In a small community in what appears to be in Sweden, a 12 year old by the name of Oskar (Kare Hedebrant) is going through some trouble in his life. Things change when he meets a 12 year old girl by the name of Eli (Lina Leandersson). The two become fast friends and eventually they form a bond, however, unknown to Oskar, there's more to Eli than he realizes. -summary
For the past 8 years or so, Europe has been surprising me and at the same time impressing me with their innovation in the horror genre. Either they freak you out with films like High Tension, play on the supernatural with the Orphanage, gross you the hell out with Inside, give you zombie blast aways and zombie madness with The Horde and Dead Snow respectively, or just plain give you a taste of that down to Earth realness with Eden Lake. They have just been straight up breathing new life into the horror genre and kicking Hollywood's ass left and right while they're at it. The trend continues with Sweden's take on the vampire genre with Let The Right One In, and despite its slow pace and even questionable feel as if something is missing. It was still a very entertaining watch, and although it hasn't made me into a fan of the vampire genre, mainly because the original Fright Night scarred me for life with its stupid shit, I'll say it's a start.
The film follows Oskar as he goes through his daily life, and is being forced to deal with classmates who don't like him. Eli who is revealed to be a vampire, is forced to feed herself due to her handler constantly screwing up jobs to get her fresh blood. Along the way, the audience will learn a great deal about the two.
I enjoyed Tomas Alfredson's direction as he very well developed the two characters Oskar and Eli; and in the case of the latter, he made her into a sympathetic character, which is sometimes kind of hard to do with characters like these. Her situation is easily something to consider tragic, and although people normally pay for their lives due to her condition, there's a moment in the film that takes place where you just have to feel for this character. Oskar's situation is very easy to relate to, because he's a good hearted kid who happens to be on the receiving end of bullies, and due to this, he's being pushed to the breaking point, where he spends time alone spilling dialog to himself and stabbing a tree with a sharp knife.
Let the Right One In is a film that is kind of hard to consider a true vampire film. It deals with numerous parts of vampire myth, and it even features the usual romance and death found in the genre. But Alfredson chose not to follow what has become standard vampire fare, and mainly chooses to deal with the character's plights, which feels a little more like a coming of age story. I found this to be a very fresh take, because quite frankly, traditional vampire films have been boring me.
The two main characters definitely have chemistry, and the very fact their acting is so well done, it brought a stronger vibe to their interactions, and gave off a genuine feel as if these two young people actually knew each other. It's rare to find young actors who don't make you cringe at whatever they do. They also have the look of loners, people who are searching for that companionship, and when they finally opened up to each other it just had that special feel. Patrik Rydmark as Conny was another stand out and played the role of the bully very well. I truly hated his character and wanted him to get what was coming to him. He definitely did his job here bringing me even deeper into the movie.
Let The Right One In is a great movie to me no doubt, but it does have its issues though. For one, I really don't mind when serious gore and graphic death scenes are left up to the imagination. However, the film could have used better kills. I thought the symbolism in regards to the snow was overkill. One thing I can't stand is directors beating me in the head over and over with their themes. If you have to repeat yourself, then you didn't say right whatever you tried to say the first time. I also thought the townsfolk belief in vampires was terribly under-cooked, in fact, it was non existant. So when a certain character found themselves in a dilemma. I found a few things about it hard to buy into. I heard this film is based on the book, and perhaps that's cleared up there. But this is the movie I'm talking about, so I can care less about what the book has to say.
Overall, due to its character development, strong interactions, memorable moments, originality, and even an awesome ending; Let The Right One In does a very good job masking its flaws. The low gore level will appeal to those who can't stand overly bloody films. However, the slow pacing at times works against it, just about as much as it works in its favor. In any case, this is a movie I have to recommend. If you need a consistent flow of action scenes, and tonal shifts to lighten up the mood. Then this is not the flick for you. The movie has a 115 minute run time.
