Let The Right One In: Movie Review
Starring: Kare Hederbrant, Lina Leandersson
Director: Tomas Alfredson
A Swedish subtitled vampire film may not be to everyone's taste.
But if you're hankering for an alternative to the tween vampire phenomenon
that is Twilight, I can't recommend this highly enough.
This (at times highly bleak) film is the tale of 12-year-old Oskar, a bullied
school kid who plots revenge against his tormentors. He suffers in silence and
becomes more introverted and angry as he tries to decide how best to dispatch
those who make his life a daily misery.
Oskar's life is changed when he meets Eli, the young girl who moves into the
apartment block next to his.
As he gradually opens up to her, he starts to realize there's something not
quite right about her. Despite that, the pair grow closer.
And as their tale unfolds, there is a serial killer murdering children and
taking their blood for reasons which should be fairly obvious to any fans of the
Let The Right One In is a great start to the arthouse
circuit for 2009 its themes of adolescence, revenge and love are universal and
are predominantly the driving force for this slow burning drama.
Alfredson has captured the gloom (and beauty) of a Swedish village in the
depths of winter and shots of blood staining the white snow are infinitely more
effective here than they were in the abysmally disappointing 30 Days of
Equally his take on the vampire
oeuvre is one which doesn't skip the gory details - Eli's life is no worse than
a rat's as she struggles to survive and finds her nature and vampiric desires
often overcoming her wish to be normal.
But the success of this film lies solely with the two young leads as the
bullied Oskar, Hederbrant is a simmering mixture of fear and anger waiting to
explode in violence; whereas Leandersson is subtly beguiling as the young
vampire Eli, whose life is more about trying to exist and cope with what tragedy
life's dealt her.
Let the Right One In (based on a novel by John Ajvide
Lindqvist) is perhaps one of the freshest additions to the vampire genre. It
won't be to everyone's taste but if you fancy a non-Hollywood take and film
directing masterclass, you can't find a better way to spend time in the cinema.