Without wading into a debate about the relative merits of movie remakes, Hollywood or otherwise, it is only right that this film is viewed without taking into consideration the Swedish original. However, it does beg the question as to why it needed a remake in the first place, except to assume it was made for an American audience that won’t, or can’t, read subtitles.
Even though I think the US remake (from the revived Hammer Studios) deserves to judged on its own merits, in the interest of fair comparison I rewatched LET THE RIGHT ONE IN on DVD, which has been re-released with a new cover to coincide with the theatrical release of Matt (CLOVERFIELD) Reeves' take on the story.
Being a European film, its pacing is much slower and there is less dialogue compared to a US movie, which is great when it comes to reading subtitles, unlike the recent Chinese film CONFUCIOUS where it was impossible to read everything before it changed. That film was certainly a case in support of dubbing, but the subbing vs dubbing debate is a long one for another time.
This could be due in part to the fact that your attention is not being diverted by the subtitles. There are some minor changes to the story, and elevating the importance of the policeman's role works mainly because Elias Koteas is such a great actor. I also thought the choice of New Mexico was a strange one, when Alaska would have been more obvious, but I'm not that versed in US geography and sociology so not really qualified to comment. The only place it is let down is by some very substandard, and unnecessary, CGI in a couple of scenes.
The US version puts a lot more emphasis on the relationships, and has its fair share of (pre)teen high school angst that we are more than familiar with through US TV and movies. On the positive side, its vampire-human relationship is far more touching than anything Buffy, Vampire Diaries, True Blood or TWILIGHT can deliver, maybe because of its innocence.
LET ME IN is in cinemas now from Hammer and Icon.
LET THE RIGHT ONE IN is out on DVD/Blu-ray and available from Play for £4.49 and from all good retailers.