American Remakes of Foreign Films

I was sitting the other day listening to the Panic Dots film Podcasts. Episode One is centred around a little known Swedish Film called ‘Let the Right One In’. How sad was I to learn that once again, some bright spark in Hollywood has decided to remake it for an American audience.
That phrase, ‘for an American Audience’, is one that should send a chill down the spine of any film buff. What is it about an American audience that requires such a spoon fed attitude to culture? The rest of the world is content to watch and enjoy the cinematic expression of other countries without having it tailor made to their own wants or needs.
It is possible that the American people have such an innate sense of insecurity and fear of anything outside their own borders that there seems to be this need to take an amazing film and rehash or rework it to suit their own individual culture.
Take ‘Let the Right One In’. It is a perfect example of cultural expression. So much so that the location is a character in itself, even the language (Swedish, funnily enough) perfectly compliments the tone of the film. For me even dubbing the original into English takes away some of the nuances of the language that adds to the profound effect the film has on the viewer.
The story is a vampire story, however that is almost incidental to the beauty within the relationship of the two main characters. The concearn would be that Hollywood, in an attempt to commercialise the film, would play on this aspect of the story when it is not necessary. It is not the heart of the film but serves as additional context to the compliacted relationship between Oskar and Eli.
Of course I am speculating on the thoughts and ideas of the Director of ‘Let Me In’ and possibly without reason. I hope that the remake stays true to the original and makes no attempt to ‘Americanise’ the story and just be content that the use of American actors and location would be sufficient and make U.S. viewers comfortable enough to sit down and take notice of such an original and beautiful story.
If anyone hasn’t seen the Swedish original then my advice would be to find it and watch it before even considering the American remake.

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One thought on “American Remakes of Foreign Films

  1. I wholeheartedly agree with this. “Let The Right One In” has to be my absolute favorite film, foreign or not, and upon learning about the remake, I became upset. America seems to take classic foreign horrors and, though at times succeed, seem to ruin it. Such as The Uninvited. It was originally an original Japanese movie called “A Tale Of Two Sisters”. The original was, in my opinion, fantastic. The American one just made me feel disappointed.

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