Monday, October 20, 2008

LET THE RIGHT ONE IN (2008)

On the twentieth day of Halloween, my boo love gave to me ... twenty cardboard vampire Valentines!

THE CARD:

The frozen tundra of suburban Stockholm, the palest kid I've ever seen, a bright blue-eyed little Nosferatu, bunches of pissed-off kitties, and an unforgettable bloodsucker love story.

More details here.

THE ANGLE:

Oskar (Kare Hedebrant) is a quiet but troubled kid from a broken family living outside Stockholm in the early 80s. He lives with his mother in a dreary apartment and occasionally visits his father who lives on a snowy but idyllic farm. His classmates torment him at school, but he never fights back which only fuels the abuse. At night, he stands in front of his bedroom window and acts out a terrible pretend vengeance upon his tormentors with a knife he keeps under his bed. He also has an unhealthy interest in crime and death, including a fascination with a recent series of murders in his town. One night in the playground, Oskar meets a disheveled young girl (Lina Leandersson) and tries to make friends, but the two don't exactly hit it off at first. Time goes on and he becomes more curious about this mysterious girl who doesn't wear a jacket in the freezing cold, while at school the bullies escalate their teasing. Eventually through persistence, Oskar forms a bond with the little girl, who is named Eli. Their friendship soon blossoms uncomfortably into something more when Oskar realizes that Eli is a vampire. She is aided by a man who gathers blood from unsuspecting victims, but when he disappears, her hunger forces her to hunt and feed on people who live in Oskar’s apartment building. As Eli becomes more and more of an influence in his life, he comes to terms with what he must do to confront the bullying at school. But the adults in the town are slowly discovering what’s behind the recent string of bloody murders and fate is closing in on Oskar and Eli. But the isolation of a frozen wasteland, the brutality of revenge, and even life and death are not enough to keep two young people from being apart.

THE FINISHER:

Screened on the last day of L.A.'s Screamfest, Let the Right One In is a poignant, brilliantly original and moving vampire film. Ethereal child actors Hedebrant and Leandersson perfectly inhabit their roles in this hauntingly beautiful and chilling romance. Eli’s innocent, bloodstained face and Oskar’s bewildered yet knowing expressions are extraordinary. The kids carry the emotional brunt of alienation, loneliness, and violence with stunning yet gentle skill. The storytelling here is simple, yet at the same time feels like something new and different, imaginatively merging a teenage love story with vampiric lore such as bloodlust, cats’ hatred of vampires, and vampires’ inability to enter a home without being specifically invited by the resident.

Director Tomas Alfredson brings the chills, the scares, and sensation without going for the throat with quick cuts, loud music, CGI, or cheap effects. You won’t see any sexy superhuman Twilight rejects here; the vampires here are tortured souls, twisted by the unfathomable horror of persistent hunger and solitude, but still retain basic human needs. The cinematography is stark and minimalist and the score is atmospheric, unsettling and understated. Let the Right One In is perhaps the one of the best vampire movies in years and works as a love story and a fairy tale, dark and arcane yet sincere and sweet.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I totally agree. Great movie!

Jelloh Blonde said...

Terrific film. I was at the screening too, annoyed at the hardcore horror fans expecting a bloodfest. Some people can't appreciate subtlety anymore.

calwinger09 said...

i saw it in new york last weekend. i agree, too many horror fans wanted this to be another 30 days of night, which it definitly is not. why do horor peopel shoot themselves in the foot and not support films liek this because no one is being mutilated or women are being raped?

drwho666 said...

i thought it was really slow, not much happens. the bullies arent that evil. i don't usually like to read subtitles, so that got tiring. great movie tho.