Thursday, October 22, 2009

#11 - Let the Right One In

Latte den Ratte Komma In (2008)
Directed by: Tomas Alfredson. Written by: John Ajvide Lindqvist, based on his novel.

Plot: A young boy (Kare Hedebrant) who gets picked on mercilessly at school and who apparently has a few issues, befriends the strange girl (Lina Leandersson) who moved in next door. It is soon revealed that she is actually a horrible bloodthirsty vampire.

Review: Though this film is, ostensibly (I’ve been waiting my whole life to use the word ‘ostensibly’ in a sentence), a romance, it harkens back to a time when vampires were really fucking nasty monsters and not particularly sexy. Eli is not just a normal person with super powers who drinks blood from time to time. She’s not remotely human.

Which makes the relationship between her and Oskar even more touching and yet disturbed. This movie is actually seriously fucked up. I mean, for starters there’s the relationship between Eli and her ‘helper’ (Per Ragnar), an older guy with a real paedophile thing going on.

And there’s a lot of other whack shit going on. I kind of want to read the novel - it sounds really interesting, if the film is any indication.

I also thought the movie looked really fucking great. It’s Swedish, so, you know, everything is really morbid (I haven’t seen that many Swedish movies, but not a single one of them has been a real fun party. They’ve all been really depressing), but it’s probably one of the least colourful countries ever so that isn’t too surprising. However, they’ve got the almost total lack of pigment going for them in this. There’s a deathly pallour over the whole movie which looks really cool.

It’s really beautiful but also really filthy and awful. That’s what I’m kind of talking about the vampire not being especially sexy. She looks like she doesn’t really clean herself at all, and there’s all kinds of blood and stuff. She’s not elegant or really that dignified. She’s a kid.

It’s pretty twisted. Gotta love it.

But it’s also cool. And totally goth. I’m actually surprised it hasn’t already become a thing in the emo world. I mean, come on. Bullied kid gets help from vampire. What more do They want? It doesn’t really go down that particular road, thank God, but it could have done so very easily. I totally anticipate that from the American remake (insert sad emote here).

All told, I thought this movie was fuckin a, and was glad it wasn’t actually that scary. For about the first half hour I was sitting at the edge of my seat grinding my teeth because I just knew something was going to scare the living shit out of me. But it didn’t and eventually I relaxed and enjoyed the movie.

Yup. Actually, now that I think about it, this has a little bit in common with 30 Days of Night, although it is a vastly superior film. I think it’s just the vampires plus snow that’s getting me… everything is just really pale and really close. But the resemblance pretty much ends there. Eli, though scary and weird, is still a good character who I can sympathize with. And she doesn't run around shrieking like... um... well, like the frickin vampires in 30 Days. It's also not based on a comic book which shows and is somewhat more realistic.

Anyway, I totally recommend this movie to anyone who misses the days when vampires weren’t sissies, or anyone else, really. It’s good stuff.

Favourite Part: I just love that it was Swedish. I really want to move to Sweden. I hear they have free university there too, which is awesome. I wonder how hard it is to get citizenship? Maybe I could marry for it…

Other versions: American remake in the works. This is stupid, although I must say it has piqued my interest, mainly because it’s going to be a Hammer co-production. I thought that Hammer basically vanished off the face of the earth, like, thirty years ago but apparently they’re still around and they’re going to go for the vampire thing again. This is cool. Also, I read that Richard Jenkins is going to be in it. I love him. He makes me happy. He's going to be playing the creepy paedophile guy, which isn't an especially creative casting choice seeing as he actually even looks like the guy in this movie a little bit, but it is still a pretty good one.

Sequels: None.

Click here to read my original review (March 14th, 2009).

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