Director: Tomas Alfredson
Starring: Kare Hedebrant, Lina Leandersson, Per Ragnar
The last review I wrote was Texas Chainsaw 3D, so when I sat down to watch Let the Right One In it was like a breath of fresh air when this little foreign gem played out. I actually knew very little about this movie going in. I knew it was foreign, and I knew it had been remade in the U.S. some years later. So, with no preconceived notions I sat down and watched this one.
Let the Right One In is a story about Oskar, a shy boy that gets bullied a lot at school. Oskar lives in an apartment building and befriends a girl named Eli when she moves in next door. It doesn’t take long for us to figure out that Eli is a vampire. But she’s one of those compassionate vampires that isn’t happy about what she is. You know the kind—she’d rather starve than have to kill somebody. Anyway, most of the movie is about the two “youths” growing close to each other and trying to look after each other’s best interests. Oskar helps Eli feel like a real person, and Eli helps Oskar stand up for himself, and when he can’t do it on his own—well—just watch the end of the movie.
I liked this one A LOT. It’s very smart. It’s certainly a horror film but it’s got a good message and it does something that few horror movies do anymore. It makes you truly care about the characters. But enough about that, let’s talk about gore.
There’s a pleasant amount of gore in this movie, but it’s done in an artful and classy way. There are a few scenes where Eli gets ravenous (for lack of a better term). I found these scenes genuinely creepy—mostly because she start to look like a dude. And speaking of that, the movie does reference some gender confusion on Eli’s part, something that is apparently spelled out more clearly in the novel.
I haven’t seen the U.S. remake, but I don’t see how it could surpass this. If you don’t mind subtitles, Let the Right One In could be one of the best films you’ve seen in a while.