Director: Matt Reeve
Runtime: 111 mins
Cast: Chloe Moretz, Elias Koteas, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Richard Jenkins
DVD release: 14 March 2011
Reeves told moviefone.com that “There’s an assumption that immediately goes, “Oh, he’s going to take it and make it a big, stupid American film and destroy everything that’s great about this story!” And sadly, that is exactly what happened.
Abby is a vampire, but contrary to other popular 21st century vampire films, her condition is not romanticised or depicted as desirable in any way.
The story itself is superb, and there was absolutely no need to make a direct copy of an already popular and admired film just because it was foreign.
Reeves claims that his film is based on the 2005 novel rather than the movie, but the two versions are very similar; the storyline is identical, apart from the fact that the American film is set in Los Alamos, New Mexico (1983) and the Swedish one in Blackeberg, Sweden.
According to the director, his ambition was to create an American context for the story, but one of the things that makes the original film so superior is the fact that it is so rooted in Sweden and in the town of Blackenberg where the author of the book grew up.
One of the few alteration Reeves has made is a slight difference in filming techniques; he has applied the same blue lighting, but there is something strange about the way he has chosen to depict Owen’s mother. The viewers never get to see her face. She is always blurred when she is in the frame. I’m sure there is a purpose behind this, but to me it is futile and does not make sense.
In addition, the mother is portrayed as a religious and borderline alcoholic housewife, which is not mentioned in the original story.
Finally, the dialogue between Abby and Owen immediately become a lot cheesier when uttered in a tasteless, American accent.
After the process of Americanisation, all the original charm and magic is lost, and the audience is left with an average, run-of-the-mill blockbuster.