Let the Right One In (Låt den Rätte Komma In)

| Monday, April 4, 2011
UK Poster
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US Poster Alt.
2008R114 minutes
Karin Bergquist, Kare Hedebrant, Lina Leandersson, Per Ragnar, Henrik Dahl, Peter Carlberg, Ika Nord, Mikael Rahm, Karl-Robert Lindgren, Anders T. Peedu
Tomas Alfredson
Foreign, Foreign Horror, Scandinavia, Swedish Language
This movie is:
Violent, Scary

Twelve-year-old Oskar (Kåre Hedebrant), the constant target of bullies, spends his time plotting revenge and collecting news items about the grisly murders plaguing his town. But things change when he meets a new girl named Eli (Lina Leandersson), a misfit vampire who steals his heart. As a serial killer continues to prey on teen boys in their small Swedish village, Eli helps Oskar find the courage to stand up to his tormenters.

A vampire love affair that touches your heart.
I've seen lots and lots of vampire movies. This one shoots right to the top of my list of favorites. Very original, and if you enter into the logic of the vampire mythology, very natural and believable. Most of the horror of this movie comes not from the little vampire girl, but from the Lord of the Flies playground dynamics. This is actually a sweet little coming-of-age, first love story, that captures the real horrors of early adolescence and melds them with the archetypal/mythological horror of the vampire fable, throwing in a good dose of blood, surprise, dread, and dark humor. More for mood-horror than shock-horror fans,and for vampire aficionados always looking for a creative new twist on an old love.

The beginning of a new friendship.
Assuming you're already familiar with the premise, you'd think Let The Right One In would be creepy and uncomfortable to watch; and while it certainly has its share of terrifying scenes, it's really not. In fact, a large portion of this film is innocent and gentle. Yes, little 12-year-old Oskar is viciously targeted by bullies at school, he has no friends, and his mother and estranged father can't even begin to understand what he's going through (all the signs of a budding psychopath); and yes, Eli is a vampire and yes, she's capable of spectacular violence, but it's not just her 12-year-old body that hasn't grown up, it's her mind as well. She's just a little girl deep down inside that isn't quite capable of wholly understanding the hunger that drives her. All she knows is that she feels empty and alone because of what she is. Something that Oskar, despite not sharing her affinity for drinking blood for sustenance, understands as well. It's this bond (that's staged so poetically and beautifully) that brings them close together despite their differences.

Remember that you must let them in.
The disease spreads fast.
Whether it's the gorgeous cinematography, the intriguingly stylized mood and atmosphere, or the aforementioned bond that the protagonists share, this film is truly magnificent and will not disappoint. The best fairy tales always have so much darkness in them. That's why they resonate so deeply. "Let The Right One In" is no exception. It's a touching story about loneliness and falling in love with someone who fills the hole in your heart. I really can't praise this film enough. I was moved beyond my ability to articulate it into words. Please watch this film. Repeatedly. It continues in a long line of cinematic gems that teach us that while we all share disparate exteriors, inside we're not that much different from one another.


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