Comments on watching and making films.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Let The Right One In

When I think of Swedish film, I think of Ingmar Bergman - dark, brooding meditations of life and love. With Let The Right One In, I'm seeing a whole new aspect of Swedish filmmaking. ...Right One... is about a young boy, Oscar, who is bullied at school, and for all intents and purposes, ignored at home. His parents are divorced, and he lives with his mom, but she doesn't pay that much attention to him. One night, a young woman, about his age, moves into the apartment next door, with an older man, who we presume is her father. Over time, Oscar gets to know the young girl, who only comes out at night, and never seems to get cold in the freezing Swedish winters. But when the old man she was living with passes on, Oscar finds out the frightening truth of Eli, the young girl he's fallen in love with - She's a vampire.

Let The Right One In is an amazing film. I loved it through and through. The two young actors who play Oscar and Eli, Kare Hedebrant and Lina Leandersson respectively, are amazing and really disappear into their roles. The director, Tomas Alfredson, seems to have worked hard to get the chemistry just right between them, and between Oscar and the boys who torture him. It amazes me that this team was able to take such a relatively tired genre (sans the recent 30 Days of Night, which was really good), and breath some new life into it. I loved the idea, as well, that Eli was not just some creature who loved the thrill of the hunt and kill, but that she only did what she did because it was for her survival. Just as we kill and eat a cow or a pig, she must kill a human being to survive. Instead of the whole Underworld style of Vampire, Let The Right One In has the most human vampire I have ever seen - like you and I in every way, except for her need for human blood to feed on.

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