Thursday, 27 August 2009

Review - Let The Right One In

In a nutshell:- Character-based Swedish arthouse vampire film.

The Basics:- Based on the novel by John Ajvide Lindqvist (who also wrote the screenplay), it tells the story of outsider Oskar who is being bullied at school and doesn't seem to fit in. He meets new neighbour Eli, a girl who doesn't seem to to feel the cold from the snow and only seems to come out at night and they strike up a friendship...

The Good:- It's engaging, beautifully shot and features great performances form the two young stars as Oskar and Eli. It's very much unlike your standard vampire film, concentrating on the burgeoning love affair between the two main characters. That's not to say it shies away from moments of vampiric blood-letting but that's not the focus of the film. It's a very ambiguous film - both in some of the details about Eli and also morally which is quite refreshing. There's no clear cut right and wrong in the film - this is just what happens to the characters and how they behave. The film also has some nice use of traditional vampire lore - at one point, we see exactly what happens to Eli when she enters a house into which she hasn't been invited...

The Bad:- To be honest, I can't think of anything bad to say about the film. The only bad thing I can think of is the quite frankly bizarre UK marketing campaign for the DVD release of the film which is pitching it as a blood-soaked, scare-a-minute, terrifying horrorfest which is exactly the sort of film that it isn't. As campaigns go, it's truly odd - the sort of viewer attracted to the kind of Hostel-style slasher film they're pitching it as will be put off by the films languid pace and emphasis of character over schlock and, conversely, the viewer who might enjoy an odd, character-based, arthouse-style film wouldn't be enticed by the promise of shocks and gore. Utterly strange.

Closing Remarks:- Definitely one to watch - it's odd and creepy with some great performances and some nice directorial touches (particularly the scene in the swimming pool). Go and see it before Hollywood remakes it as "Let Me In" and completely spoils it.*


* This is on the way. Successful foreign film = instant crap Hollywood remake. It's the rules.



4 comments:

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

I will go look for this. I can't guarantee I'll find it, but I'll try.

Kurt said...

This was the best movie I've seen this year, bar none. I raved about it. Great Review, Fella.

Steam Me Up, Kid said...

Agreed. I love this movie so much, I spent the entire credits trying to remember a movie I loved more. Couldn't do it.

Pearl said...

I'm definitely seeing this one. American horror films have devolved into either buckets of gore being thrown at the camera or outright torture scenes.

Pearl