Thursday, September 9, 2010
Let the Right One In
Let the Right One In 2008
Director: Tomas Alfredson
Writer: John Ajvide Lindovist
Starring Kare Hedebrent, Lina Leandersson, Per Ragnar, Henrik Dahl, Karin Bergquist, Peter Carlberg, Ika Nord, Mikael Rahm, Karl-Robert Lindgren, Anders T. Peedu and Pale Olofsson
Vampire films seem to be the in thing right now but with films like the Twilight series they are without a bite to them. This film does not have that problem it is touching but still has the savagery every good vampire story needs. It is both a love story and a horror film and it balances these 2 things very well. It is by far the best vampire film I have seen since 30 Days of Night. It is a nuanced and thoughtful film and not a film for casual viewers. It is really a film that makes its viewers think and that is a good thing to see in a horror movie. The story is deft and smart with a light touch to it, yet it still has great scenes of horror. The cast does a excellent job and you really like the characters of Oskar and Eli. This is a film that chooses its shots well and always fires accurately. The violence int ehe film is brutal and horrific but it is never dwelled upon which is the right feel for this film, because at its heart it is a love story.
The plot basics are this, Oskar (Hedebrent) is a bullied 12 year old who dreams of revenge. He falls in love with a strange girl, Eli (Leandersson) who has moved into his apartment building. Eli is not like other girls. He discovers that she is a vampire and he becomes conflicted by this/ But she also helps him to find courage to face his school bullies and he also begins to fall in love with her. His dilemma is how deeply will he follow this girl who could be a danger to him and does he let himself fall completely under her spell.
This is a fantastically well done film. The direction by Alfredson is flawless. He really uses the location to his best advantage, it really has a surreal and desolate feel to the surroundings. When the vampire attacks do come they are done quickly and brutally and staged very well. He makes no bones that at this essence this is a horror film warapped around a love story. The script is very tight too, the characterization of Oskar really makes you sympathize and care about what happens to the boy. The way Eli is characterized makes the viewer get as mesmerized as Oskar does. The cast is superb. Hedebrent as Oskar is great he really brings pathos to his character that you really care about. Leandersson as Eli is hypnotic and you cannot take your eyes off of her anytime she is on screen. The SFX and make up effects are great. There is not a lot of them but what is there is used phenomenally. The score by Johan Sodergvist is melancholy and haunting and is perfect for a piece like this. This is definitely one of the more original and better vampire films in the last 20 years and one that is a must see. I hope the American remake can be as half as good as this.
This one gets 5 out of 5