Friday 13 March 2009

Let The Right One In

Critics loved this movie.

It's about vampires. Or, more precisely, it's about a vampire. Singular.

Oskar is twelve and lives a rather dull life. He's bullied at school, has no real friends and splits his time between his mom's apartment in Stockholm, and his dad's farm in the country. Then a new family moves in next door, a man and a young girl his age. Oskar and Eli begin spending time together in the evenings, while Eli's father shuns the other residents of the complex. What Oksar doesn't know is that Eli is a vampire, and though she craves his friendship, she also thirsts for his blood.

Let The Right One In is a quiet, brooding Swedish film, punctuated by moments of humour and violence. Set in winter, the bleakness of the stark white environment mirrors Oskar's bleak and mundane life. Once he meets Eli, his life begins to change, perhaps for the better, as he learns to stand up for himself. Life for everyone else, however, maintains its tedium.

Quite different from a lot of other contemporary vampire movies, this one is neither a polished action/adventure, nor is it a fantasy love story, or a coming of age film. Let The Right One In follows the story of Oksar and Eli, as they slowly grow closer. There's nothing particularly special about either of them, and both have to deal with the problems that sometimes come with being a twelve year old; Oskar is awkward and unpopular, Eli suffers from having a insufficent provider. But the film is not about the human condion, and vampirism isn't a metaphor. In fact, I'm hard pressed to find any underlying meaning in this film, except that maybe sometimes life sucks (pun intended!).

So that makes two Scandinavian films I might not fully understand. But that's not to say I didn't enjoy this film or that it suffers any for my lack of comprehension. Let The Right One In is a good movie.

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