Sunday, February 8, 2009

Let The Right One In (2008)

Fear 2/5
Gore 2/5
Entertainment 5/5
Creepiness 4/5

Vampire movies suck as a rule, but then, there are always exceptions. Sweden's Let The Right One In is the big exception to this rule. Absent are the black leather clad, nu-goth metal douchebags, writhing in faux erotic ecstasy against a bumping techno background. Absent are the medieval weenies brandishing crucifixes and garlic, fangs popping out of mouths like cheap Halloween costumes. And, absent are the old men, lurking in dark corners with capes and greasy hair, terrible Eastern European accents and a deep dark desire to seduce blonde babes who remind them of poor Elsa, the one true love that died away all those centuries ago. 

Let The Right One In, instead, treats it's audience like grown ups by dishing out a story about children that's modern and familiar while being amazingly original. I promise, you've never seen anything like this story. 

Oskar is a geeky 12 year old living in Sweden circa 1980. He is tormented and bullied around by a group of kids at his school, but he won't fight back. He just keeps taking it. A young girl moves in next store and they quickly become fast friends, maybe even a bit "more than friends". She begins to open up to him and he to her. That's the basis of the film. The only spoiler I'll give you is that one of them is a vampire. But you probably figured that out. 

This is a great film and in a strange way I left feeling touched. It has some really creepy scenes - both visually and thematically - and some decent gore, but again, this stuff seems sort of secondary to the connection between the two characters. There is so much in this film that I could relate to and I found myself feeling very drawn to both Oskar and his new friend.  This was actually one of the creepiest aspects of the movie. 

By the end of the film I was left unsure about how to feel - was I happy how things turned out or sad? Hard to say. I feel like I came away with a moral conundrum to solve - issues around who people really are and what it means to trust someone come into question. "Good" and "Evil" blur between each other, often becoming one and the same. This is not something I am likely to get from the Friday The 13th remake. 

Aside from the gore and the requisite chills and thrills (and this film delivers these to be sure), the excellent story and the wonderful acting, the film simply looks incredible. Grey, dark, gritty, cold and not at all inviting. There is a starkness and emptiness that follows each scene, the sad story being told feeling and looking completely as it should. Despite one scene involving a very poor choice of CGI, the film could not have had a better feel to it. It's grim, but very human. 

This movie is fucking freaky and insanely good. Easily my favorite vampire film ever. Maybe my favorite film of 2008. 

- Complaint Dept

1 comment:

Cortez the Killer said...

A faint hint of Blade in the opening paragraph perhaps? I heard the cinematography in this flick is also pretty stellar.