**** out of **** Even if "Twilight" seems to be most popular when it comes to Vampires in any form of media, it's good to get a nice, big breath of fresh air. And for me, that refreshing, long breathe was "Let the Right One In"; which by all means is the best Vampire movie since probably "Vampyr", "Nosferatu", and Herzog's remake. This is a moving, artistic, and powerful film that does not succeed because it is about vampires; but rather because it is sweet, tender, and even … more
This is not a book for the faint of heart. No sexy Edward Cullen here. No vamps who are actually nice guys and no good girl heroes either. In fact, this vampire isn't even sexual. The novel is not particularly clear on this point, but I deduce that Eli, the vampire, was once a human boy. Now s/he sometimes appears to be a boy and other times a girl. There is no sex and certainly no love. Couple this old school vampire with a cast of unappealing human characters: an alienated … more
I hate vampire movies. I think we have reached the Vampire Event Horizon--one more vampire movie and all of movie-hood will be sucked into the black hole. That said, I liked this movie that just happened to have a vampire in it. This is a story of friendship and protection, not lust and sex. So if you want that kind of vampire movie, there are 180,097 x10 to the 35 vampire movies to choose from (which means that every atom in the universe has 5 vampire movies attached to it. I'm not kidding about … more
Ooowie...really creepy. Not so scary - but creepy creepy creepy. Just how does a twelve year old girl vampire survive? What seduction skills has she learned, and how does she draw a new fly into her web? Let the Right One In might be the best vampire movie I've ever seen, despite the revenge scene that seems to belong to another movie as it clashes against the small and careful character of the rest of the movie.
I have always had a strong fondness for vampire films. Honestly, much of the vampire films these days are full of cliché and while most of them does attempt at something original, they all have one common denominator; to induce HORROR. Well, Sweden seems to have mastered an original take on the vampire lore and yes, this film has been marked to be "Americanized" very soon. "Let the Right One In" is a film adapted from the novel and written for … more
It would seem LTROI has managed to captivate quite a few moviegoers everywhere & has enthralled it's audiences which amazes me. I actually was quite stoked about the idea of a really cool vampire flick which seemed to do so well with both audiences or critics alike & was even hoping to catch it on the big scream last year. Boy, I was in for quite a shock. This one is basically a snoozer & it took me three consecutive attempts to watch it all the way through. … more
LET THE RIGHT ONE IN (a film review by Mark R. Leeper) CAPSULE: With marked similarities to CARRIE, this is a Swedish vampire film. Oskar, the most bullied boy in school, makes friends with a girl who appears to be his own age, but is somehow different. The somehow is that she is a vampire, living a life as isolated in her way as Oskar is in his. The two form a bond against a background of vampire-related killings. In spite of the fantasy motif this is a serious … more
The enduring popularity of the vampire myth rests, in part, on sexual magnetism. InLet the Right One In, Tomas Alfredson's carefully controlled, yet sympathetic take on John Ajvide Lindqvist's Swedish bestseller-turned-screenplay, the protagonists are pre-teens, unlike the fully-formed night crawlers of HBO’sTrue Bloodor Catherine Hardwicke’sTwilight(both also based on popular novels). Instead, 12-year-old Oskar (future heartbreaker Kåre Hedebrant) and Eli (Lina Leandersson) enter into a deadly form of puppy love. The product of divorce, Oskar lives with his harried mother, while his new neighbor resides with a mystery man named Håkan (Per Ragnar), who takes care of her unique dietary needs. From the wintery moment in 1982 that the lonely, towheaded boy spots the strange, dark-haired girl skulking around their outer-Stockholm tenement, he senses a kindred spirit. They bond, innocently enough, over a Rubik's Cube, but little does Oskar realize that Eli has been 12 for a very long time. Meanwhile, at school, bullies torment the pale and morbid student mercilessly. Through his friendship with Eli, Oskar doesn't just learn how to defend himself, but to become a sort of predator himself, begging the question as to whether Eli really exists or whether she represents a manifestation of his pent-up anger and resentment. Naturally, the international success of Lindqvist's fifth feature, like Norway's chillingInsomniabefore it, has ...