Friday, 9 January 2009

Let The Right One In: Movie Review

Let The Right One In: Movie Review

Rating 8/10
Starring: Kare Hederbrant, Lina Leandersson
Director: Tomas Alfredson
A Swedish subtitled vampire film may not be to everyone's taste.
But if you're hankering for an alternative to the tween vampire phenomenon that is Twilight, I can't recommend this highly enough.
This (at times highly bleak) film is the tale of 12-year-old Oskar, a bullied school kid who plots revenge against his tormentors. He suffers in silence and becomes more introverted and angry as he tries to decide how best to dispatch those who make his life a daily misery.
Oskar's life is changed when he meets Eli, the young girl who moves into the apartment block next to his.
As he gradually opens up to her, he starts to realize there's something not quite right about her. Despite that, the pair grow closer.
And as their tale unfolds, there is a serial killer murdering children and taking their blood for reasons which should be fairly obvious to any fans of the vampire genre.
Let The Right One In is a great start to the arthouse circuit for 2009 its themes of adolescence, revenge and love are universal and are predominantly the driving force for this slow burning drama.
Alfredson has captured the gloom (and beauty) of a Swedish village in the depths of winter and shots of blood staining the white snow are infinitely more effective here than they were in the abysmally disappointing 30 Days of Night .

Equally his take on the vampire oeuvre is one which doesn't skip the gory details - Eli's life is no worse than a rat's as she struggles to survive and finds her nature and vampiric desires often overcoming her wish to be normal.
But the success of this film lies solely with the two young leads as the bullied Oskar, Hederbrant is a simmering mixture of fear and anger waiting to explode in violence; whereas Leandersson is subtly beguiling as the young vampire Eli, whose life is more about trying to exist and cope with what tragedy life's dealt her.

Let the Right One In (based on a novel by John Ajvide Lindqvist) is perhaps one of the freshest additions to the vampire genre. It won't be to everyone's taste but if you fancy a non-Hollywood take and film directing masterclass, you can't find a better way to spend time in the cinema.

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