Let The Right One In (Låt den råtte komma in) Review


Movie: Let The Right One In (Låt den råtte komma in)
By: Orlok666
Date: April 3, 2011

An unusual friendship

1982 Blackeberg, Sweden. The pale reflection of a half-naked young boy appears in the window. He's looking down from his bedroom window seeing new neighbours arrive in the night. The neighbours are a young girl and an older man - drag a few boxes inside the apartment building's entrance and start boarding up the windows

Opening

This is the opening of one of the most impressive vampire movies that has been released in the last decade. In fact, it isn’t that much of a vampire movie as well as a movie about an unusual friendship between the 12 year old boy Oskar (Kåre Hedebrant) and the girl next door Eli (Lina Leandersson). Based on the novel ‘Låt den rätte komma in’ by John Ajvide Lindqvist, Tomas Alfredson directed the movie where Lindqvist himself wrote the screenplay for.

Eli (Let The Right One In)

Story

Oskar is a little outsider in school, hasn’t got any close friends and is obsessed with serial killers. And he’s getting more and more frustrated of being bullied at school. The scene at the playground where Oskar and Eli first meet feels natural and also gives a feeling there’s something weird about the little girl. During their meetings at the playground Oskar and Eli grow closer and a fragile friendship develops. Oskar has to deal with his growing frustration with his bullies and not having real friends while Eli struggles with her state, the need for blood and the loneliness. A smart way to keep focus on the friendship between the two youngsters while still be able to explore the implications of turning into and being a vampire is done by introducing a group of middle-aged inhabitants where one is becoming a vampire and learning what it means to be one.

Oskar (Let The Right One In)

Perfect match

Kåre Hedebrant is perfect as the plagued Oskar. He’s skinny, bleak and very introvert. Slowly he opens up towards Eli and learns to stand up for himself with her help. Lina Leandersson gives an extraordinary performance playing Eli, making her a tragic girl that copes with her fate. She finds a way of being a fragile girl as well as a growling, menacing monster that would kill anything that threatens her. You can feel the reluctance of showing Oskar her real nature, putting their relationship to risk this way. They both manage to make their friendship look natural and with ups and downs. The screenplay of Lindqvist is kept very subtle and often only gives hints of what’s going on while camera work of Hoyte van Hoytema is observing and keeps at a slight distance. Having read the novel as well the movie only slightly touches some parts that are described more extensively in the book. Alfredson did well in making the movie more poetic and delicate and not laying a more heavy emphasis on some of the horror aspects that the novel contains. There are many beautiful subtle indications that Eli isn’t just a normal girl: have a look at her eyes the basement-scene when the light is switched on or her face when she’s licking up drops of blood on the floor. And because this isn’t a balls-out horror movie the scenes that do are horrific make more impact. One of the last scenes makes it all comes together.

Oskar and Eli (Let The Right One In)

Closing thoughts

If you’re in for a gorefest with bodily fluids coming out of all kinds of orifices leave this one be but if you’re looking for one of the best movies that portraying the troubles of growing up and making friends dosed with a fair bit of horror this one is for you. This movie truly has a warm, beating heart - even if it’s an undead one.


5/5




Movie

Let The Right One In  (Låt den råtte komma in)

Title

Let The Right One In (Låt den råtte komma in)

Director

Tomas Alfredson

Country

Sweden

Year

2008

Cast

Kåre Hedebrant, Lina Leandersson, Per Ragnar