Monday, December 01, 2008

Let The Right One In

Title: Let the Right One In - aka- Låt den rätte komma in (2008)
Dir: Tomas Alfredson
Rating: ***** out of 5 stars

I wish I could convince my friends that this is not some fruity little Swedish film. This movie will BLOW YOUR FREAKING MIND, I promise. It is expertly directed, with a beautiful story, great performances, and a couple of scenes that will kick your ass (especially the ending). It is a fantastic coming-of-age tale, and technically it's a vampire love story. So fuck Twilight in the ass, this is the movie you should be seeing.

Oskar is a lonely 12-year old boy who is bullied at school. He befriends his new neighbor, a young girl named Eli, and develops a crush on her. But while Oskar is going to school, playing with puzzles, and other normal boy activities, Eli is stalking and killing her human meal for the night. Oskar soon comes to realize the truth - his friend is a vampire. As bodies start showing up all over town, it becomes more and more difficult for Eli to conceal her identity, and for her to stay with Oskar.

When I watch Kåre Hedebrant and Lina Leandersson in this film, I forget that they are children. It's amazing to think that these young actors are portraying the heavy subject matter dealt with in this movie. Both are first-time actors, and yet they are so believable in their roles. Their performances are so mature and intense, I cannot help but forget I'm watching child actors - whom I usually loathe. These two - and the adults rounding out the cast - are phenomenal.

Let the Right One In is based on John Ajvide Lindqvist's 2004 novel of the same name. From what I've read, there are a few differences, or more specifically, subjects that are left open to interpretation in the film. I like this approach, because I evidently interpretted things very different from how they actually are in the novel. I like my interpretations better, honestly, and the movie lets me be right because it is open-ended on many issues.

There is only one awkward scene, and that is largely due to bad CGI (as always!). But it is forgivable. The cinematography in the film is flawless. The music is great. There is even some nice makeup FX work. There are a couple of shockingly violent moments but they feel very appropriate in the context of the film - never forced or exploitative. They are a large part of why I love this movie - it perfectly balances drama and horror.

I dread the American remake because it will undoubtedly neglect all the wonderful aspects of this movie. They cannot legitimately remake a film like this, even if Hollywood had waited 20 years. It is simply a stunning movie that should not be missed.