Friday, May 08, 2009
movie recommendation: let the right one in
Although I'm probably the last English teacher left in America who has not yet read any of the Twilight books, I feel like I've overheard enough fourteen-year-old conversations about them to be able to safely make this statement: If you are looking for a vampire flick that is the very antithesis of Twilight, then Tomas Alfredson's Let the Right One In is your film.

Like Twilight, Let the Right One In is the story of a cautious and delicate love between a human child and a vampire who will forever remain an adolescent; however, unlike Twilight, this is a subtle, artful, and markedly mature affair. Set in a frozen suburb of Stockholm, in a town that has been plagued with a rash of puzzling murders, lives Oskar - a shy and delicate 12-year-old boy who is being ruthlessly bullied at school. Oskar's a painfully lonely boy, which is probably what endears him to Eli - a sallow-faced girl who only comes out at night, seems impervious to the winter's cold, and who has recently moved in next door. Oskar and Eli soon forge a hesitant friendship that later turns into a fragile love, a love which - taking a page from classic vampire mythology - can only exist once Oskar invites Eli in.

Granted, I love stories of childhood misfits and underdogs, so Let the Right One In is exactly my cup of tea; however, there's no small number of things to admire about this movie. It's a superbly crafted, beautifully directed, elegant film, and a very welcome "grown-up" addition to the vampire canon. Rent it before some hack goes and makes a needlessly gory, sped-up, Americanized version.



Blogger PAK said...

I've heard nothing but great things about this film, but I haven't seen it yet myself.

However, from what I understand, the current DVD/Blu-ray release has dumbed-down subtitles compared with the theater release. I would recommend giving this one another rental down the road when a DVD with the theatrical subtitles is released.

Blogger Mrs. White said...

Paul, I had heard that too, but since I don't speak Swedish I didn't know any better regarding the translation. However, I will say this of the current DVD release: DO NOT attempt to listen to the English dubbed version. I don't know who they hired, but the English-speaking "actors" were some of the most god-awful actors I'd ever heard. I was embarrassed for them. It was that bad.

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