(On DVD, March 2011) Like most people who enjoyed the Swedish horror film Låt den rätte komma in (Let the Right One In), I really wasn’t looking forward to its American remake: why trifle with such a recent and solid film? But as (re)writer/director Matt Reeves shows, it’s possible for big-budget American films to understand what works in their source material and make sure that the same quality is preserved in the remake. Purists will be happy to note that few of the essentials have been changed in Let Me In: The story beats are similar and the imagery is familiar. The adaptation is more accessible to American audiences, but not necessarily blunter or more exploitative. From time to time, the remake even improves on a few sequences: The remake’s highlight is a spectacular in-car shot leading to a crash, Reeves finds comfort in yellow sodium-vapour streetlamps and both young actors are very good in the lead roles. In fact, the only thing I really miss from the original is the finale’s haunting underwater one-shot, here replaced by a far less effective series of more conventional cuts. Taken on its own, Let Me In remains a good horror film, effective in part because it differs from genre conventions and doesn’t bow to expectations. The relationship between hero and vampire is disturbing in its own right, while the coda suggests that the pair’s future reflects another pair earlier in the film. While this remake was still largely unnecessary, it’s good to see Reeves succeed at another genre-horror outing after the spectacular Cloverfield: he did the best anyone could be expected to do with a difficult project.