"I'm a lot stronger than you think I am."

I’ve been so busy all week I’ve not had a chance to write about TIFF films #2 and #3: Blame and Let Me In.

Blame (tiff | imdb) was a decent, uncomplicated little thriller from Western Australia, filled with pretty young actors in fancy clothes (for reasons explained as the film goes along). Thankfully never falling back on the crutch of a hidden twist, instead slowly revealing hints about who and how and why we are where we are. Unfortunately the ending just felt forced, which poisoned the whole thing. C+

Let Me In (tiff | imdb) was the North American remake of Let The Right One In (imdb | rotten tomatoes), which I admit sounded like a recipe for disaster. I saw the Swedish original last year and loved it, as did many other people, and we all assumed a North American remake would rob it of everything that made the story great: the sweetness of children mixed with the savagery of a desperately hungry vampire (not some sparkling moon-eyed twat), the atmosphere of the housing block, the feathery snow, the brilliant swimming pool scene. But then I read that it had been programmed at the festival by Colin Geddes, he of midnight madness. There’s no way he’d pick a shit remake of a film he must have loved as much as the rest of us. So we picked it. And we got it. And it was amazing. A scene-by-scene, nearly shot-for-shot remake, as true to the book (apparently) as the original Swedish film was. The biggest difference was that the violence was more brutal, more effect-laden; it didn’t hurt the film, it just made the schism between the sweet 12-year-old girl and the vicious monster seem all the more jarring, and interesting. It’s not just me who liked it, either; early reviews on Rotten Tomatoes are running at 100%. Highly recommended. A

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