The Functional Hermit

musings from a homebody

Posts Tagged ‘Tomas Alfredson

Hermit Cinema: Let The Right One In

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A couple of people I know kept bugging me to watch this movie and they were very much in the right to do so. I’m not much of a horror movie fan and to be honest, once I heard it was about a vampire I could think of nothing but the vampire overload that is jamming much of our pop culture.

The long and short of this movie is this is one very interesting movie. Directed by Tomas Alfredson, this Swedish movie is well worth the effort required by its subtitles. Oskar is a lonely, bullied boy who dreams of exacting a violent, humiliating revenge on his tormenters. He ends up befriending Eli, a girl who moves into the apartment next door. Initially, she tells Oskar they cannot be friends but eventually, they form a growing bond. Eventually, Eli encourages Oskar to stand up to his bully tormentors and to take them on.

Oskar notices some strange things about Eli but ¬†doesn’t suspect the truth: she is a vampire. Eli lives with an older man who tries to kill victims and bring their blood back to Eli. He is, however, not a very successful serial killer so Eli is sometimes on her own to take care of her needs. Lacke is a local townie who swears to get the vampire himself, after his good friend Jocke is killed and his girlfriend, Virginia, is attacked but survives. Virginia is not left unscarred however. She becomes painfully aware that she has now become a vampire herself.

Meanwhile, Oskar makes a bold and somewhat anticlimactic stand against his main tormentor and he and Eli form a deeper and deeper bond. On the way, Oskar begins to realize that Eli isn’t what he first thought.

This movie is very well done. What really stands out is the note-perfect way it captures the loneliness and uncertainty of adolescence. The awkward beginnings and development of their relationship, the dynamic of the bullies with Oskar and each other, all of it feels so real. Seeing both Oskar and Eli struggle through it – one a weak, lonely outsider while the other has strength and powers yet is trapped in adolescence for perpetuity – gives their relationship a really unique and intriguing dynamic.

The deft use of gore and effects gives you just the desired result, no more. Nothing is done for shock value but rather for the best interests of the movie and the characters’ relationships. (I’d imagine that won’t be true for the recent release fo the American version of this film, Let Me In.) What you don’t see is used just as powerfully as what you do.

Overall, this is a strong choice for a movie that entertains while also defying any familiar categorization. It’s not a perfect film, mind you. Frankly, I found it to be fairly predictable. But just because you know where your car ride is going to end, doesn’t mean the trip can’t be a unique and enjoyable experience.

I give this movie a strongly recommended A-minus.

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Written by the bee dub

October 5, 2010 at 1:28 pm

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