Let The Right One In
A good vampire movie is a rare thing. Take Twilight for example. Twilight is not a good vampire movie; in fact I’d go as far as to say it really isn’t a vampire movie. The immortal un-dead are more of a figure of speech, a way to tell an age-old story, to add a little spice to an otherwise redundant tale. Blade and Underworld are fast food for the masses, neither satisfying nor nutritious. 30 Days of Night was a pleasure, but somewhat of a guilty pleasure. Then we have Let The Right One In (Låt den rätte komma in).
Let The Right One In is a spell binding fairytale of a vampire movie, a love story between a mortal 12-year-old boy and a vampire in the body of a 12-year-old girl. It’s a tale of acceptance, love, freedom and empowerment. It’s a warning that good and evil never really have a defined line of separation, that hope and tragedy go hand in hand with each other.
Oskar (the boy) is lonely. He gets bullied everyday and school and dreams of taking bloody revenge. His low self esteemed (not helped by the bullying) prevents himself from believing in his own abilities and petrifies any chance of revenge, or even standing up for himself.
Eli (the girl, vampire) moves into the apartment next door with her father. She only comes out at night (naturally) and sparks up a friendship with Eli. Her father harvests human blood for her to feed on so that she doesn’t have to risk hunting for herself, but he’s getting on in his years and fails more often than he succeeds.
Oskar shows Eli that there is more to life than cravings, that love can give you a strength you never knew existed, in return Eli gives Oskar the strength of mind to be bale to stand up to his bullies and watches over him to make sure he stays safe.
It’s a beautifully orchestrated tale that ambles along at a sedate pace, mesmerising you with its charm and ordinariness. In the end however, Let The Right One In flips everything on its head with a twist so genius that you just don’t see it coming, but once you’re there everything that happened throughout the movie makes perfect sense.
No blockbuster special effects or pounding rock soundtrack and a decidedly restrained use of gore gives Let The Right One In an air of reality (yes, I’m aware that vampires don’t exist) that allows the viewer to leave their brains engaged and encourages you to think about what’s going on. It’s here that you have to decide for yourself who the real monsters are and where the line dividing good and evil, hope and despair lies.
Reviewed by: Jonathan Read.
Rating: R16 – Violence, content may disturb.
Duration: 114 mins.
Genre: Horror, Drama.
Director: Tomas Alfredson.
Actors: Kåre Hedebrant, Lina Leandersson, Per Ragnar, Henrik Dahl, Karin Bergquist, Peter Carlberg, Ika Nord.
Release Date: 8th January 2009.