Monday, July 21, 2014

Film Review: Let The Right One In

This was the other horror film I watched last weekend and the one I actually enjoyed.

Let the Right One In is definitely not a general audience pleaser.  Its a foreign film to begin with, perhaps the first Swedish film I've watched in its native tongue.  Its also a "romantic horror" film, meaning its far from all blood and shock.

In fact the romance part of it is likely what it is most known for.

The connection between a young Swedish boy who is picked upon by the classical school bullies and his new "female" neighbor of a similar age who only he only meets at night and has a penchant for climbing up the outside of their apartment building and tearing the throats out of their older neighbors is the focus of the film.  Their relationship is a loving one where each accepts the other for who they are, even after one of the more headscratching twists I've seen in a while that totally changes the meaning of much of their previously viewed interaction and language.

The film is dark and slow (but not plodding) and feels as if it was filmed in the 70's (as opposed to The Conjuring which just tried to LOOK like it was in the 70's) which isn't a bad thing.  The young actors who are the focal point do an excellent job with Oskar, the non-vampire boy just barely straddling the line between cute and pathetic and pathetic and annoying.  Eli, the "female" protagonist is simply brilliant and is likely the character here you will remember the most.  Both roles were played by acting neophytes each with their own physical quirks and defects front and center which is wonderful as compared to what you would see in American cinema where some Disney-fied models out of an Abercrombie and Fitch catalog would have been used.

Yes, I am aware there is an American remake of this film titled Let Me In.  Just see the female lead in that film, her background and how different the film feels given the absence of the main twist in the Swedish version and tell me I'm wrong...No one trusted an American audience to handle what the Swedish version delves into in a number of instances.  Oh, and of course the American version of Eli just HAS to be a blonde right??

So go watch this film, if you like smart, offbeat foreign romance films...and if you can stand a few beheadings and gore.

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