June 26, 2010

Let the Right One In (2008)

Although "Let the Right One In" (Låt den Rätte Komma In) may be overlong for those with small brains and no ability to enjoy anything other than the trend of grainy, low-budget, shakycam nasties which we have been subjected to over the past few years, for me it was very nearly perfect. In fact I wish that it was even longer as it is yet another film that you get so caught up in that you really don't want it to end.

Everyone mentions the "beautiful cinematography" but the sad thing is that this is just how films used to be shot and should still be shot to get audiences back into the movie theaters again. There are no bits that are too dark to see and nothing which will leave you with a splitting headache. It's just how a movie ought to be.

The plot is a simple one, not overly original but not too derivative either considering it is really just another vampire story. There is an independent movie by Jay Reel called "Dawn" (available from Tempe) which is pretty much the same thing but I doubt that anyone will have seen it so the best analogy is to say that "Let the Right One In" is like a children's version of "The Hunger" mixed with the kids' scenes from "Near Dark" and "Interview with the Vampire".

It also pays a fair bit of homage to a few scenes from "Innocent Blood" as well. There isn't a lot of humour in this, in spite of some bad CGI cats in a scene straight out of "Sleepwalkers" but it isn't overly scary either. Gore effects are realistic and minimal so think drama rather than horror and you'll be on the right lines. It's a hard film to fit into any genre really as it does tend to straddle quite a few non-horror themes most of which it deals with very effectively.

As far as the acting goes, since this is a Swedish film, it's hard to tell if the performances are anything other than just ok. I've heard from Swedish friends that some of the dialogue is a bit weak, verging on humorous, but, in translation (and with subtitles), this doesn't seem to matter to any English speaking audience. From what I could tell, the boy who played Oskar was a bit expressionless but seemed to have good chemistry with the girl who played Eli.

This is, without doubt, the best vampire film that I've seen for years and is one of my top films from this year alone. Apart from "Teeth" all this year's horror movies have been awful so this was a pleasant surprise at the end of the year.

I recommend "Let the Right One In" to everyone who likes good movies not just good horror movies. There's something here for everyone.

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