ming movie reviews

in about 100 words or less

Let the Right One In (2008)

Swedish 114m, Colour
Director: Tomas Alfredson; Cast: Kåre Hedebrant, Lina Leandersson, Per Ragnar

let_the_right_one_inIf vampires did exist, Let the Right One In could be a documentary. Based on a book of the same name by John Lindqvist, but skillfully edited to exclude some of the more controversial themes, the story centers on the relationship between a 12-year-old boy, Oskar and Eli, a vampire child of considerable age. Set predominantly during the lengthy darkness of Sweden’s winter, the warmth of their friendship is contrasted against a series of murders perpetrated by Eli’s mentally tormented human companion, who collects blood for her, leaving his victims hanging upside down. Despite the simplification of the plot for the film, the story is disturbing on a number of levels but remains one of the most intriguing and thoughtful vampire movies yet made (Klaus Ming November 2009).

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7 comments on “Let the Right One In (2008)

  1. chrislejarzar
    11/30/2010

    Brilliant. I wouldn’t help but to get caught up in this little world. I think events could be taken depending on your outlook of the world and, in particular, of love. Is Eli and Oskar just pure puppy love/great friendship? Or does Eli look at Oskar as a would-be replacement for the aging Hakan?

    • Anthony Lee Collins
      02/20/2011

      I really liked that this aspect was ambiguous. It doesn’t over-resolve the story, it leaves it open. I thought that was good.

    • Klaus
      02/20/2011

      I’m guessing both, but I read it as more of a replacement.

  2. Anthony Lee Collins
    02/20/2011

    This is a great movie (in a whole different way than Kick-Ass, which I just commented on as well). Acting, script, visuals, music, pacing, everything. It took them a year of auditions to locate their two leads, and it paid off.

    And, yes, you’ve nailed it with your first sentence. This is what being a vampire would be like. Not Lestat or Twilight or Dracula or Dark Shadows or any of the others. Her terror that she will attack her friend and possibly condemn him to a life like hers is really understandable.

    I just watched the Hollywood remake, and it’s remarkably faithful to the original (the movie, not the book). Talk about redundant. I really only saw it because of Chloe Moretz, who is really good, but no amount of good acting helps if there’s no reason for a movie to exist in the first place.

    • Klaus
      02/20/2011

      “Talk about redundant” — yeah that really is annoying when English speaking re-makes are made for no other reason than language. Having also read the book, there was room for the re-make to do something different. Too bad they missed the opportunity to do so.

      • Anthony Lee Collins
        02/21/2011

        I have not read the book, and I won’t. The film really moved me, and that’s the story I want to remember. In some cases (as you know 🙂 ) I can be very analytical about the differences between a book and the movie adaptation, but for this one I’m happy with the status quo.

        I was just talking on Facebook with a friend who just saw the movie (the original), and I complained that the Hollywood movie (no surprise) eliminated the entire gender aspect of the story, which I thought was really important. Turned out she’d missed it completely. 🙂

  3. Klausming
    02/21/2011

    I watched the original movie first, then read the book. I personally would always rather see the movie first – and let the book fill in the details. Reading let the Right One In did just that – and was similar enough to imagine the characters as they were in the film.

    As for the Hollywood re-make not having the gender subplot – i’m not surprised, and am even less inclined to watch it now.

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This entry was posted on 11/30/2009 by in 1001+, 2000s, All and tagged .
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