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Let the Right One In (2008)

  Tags: blood, drama, kids, let the right one in, romance, sweden, swedish, Tomas Alfredson, vamps

Your rating: None Average: 7.6 (24 votes)
Reviewer Rating: 
7

lettherightonein.jpg
Rating #: 
7/10
Director: 
Tomas Alfredson
Runtime: 
114 minutes
Cast: 
Kåre Hedebrant, Lina Leandersson, Per Ragnar, Henrik Dahl, Karin Bergquist, Peter Carlberg, Ika Nord


Based on the best-selling Swedish novel by John Ajvide Lindqvist, the English-language remake was already greenlit many months before this hit theaters in its home country. That should be an indication that the fiction this film is based on must be quite a read. Sadly, I haven't had the chance to take a peek at the novel, but I hear there aren't a lot of major differences between the two mediums. Obviously when adapting to film a number of detailed back-stories on certain characters are shortened, which is the case here. I've also heard that some of the more violent scenes and controversial sub-plots, such as pedophilia and what-not, was hinted at, but not really touched upon here. Either way, what did make it into the movie was still a nice watch and semi-original take on the vampire sub-genre.

The film's premise caught my interest from the start -- following a young boy, who's pent up anger towards his school-yard bullies is finally reaching its limit, when he meets his mysterious new neighbor "Eli." The two seem to have a connection from the start, being that they're both seemingly outcasts from the norm of society, and despite Eli's claims of not wanting to be his friend, over time they become just that. Coincidentally (or is it) that once Eli and her "father" move into their new home that bodies around town start piling up. Unbeknownst to the boy, Eli is an old vampire and her man-servant is getting old and reckless, leaving too much of a mess behind each night, as he hunts for human prey for the young blood-sucker.

This is movie of a slow-paced artsy romance-drama with horror elements thrown in, which in my opinion, makes it quite unique, but also an acquired taste. I personally liked the movie, although it would have been nice had there been more vampire action thrown in, but that's just my constant thirst to see mayhem and bloodshed on the screen (sorry!). The film leaves a lot to the imagination, especially when it comes to certain key characters such as the young vampire Eli. Many things are hinted-at, but never fully explained, which made these characters all-the-more intriguing. There's a minimal amount of gore, except for a couple scenes. The rest of the violent sequences just offers a fair amount of blood.

The overall tone of the film was dark and slow-paced, with a foreboding atmosphere looming overhead. The story builds up to the final act, which couldn't have been pulled off any better, in my opinion. The haunting climax of the movie is so well directed and played out that it will likely leave you with the images in your head well after the credits roll.

More of a romance-drama than a horror flick, this proved to be a good and semi-original take on the vampire sub-genre. Though, due to its slow-pace it will likely turn off viewers, but if you don't mind the lack of action and want a genuinely interesting tale of love and revenge, then give this a check.

Posted on July 16, 2009 - 2:31am | FrighT MasteR

 

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