Let The Right One In
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Oscar, a 12-year-old fragile and bullied boy, finds love and revenge through Eli, a beautiful but peculiar girl he befriends, who moves into his building. When Oscar discovers that Eli is a vampire it does not deter his increasing feelings and confused emotions of a young adolescent. When Eli loses the man who protects and provides for her, and as suspicions are mounting from her neighbors and police she must move on to stay alive. However when Oscar faces his darkest hour, Eli returns to defend him the only way she can.
The enduring popularity of the vampire myth rests, in part, on sexual magnetism. In Let the Right One In, Tomas Alfredson's carefully controlled, yet sympathetic take on John Ajvide Lindqvist's Swedish bestseller-turned-screenplay, the protagonists are pre-teens, unlike the fully-formed night crawlers of HBOs True Blood or Catherine Hardwickes Twilight (both also based on popular novels). Instead, 12-year-old Oskar (future heartbreaker Kåre Hedebrant) and Eli (Lina Leandersson) enter into a deadly form of puppy love. The product of divorce, Oskar lives with his harried mother, while his new neighbor resides with a mystery man named Håkan (Per Ragnar), who takes care of her unique dietary needs. From the wintery moment in 1982 that the lonely, towheaded boy spots the strange, dark-haired girl skulking around their outer-Stockholm tenement, he senses a kindred spirit. They bond, innocently enough, over a Rubik's Cube, but little does Oskar realize that Eli has been 12 for a very long time. Meanwhile, at school, bullies torment the pale and morbid student mercilessly. Through his friendship with Eli, Oskar doesn't just learn how to defend himself, but to become a sort of predator himself, begging the question as to whether Eli really exists or whether she represents a manifestation of his pent-up anger and resentment. Naturally, the international success of Lindqvist's fifth feature, like Norway's chilling Insomnia before it, has inspired an American remake, which is sure to boast superior special effects, but can't possibly capture the delicate balance he strikes here between the tender and the terrible. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
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This Film Had me so engaged with the main characters Oskar and Elli.
This is a must own for any movie collector.
Best vampire film ever made!!!
The main characters are surprisingly sincere and sophisticated in their acting. The story is definitely a new wrinkle on an old formula, and leaves one wondering where the journey will lead at the end of the movie. The movie was mostly sad, so this isn't one for young children or for those who get easily depressed. Still, this is a very well made movie worth watching.
Anyhoo, to get the to film(s) at hand: Let The Right One In is probably one of the best foreign-made horror films in many a year and puts a completely new spin on vampire lore. it focuses on young Oskar, and frail, pale, blond-haired boy (he's Swedish, after all) who is miserable at school due to daily bullying and out of touch with his currently separated parents. He fantasizes about violently defending himself against his schoolyard tormentors, making verbal threats and stabbing inanimate objects such as trees with a knife. One night he meets a girl who appears to be his age who calls herself "Eli". Eli is a strange little cookie who has used newspaper to black out the windows of the apartment she now lives in, does not dress for cold weather and even goes outside barefoot in the snow, and smells as if she does not make a regular habit of bathing. The two strike up a strange friendship/budding preadolescent romance. But, as we soon learn and Oskar leans soon after, she is a vampire, and not a "she" at all in the truest sense of the word but a boy whose own attack by a vampire was so brutal that is resulted in castration. (Eli her/himself tries to kill his/her victims after feeding, having no desire to create more vampires).
Oskar accepts Eli for what (s)he is, Eli encourages him to stand up for himself (in other words, not to just imagine fighting back against bullies but to do it for real), and Eli needs a replacement for her current human accomplice/caretaker, who has become incompetent in his duties of getting blood for her, you see where this is going?
Arguably, the ending is ambiguous: is Oskar to be Eli's next accomplice? Can/will Eli change him so they can live together forever as a couple of child/vampires?
This is a beautifully acted/photographed film, with the bleak snowy landscape somehow appropriate. The same can be said for "Let Me In", the Americanized/English language version, which in my opinion is the equal of the original Swedish in every respect. I highly recommend both and certainly think they both make a good edition to any vampire cinema fan.