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Remakes are not always necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes it can even be an improvement over the original, due to an higher budget or more and better experienced people involved, both in front and behind the cameras. But there are also certain remakes that don't try to be bigger and better than the original movie and mostly simply rely on the original material, that was good enough as it was already. This is one of those remakes. You could perhaps say that it's playing things simply safe by trying to remain loyal to the original or you could also say it's being respectful toward its original material and makes the movie and story simply more accessible and available to a broader audience. I certainly didn't mind the movie taking this kind of approach and it's still different enough with little things and nuances to allow this movie to coexist, alongside the original and to also consider this a watchable and good movie, even if you're already familiar with the original one.

Some people claim this is simply being a shot-by-shot remake of the 2008 Swedish movie "Låt den rätte komma in" but people probably only say this because both movies have a very similar visual style and some sequences and pieces of dialog are being exactly the same. But really, there is still plenty of difference between the two movies. Not just minor story changes but some characters are simply completely left out or added into the movie.

Then the unavoidable question of which movie is the better one? Well, both are in some ways better than the other. For instance, in the original the whole relationship and friendship between the two main characters worked out far better and more convincing, while in this movie there are less distractions and it really mainly focuses on its main plot line and 2 main characters. In other words; both movies are good in their own way, despite them being the same, in a lot of ways.

The foremost thing I like about this movie is that it's a kid's movie but a very dark one. It's horror but not kid's horror that got done in a very fluffy or exaggerated way, in order to be more safe and considerate toward children and their 'tender, unspoiled' souls. It's really not holding back with anything and basically the movie got done like any other horror production. It takes its young audience more serious in that regard and this really pays off.

Because it's a serious and very straightforward done film, it's also very good to watch for adults as well. Really, people of all ages should be able to appreciate the drama, horror and mystery of this movie and everybody will get something (different) out of it.

It's a well done and subtle told movie, that isn't necessarily fast paced but yet never boring. It always remains a humble film, that mostly just sticks to its two main characters, giving this movie also a somewhat more realistic feeling, despite its fantasy concept. Its dark and moody atmosphere strengthens the movie its themes and characters and besides ensures that the movie has good look to it, all throughout.

A movie worth seeing for everyone, even if you have already seen the original.

8/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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