Let the Right One In (2008)

This is a pre-teen vampire love story that is miles away from Twilight folks; it’s solemn, mature, stark, violent, tense, and astoundingly ambiguous. Director Tomas Alfredson pares down the emotions and the entire film takes on a very reserved and curious atmosphere, which I feel heightens the sense of wonder and dread about a supernatural romance. The relationship between 12-year-old Oskar (Kare Hedebrant) and 12-year-old looking vampire girl Elie (Lina Leandersson) is entirely believable and constantly intriguing, as key information is doled out like breadcrumbs. Oskar is negotiating puberty and Elie is well aware of what awaits. The movie works as an example of methodical horror where emphasis is placed upon anticipation and the imagination. The climax at a community pool is one of the best film finishes of the year. I was a tense ball of nerves, and I love the movie’s closing shot. Even better, the movie works as an intriguing and intricate drama about human relationships. I can revisit Let the Right One In and dub it an unconventional and moving romance. Or I can revisit the film and dub it a melancholy examination of a manipulative and parasitic relationship, as Oskar might be doomed to a fated life like Elie’s former guardian. And then there’s a brief glimpse below the waist (no need to feel gross, it’s a doll in real life) that provides another revelation that calls for more long-ranging analysis. I can keep revisiting this Swedish horror film and discover more to discuss and diagram each time. And I didn’t need a single scene where the vampires played super hero baseball games.

Nate’s Grade: A-

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About natezoebl

One man. Many movies. I am a cinephile (which spell-check suggests should really be "epinephine"). I was told that a passion for movies was in his blood since I was conceived at a movie convention. While scientifically questionable, I do remember a childhood where I would wake up Saturday mornings, bounce on my parents' bed, and watch Siskel and Ebert's syndicated TV show. That doesn't seem normal. At age 17, I began writing movie reviews and have been unable to stop ever since. I was the co-founder and chief editor at PictureShowPundits.com (2007-2014) and now write freelance. I have over 1400 written film reviews to my name and counting. I am also a proud member of the Central Ohio Film Critics Association (COFCA) since 2012. In my (dwindling) free time, I like to write uncontrollably. I wrote a theatrical genre mash-up adaptation titled "Our Town... Attacked by Zombies" that was staged at my alma mater, Capital University in the fall of 2010 with minimal causalities and zero lawsuits. I have also written or co-written sixteen screenplays and pilots, with one of those scripts reviewed on industry blog Script Shadow. Thanks to the positive exposure, I am now also dipping my toes into the very industry I've been obsessed over since I was yea-high to whatever people are yea-high to in comparisons.

Posted on December 3, 2008, in 2008 Movies and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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