Film Review: Let the Right one In (2008)

SYNOPSIS:

A peculiar Swedish boy named Oskar befriends a mysterious young girl named Eli. Eli helps Oskar to get up the courage to fight back when being bullied at school. As his friendship with Eli grows, so does his confidence. Although, there is something frighteningly different about Eli, she is a vampire

REVIEW:

There is a well-known worldwide obsession with vampires. Countless films have explored the concept of these romantically macabre creatures throughout the ages. However in the last 10 years, the concept of vampirism has turned more into a commercialized fairytale for teens than a torturous horror. For too long now I have become frustrated with new vampire films as they continue played out trends and placate audiences with corny bullsh*t. It got to such an excruciating point that I was almost completely uninterested with vampire stories as a whole. Even the film version of Steve Niles masterpiece 30 Days of Night came at a time when I was too done with vampires to even enjoy it.

Not since Near Dark has there been a film as interesting and fresh as Let the Right One In (Låt den rätte komma in). This amazing Swedish masterwork is based on a novel by John Ajvide Lindqvist, called “Let Me In”. Directed by Tomas Alfredson, Let the Right One In is shot beautifully and carefully. Alfredson’s style is haunting and captivating as he paints a solemn picture of a Swedish working class neighborhood and it’s morose occupants. Kåre Hedebrant is awesome as Oskar, a creepy but surprisingly aware 12-year-old boy. His new friend and bloodsucker, Eli is played by the ageless and talented Lina Leandersson. These kids deliver more emotionally jarring performances than any 2 Oscar winners of the last 3 years. The story of their friendship and awkward love affair is both heartfelt and disturbing when balanced shot for shot with Eli’s ferocious feeding scenes. These scenes are so surprising and abrupt because the film winds away from a vampire story and delves deeply into the characters instabilities and troubles. With this film there is a completely new and different take on classic vampire rules and folklore. 

The coolest part of the film is the subtlety with which every aspect of the story is brought to light. From Eli’s tortured existence as the undead and alone, to her morbid eating habits, the film gives us just enough to make it potent but leaves us wanting more. I was literally blown away by this film. Of course it is in Swedish, so reading subtitles is a must, however, the dialogue is so smooth and slow that it shouldn’t be a problem for whoever isn’t used to foreign films. There are only a few silly computer effects that take you out of the story for a minute, but it’s not that big a deal. All you action hounds out there, this is no Van Helsing(2004). Be ready for a slow, artistic, and emotional film, but don’t get me wrong folks Let the Right One In is no snoozer. There are some really kick ass gore scenes. 

They’re not very graphic, but the atmosphere and execution will have you covering your eyes. Sweden defiantly represents with this picture. In a world of graceless, tasteless, cookie cutter, salad tossing, happy meal horror, Let the Right One In is an artistic revolt against the vampire cliché. Drink up suckas!

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3 Responses to Film Review: Let the Right one In (2008)

  1. Rodney Lewis says:

    It is a really great horror movie. I think it is so good because they didn’t have a lot of money to make it with. But I do believe the original title of the book is “Let the Right One In” in Swedish. Not “Let Me In,” as you stated. “Let Me In” is the name of the Americanized remake.

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