Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Two interesting genre film trailers

Sucker Punch: A film set in a 1950s asylum that uses anime imagery to represent the internal struggles of its protagonist.

Let Me In, a remake of Låt den rätte komma in (Let the Right One in)

A story of childhood romance between a twelve year old boy and an ageless girl set in 1980s Cold-War era Sweden, Let the Right One in is one of the most human vampire movies ever made.

One of the aesthetic impressions the film left me with was that Sweden must have looked something like East Germany at the time. While the country was certainly nowhere as bleak in appearance when I first visited in the early 90s, the visual comparison was apparently deliberate. In the film's English-language making-of DVD clip, the director remarks that "Sweden was a country half-way behind the Iron Curtain..." and goes on to describe some of the changes since then. I've also seen this idea expressed somewhat more humorously in a tongue-in-cheek book called DDR Sverige (East Germany Sweden) while living there during the first half of the 2000s. Either way, accurate or exaggerated, the film's depiction of life in Sweden during the tense 80s adds to its stark sense of atmosphere and place.

Naturally enough, I cringed when I first read that there was going to be a US remake. Once in a while such re-imaginings turn out well--I'm fond of both the original Ring and its counterpart set in Seattle--but normally these go down about as bad (or amusing) as Bollywood ripoffs of American blockbusters. However, the fact that Let Me In's director has kept the new film's setting in the 1980s and placed it in a desolate-looking Arizona has hooked my interest. After having watched the trailer with its almost shot-by-shot recreation of the original, I'm less worried that it will be a transformed into a Hollywood slasher and more concerned that it will end up bogging down in a discussion about the conceptualization of "evil" during the Regan years. Still, who knows? It might work. After all, the first film deviated from the book that it was based on, and to good effect.

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