Quick Review – “Let The Right One In”

Last night I sat down and finally got to take a look at a movie that people have been recommending to me for months, Norway’s “Let The Right One In” ( Låt den rätte komma in).

Ive had mornings just like that!

I've had mornings just like that!

It follows the tale of Oskar (Kåre Hedebrant), a twelve year old boy who spends his days at school getting picked on by a relentless posse of bullies,  and his nights hanging out in a frozen playground.  Don’t ask me, that’s just how it is.  The friendless Oskar eventually meets his new neighbor, a girl named Eli (Lina Leandersson) and the two obviously anti-social children slowly begin warming up to each other.  But of course things aren’t what they seem, as Eli is a vampire.  Didn’t see that coming did you?  Well if you read the synopsis, I guess you might have.

I don’t want to dwell too long on the story, as that’s bleeds into slight spoiler territory, but Eli and her familiar, a large nordic man who really needs to be sent back to “Killing 101” class,  have moved in next door and even though she’s adamant that the two cannot be friends, the two children eventually become very close.  Eli’s inept familiar fails at the job for which he is glammored (Put that one in your craw) and several folks end up dead, sending the locals on a search for the person or thing responsible for the new rash of killings.  But this subplot really takes a backseat to the kid’s relationship, the growing love (can it be called that if they are twelve?) and Eli’s assistance in trying to help Oskar stand up for himself.

It’s a very dark movie, and anyone assuming that just because the two main characters are children would be wise to keep in mind that this is still a horror film.  There are some good scares and it treats it’s vampire mythology very seriously.

Voted Most Likely to Front a Pigs Blood Swilling Black Metal Band by his school four years running.

Voted 'Most Likely to Front a Pig's Blood Swilling Black Metal Band' by his school four years running.

The film is done in a slow, very cinematic pace.  Lots of long shots of the icy environment.  Snow drifting down through yellowed street lamps or piled high in a pale blanket over everything. You get the idea.  It has a very European flair to the drama, and the slow pacing lends itself well to creating an aura of slight dread around what could be just another cheesy ‘kid and monster’ story.  I love when a horror film breathes like this, it allows for a wider range of reaction from your audience, not just heaping visual assault after visual assault on your viewer like some kind of brutal all-you-can-eat buffet lunch at the local “Hometown Buffet” on a church sunday.  There are some genuinely creepy moments and the feel of the movie just accentuates that.  But while “Let the Right One In’ doesn’t fall victim to silly vampire cliche’s, it still takes it’s source myths very faithfully.

All in all, I have to agree with folks, this is probably the best vampire movie to come out in a little while, sharing a kind of co-title with the underrated “30 days of Night”, another frosty vampire flick that I’m sure people will vilify me for enjoying as much as I did.  Eat me.


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