I went to this film with friends expecting the typical horror/thriller vampire film. I was delighted to find that it was more of an artistic drama with suspenseful elements than a traditional horror film.
Let me begin by saying that I have not seen the original Swedish film, nor have I read the book on which the films are based. But I am not such a purist that demands that nothing ever be remade. Sir Patrick Stewart once said in an interview, after co-starring in HBO's remake of the classic film The Lion in Winter, that great scripts deserved to be remade, just as there are dozens of remakes and restagings of Shakespeare's plays. Directors and actors should have an opportunity to bring their interpretations to great roles. And we've found in the United States that remakes can introduce a film to an audience too young for the original or too impatient to read subtitles. I believe audiences can appreciate multiple iterations of a film.
A film like this shouldn't be over-discussed for fear of spoilers. But let me just say that the camera work is amazing, with shots taken at unexpected angles or with unexpected parts of the frame out of focus. Some may find those elements a little too artsy, but I loved it and felt it added to the director's interpretation.
Kodi Smit-McPhee, the young actor who plays the protagonist, Owen, is an absolutely amazing actor, as his co-star, Chloe Moretz. They may very well both make my Best Actor/Actress lists. It will certainly top my list for Best Myster/Suspense/Horror/Thriller, very like for Best Cinematography (if the category survives), and very likely make my list for Best Drama as well.
My Grade: A