigid New Mexico winter. She looks ragged, she smells bad, her hair is lank and her are eyes dull. But even so, Owen is drawn to her. The next time he sees her she’s been transformed, no longer sickly looking, she looks like a pretty little girl. Owen will learn she’s without a doubt different from any girl he’s ever met.

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Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy comes to us thanks to Tomas Alfredson, who is best known to horror freaks as the director of the original Let the Right One In, which is nervy and terrifying and better than just about any other vampire film made, oh, well, pretty much ever. Now it looks as if Alfredson is trying to do for the spy genre what he did for the vampire genre – basically, make it exciting and interesting again. The loverly Rob Hunter showed us the first trailer for the film back in June, and I proceeded to slobber all over it like I’d never seen a piece of movie marketing before. The film features an all-star cast packed with badasses, including Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, Mark Strong, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ciaran Hinds, Mark Strong, Toby Jones, John Hurt, and Stephen Graham. It’s essentially as if every single actor you’ve ever wanted to see in a spy flick got together and made that spy flick, but made it much more clever than you would have been able to craft on your own.

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Boiling Point

Oh remakes. Certainly tons and tons have already been written about them. My hat’s in that ring too. I’ve said a few things here and there, though often I’ve gone against the grain. I don’t hate remakes. Some movies can be done better. When that’s the case, why not give it a shot? Did anyone think Mother’s Day was untouchable? Of course not. Then again, certain films can’t be made better. John Carpenter’s The Thing, itself a remake, is practically a perfect film. For now, classics like Casablanca and Gone with the Wind remain untouched, and that’s good. The odds of anyone making those particular stories better are low. Then there are the foreign films. Despite Rob Hunter’s best efforts, wide audiences aren’t really that interested in reading subtitles. Some films do quite well for themselves with subtitles, but whether it’s the audience or just the studios, subtitles don’t sell. So foreign films generally get short theatrical runs and DVD releases. If you want to see that story on the big screen, generally someone has to remake it. Or hey, there are plenty of completely unknown foreign films that are dug up and the stories remade, without many people even knowing that film already existed somewhere else. The point is this: sometimes remakes make sense. Sometimes they’re good. But in the modern age, with that series of tubes called the internet and a massive selection of titles available on DVD, domestic and imported, the speed at which films are being […]

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr strikes out against… well, pretty much everyone reviewing movies by taking issue with The Social Network. Sue him if you don’t agree, or friend him at Facebook.com/FatGuysattheMovies. But while he cringes under the weight of Jesse Eisenberg’s smug Michael Cera impression, he also rejoices in October being officially here and all the horror movies the month of Halloween promises to bring. Up first, he cowers in a dark theater to the likes of Let Me In and Case 39.

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While the question of whether Let Me In is going to live up to Let the Right One In, the more important question is when we’ll get to see Tomas Alfredson’s new project – Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. The easy answer is: next year. The right answer is: not soon enough. Now, the inspired cast of Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, and Tom Hardy is being added onto by Mark Strong (who will also be appearing as Sinestro in next year’s Green Lantern). It’s also been confirmed that the story will stay firmly in the Cold War era, as novelist John Le Carre intended it. Has there ever been a more highly-anticipated film with so many commas in the title? [The Playlist]

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Alfred Hitchcock’s name gets tossed around a lot when it comes to suspense, but the truth is that this clip from Let Me In is (at the very least) the spiritual tradition of the master handed down and set to a soundtrack featuring Blue Oyster Cult. The movie is pulling double duty – attempting to present itself to an audience oblivious of its existence while proving itself to the scores of Let The Right One In fans who bristle at the thought of such a great film being remade so quickly. I found myself in that category, but after seeing this clip at Comic-Con, I found myself energized – excited to see the film at Fantastic Fest. And, yes, that’s Richard Jenkins jumping out of the backseat to kill that poor young man. That is, if he can actually get the job done:

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Filling up seconds with paragraphs of words, director Matt Reeves impressed a full Comic-Con crowd with his technical knowledge and his film fandom. Those who could keep up with him, at least. The man spoke in the knowing pace of a hundred miles a minute with an audience fortunate to catch words like Hitchcock, Kino, and Dutch Angle like pennies from Heaven amongst the strikingly long statements. It was his expertise and passion that held everyone captive, but it was also the names he dropped. Not in the form of famous talent he’s sat down to lunch with, but in the form of the films that truly inspired him while working on Let Me In. After some impressive footage, it seems like these films sunk in deep. Thus, by way of a mini-Masters class on the subject, here are the four films that Matt Reeves kept in the forefront of his mind while shaping his coming-of-age vampire film.

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This week, Landon uses a trip to the bar to watch the World Cup as a catalyst for discussing nationality (and a lack of it) in films throughout the last 60 years – culminating in a look of the broad, international flavor (and financing) of modern films.

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Your daily recommended allowance of random movie stuff, stories that fell through the cracks, and news you can’t use.

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Let Me In Movie

“Anyone expecting the frenetic pacing and whiplash visuals of Cloverfield . . . will be shocked by his new film’s stillness, as well as the patient and exacting mood that Reeves is working to create.”

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As you may have noticed, the blogosphere is all a-twitter with Best of the Decade lists. To our credit, we here at FSR have published two lists. Now it is time to look at what everyone else is saying…

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decade_foreignfilms

As part of our epic, two week long Decade in Review, master of the Foreign Objects Rob Hunter lays down his picks of the best foreign language films of the decade.

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decade_coroner

Robert Fure takes a trip down memory lane and examines the most entertaining, most violent, and most significant horror films of the past decade.

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letmeincasting

We were all blown away by the original and now the U.S. will have a shot at it with Richard Jenkins, Chloe Moretz, and Kodi Smit-Mcphee. But are they headed in the right direction with this cast? You be the judge. That way we don’t have to form an opinion.

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scream-awards-header

The wait is finally over. The anticipation all year long, the bittersweet uncertainty, the constant flaming of people that don’t like Twilight and Transformers 2 on the Internet, and having to actually sit through Spike TV programming have once again come to fanboy fruition.

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shout-descent

With Rob Zombie’s Halloween II and the fourth installment in the Final Destination series out in theaters this weekend, FSR’s resident Devil’s Advocate Josh Radde and guest Adam Sweeney decided not to debate between the two franchises, but rather: what is the best horror film of the decade?

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alfredson-tinker

The director of ‘Let The Right One In’ has already shown his skill at handling children, but will he have the same touch with cantankerous old men?

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With Neil kidnapped by a madman who hunts down The Most Dangerous Game, Cole is left to his own devices. Luckily, we’ve got special guest co-host Eric Vespe from Aint It Cool News to partake in the mid-show dance break. It’s called the Rumpshaker, friends. Also, we talk about movies at some point.

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