Let the Right One In
It’s a creepy and dark vampire movie, and yet, I wouldn’t call it horror. I read about this movie a year ago, and was intrigued, and finally had the opportunity to watch it last Saturday (I was still in mourning over finishing Mencheres’s book, so I wasn’t ready to officially “move on” yet). It is based on a Swedish novel by author John Ajvide Lindqvist, (here’s the english version of the book: Let the Right One In: A Novel. It was also a Swedish film (but subtitled, and I’m a foreign flick fan – so it was all good). The “foreign” aspect of it actually lends to the movie’s surreal, eerie feel.
It’s about an angelic faced twelve year old boy (Oskar), who lives with his single (and obviously harried) mom in a tiny apartment. He is poor, unpopular and severely bullied at school. One evening, he meets a young girl his age (Eli), ”mangy” in appearance, living with what seems to be her single father. Each night, they hang out together in the yard behind their apartment complex, cautiously talking, until they develop a natural rapport.
Her “father” leaves during the evenings with a suspicious looking kit. He finds unsuspecting male teenagers, puts them out with chloroform, hangs them upside down and then slits their throat to gather their blood. You quickly realize the blood is for her, and that she is a vampire. You also suspect that he is not her father, but the relationship between the two is unclear (and least it was for me). Probably watching it again would clear up my questions, but I’m not ready to go there again
After his latest bungled attempts at blood collection, she is forced to feed directly from humans, and is obliged to kill them (if she does not, they risk “turning”). In his last attempt, he is caught by the police, but to keep from being recognized, he disfigures himself by dousing his face with acid, and then later, in the hospital, sacrifices himself to Eli, before he plummets to his death (what a morbid scene that was – whoa!)
Now Eli lives alone as Oskar’s neighbor, and he begins to suspect Eli is something other than normal. With her strange body odor, inability to eat the candy he offers (he spies her retching behind a building), and her reaction to his spilled blood when he tried to blood bond them as best friends, he confronts her. The movie features some of the usual vampire myths (burning in the sun, sleeping during the day and extraordinary physical abilities), but one of the most striking scenes was when she demonstrates exactly why she must be “invited” to enter.
The scenes that proceed are just as harrowing. From her androgynous ambiguity, to an accidental turning of a victim, to Oskar’s continued bullying, events unfold that change both of their lives forever. An American version entitled “Let Me In” is expected to be released October 1, 2010.
Dark and eerie, but most certainly interesting and captivating, I would recommend it, if you were in the mood for something somber that affects you deeper than the usual horror flick fear tactics. But it’s weird – you’ve been warned.