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-