Love, loss, and Swedish vampires.

When Oskar and Eli meet, it is love at first sight.  Being that they’re both 12 years old, their courtship is naturally limited the icy playground in the middle of their apartment complex.  Oskar gives Eli the love and companionship that she needs, while Eli gives Oskar the strength to stand up to the classmates that constantly bully him.  The only thing keeping their romance from taking the next step is the inconvenient fact that Eli is a vampire.

In 2008’s Let The Right One In, director Tomas Alfredson makes the audience feel every inch of isolation that the characters feel on screen.  The buildings look like government housing, and the streets are cold and mostly deserted. The sets are minimal and economic yet full of texture.  Visually, I would compare it to The Coen Brothers’ Fargo, but stripped down to its essence.  John Ajvide Lindqvist adapted the script from his own novel, and he chooses to tell a simple story framed around two compelling leads rather than use any fancy plot twists or tricks.  As Oskar, Kare Hedebrant lets his subtle emotions show through his eyes and facial expressions.  As Eli, Lina Leandersson somehow manages to fuse jaded sadness with precocious youth.  Their connection and unlikely chemistry is the main reason why the film succeeds as well as it does.  It must have been difficult to find young actors that could be both restrained and emotional simultaneously.

Potato peeling is a hobby of mine, after all.

Potato peeling is a hobby of mine, after all.

When the film was released, it was compared to Twilight, by virtue of the fact that it is also about a human child and a vampire child falling in love.  Once the Twilight fans get their fill of The Cullens and their pseudo-vampiric wackiness, they should immediately look toward their nearest rental establishment and pick this film up.  Although the story could be considered a coming-of-age allegory, it delivers enough tension and inventive gore to satisfy fans of the horror genre.  The film transcends all expectations because the idea is so fresh.  It is more than simply a horror film, as it more than simply an allegory.  This is a film also about alienation.  It is a film about two people finding each other, and the deep love that they share.  It isn’t a dramatic, passionate love like we read in romance novels.  It is the kind of love that lights up our hearts so that we may escape the darkness inside our minds.  I very much recommend Let The Right One In to any horror fan, any fan of Twilight, and any fan of film in general, because this is a truly original story that will remain in your mind long after the screen goes black.


One Response

  1. Brilliant film and my favorite horror movie of 2008.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: