Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Review: Let the Right One In (2008)

Let the Right One In (2008)

Director: Tomas Alfredson
Starring: Kåre Hedebrant, Lina Leandersson, Per Ragnar, Henrik Dahl

"Please Oskar... Be me, for a little while."

Going in I was hoping for the best, because a movie as hyped as this one has been online, well can lead to disappointment. Not living up to all the expectation placed upon it. Happily, This this film did.

The story of two lonely souls. One is twelve year old boy Oskar played by Kåre Hedebrant. The other Eli played by Lina Leandersson is a girl (maybe) who in her words is twelve more or less. A love story of sorts, but not it the Twilight sort of way.

Oskar lives in a small town in Sweden in 1981. A child of divorced parents he's tormented by bullies on a daily basis. One snowy night he meets Eli who's just moved in next door with and older man. What follows is at times touching, haunting and quietly hypnotic story. It doesn't answer many of the questions you'll have and I love that. How old is Eli exactly? Is she using Oskar? Setting him up to be her new servant like the older man with her? Or does she really love him? The film leaves it up to you to interpret.

The director Tomas Alfredson does a good job of making you feel the isolation and cold of the winter setting at the same time making you feel the warmth of these two characters. Another thing I was impressed with is the way he staged the massacare at the pool at the films end. It was done with very little effects but it has lots of impact.

There's many little touches that really make this film a great vampire film. You never see her fangs. The way her face ages in a couple of scenes. How she says she's forgotten how to feel cold. The way her eyes glow in the dark in one scene. Such a small thing but well done. How we get to see what happens when a vampire enters a place it was invited. The way a cat reacts to Eli's presence.

Which leads me to the only thing in the film that bugged me. A very fake looking cat attack on someone that will make you cringe for all the wrong reasons.

Another thing the film leaves to you to decide is does it end happily or sadly. I felt the ending was a happy one for these two characters.

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