21 August 2011

Let the Right One In (film review part 1)

In this 2 part movie review of mine, I look into the films: "Låt den rätte komma" in and "Let Me In", both of which was based on the novel by John Ajvide Lindqvist.

Taking place in the early 80s, this is a story about a 12-year-old boy who's being bullied in school, who made friends with a vampire child. A little girl.
They fall in love.
Here thrives friendship and romance with a hint of tenderness and innocence.
And it is complicated, with an intriguing twist.
This is a story not for the faint hearted.

So there I was, reading the german translation of the story, then watching the original film in swedish (with english subtitles of course), and then watching the english version of the movie.

I don't know where to start.

Part 1

"Låt den rätte komma in"
Sweden, 2008

Coolness: 7/10

If you've read the book, the moment the film begins, you would notice the similarities between the film and book characters of Oskar and Eli.

The Looks:
Oskar being superly-insanely blonde, and Eli being sick-pale with black hair.
But then I noticed the first problem: in the movie, Oskar - played by Kåre Hedebrant - isn't overweight, which he is supposed to be, which is why he's being bullied in school in the first place.
They called him a pig.

On the other hand, Eli, played by Lina Leandersson, reminds me a lot about her character in the book. She definitely looks the part.

The Feel:
The film has mostly night scenes in it, which is very typical for such a horror movie, but I find these dark, winter settings very serene. It pulls you into a cold, empty world that makes you ask yourself: Where are all the people? *And then something somewhere rustles and you think-* Shit. What the hell was that?

I wouldn't really call it a horror movie, because nothing will come out to scare you in your face. Though certain scenes might want to make you look away, make you cover your ears, or make you want to listen a little more. However, too much blood and gore is what it's also not.
For me anyway :)
It's realistic enough without going into a blood-squirting overdrive.

The balance between horror, romance, and fantasy holds up a little in the film. Not too much of this and that, yet sticking to the spine of the story, and keeping it real. And I mean, you don't see Eli showing off her fangs, talking about her oh-so-miserable immortal self as though she's too proud to be a vampire or walking around and glittering in the daylight like some immortal blood-sucking monsters do. In fact, in the book, Eli denies being a vampire.

She doesn't care how she looks or what she wears, or whether or not she smells. At least until Oskar comes along.

Although you'd feel Oskar's loneliness and Eli's pain, it is many times amplified in the book rather than in the film. Certain situations are also being left out, situations which I think help to clarify a couple of "how did it-" questions, so that it flows a little more smoothly.

The Effects:
The acting wasn't too bad in this version. I liked the conversations, most of which are very sullen, quiet, and sometimes a little cryptic. For fans of movies with tons of conversations and drama in it, this isn't quite your taste (and might just bore you after awhile).
This film demands that you pay more attention to what's happening rather than what is being said or will be said.

It's a movie about the less-glamorous and more realistic side of a vampire. It made me wonder: Yeah, how would a child vampire survive in the real world? So misconcepted.

The movie ends in an interesting situation that leaves us all wondering... what next?
And that's an intriguing thought to be left with.

What I'd say:
It's a film that's worth watching, but even if you don't, or if you have watched the english version, you won't miss much.

When vampires are what you like, however, you might want to catch this and still be in the position to know that there is still hope - there is still hope that movies about the complex lives of vampires such as these would come around once in awhile.

And one more thing: block out the daylight from your room when watching the film, otherwise you won't be able to see anything other than pale faces looming around. Either that or watch it at night.


  1. If only I could find a copy of this film over here. The movie buff inside me wants to see it.

  2. Could you not get it online somewhere?