Remakes are a very hard group of movies to properly review. I believe that the only way a remake can be deemed "successful" is if it is able to tell roughly the same story as the original but make everything so fresh and new that it almost seems like a different movie altogether. This may seem like a tall order but every once in a while, a movie succeeds at this task. Examples include The Thing, The Fly, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and even Dawn of the Dead. Let Me In however does not belong in this small group. While it may be amazing to someone who has yet to experience the original (Let The Right One In), this remake simply follows the same storyline and visual style far too much for it to be considered as a worthy remake.
That's not to say I didn't enjoy the movie. I just felt that the it played like a great but very strict cover song. All the same beats were hit in the same style as the original except a few minor changes here and there that really add nothing to the story except to say it had some differences. Nothing from the original is "topped" in this movie but there are times where it comes very close to at least equaling it. The superb acting in this movie by the two kids Owen and Abby (Kodi Smit-McPhee and Chloe Moretz) along with Abby's "guardian" (Richard Jenkins) really saved the movie for me. Without their amazing performances, there would have been very little to enjoy about the flick other than the parts that I already loved from the original.
I really hate to bash Let Me In because if it wasn't a remake and was the first movie to adapt this story, it would probably be in the top 10 of 2010 for me. But I just can't get over the fact that an American studio felt the need to remake a foreign movie not even 5 years old. I am at least thankful that everyone involved did a great job with the movie because it easily could have been made into a terrible cliche vampire film. Director Matt Reeves (Cloverfield) gets some really great performances and some amazing scenery on screen (aside from some very cartoony cgi) and seems to hold the original in high regard. I actually think the issue is that perhaps he holds Let The Right One In in too high of a regard because he seemed afraid to take a chance and try something radically different with the story.
I've heard a lot of critics say that if you have't seen Let The Right One In, then they highly recommend Let Me In. I disagree. I think that if you haven't seen Let The Right One In, then I highly recommend you see Let The Right One In. We don't live in a society where foreign movies are hard to find anymore. You can log on Amazon and have the original shipped to your house in just a few days or simply get it from Netflix (It's part of the "Watch Now" catalog!). As for Let Me In, I wouldn't hurry to see it in the theaters. I still recommend giving it a try at some point on DVD simply for the perfect performances but I do so with hesitation. Studios need to try making more original movies and to stop taking foreign films and "Americanizing" them simply because some idiots won't watch a movie with subtitles. If you are going to remake a movie, prove the remake's existence by having it be its own movie, not a dull copy. I hate to say this about such a well made movie but even if the end result is good, the reasoning behind it's creation is incorrect.