Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Let The Right One In (Låt den rätte komma in)
I'm not one for vampire movies, and to tell you the truth, I can only count one vampire movie that I've seen and liked. More often than not, stories of vampires go the way of Underworld or Twilight, box office blockbusters with lots of unrealistic fight scenes or mushy love stories that surprisingly appeal to the tween and teen age groups that fall for the idea of living forever and being virtually indestructable.
Luckily, Tomas Alfredson has brought a new type of vampire to the screen and done so in quite stunning fashion. Let The Right One In tells the story of two children, Oskar, a lonely 12-year old who secretly dreams of killing his bullies, and Eli, a quiet, sweet-natured girl, who just happens to be a vampire. Eli moves into the housing complex where Oskar lives and the two form a sudden bond, both being outcasts and finding in one another an unspoken need to risk everything for this relationship.
The movie is rated R, and I think quite rightly so, but not for the reasons it was given. Unfortunately, in the prudish country of the United States, the brief glimpse of Eli's crotch (and that stretch's the idea, since she is not technically supposed to be a little girl at all) denotes nudity, and being that of a minor, will clearly cause all people under the age of 17 to snicker. I can attest that most people in the audience were unaware that any "nudity" had even taken place, as brief as it was. The MPAA also claims violence and languge, but the Dark Knight was given a PG-13 rating, and it quite outdoes this movie in terms of violence.
The proper reason to give this movie an R rating would be for the fact that high schoolers (especially those same ones who have just seen Twilight) probably might not understand the underlying premise of the film, which just so happens to be quite melancholy and heartbreaking. One must watch very closely and understand the purpose of each character to really grasp the true severity of the future that these two have forged for themselves.
I found myself not fearing the idea of vampires, but now feeling pity for their unfortunate lives. The two young stars grab the viewer and offer unrelenting pathos through simple dialogue and gentle scenes. Beautifully haunting, you are tempted to take both children in your arms to reassure them that life won't be so bad, and at the same time send them off to a distant land to live out their days. Let the Right One In is completely enchanting, and, undoubtedly, one of the best films of the year, from any country.
I strongly encourage everyone to see this film. With it you will understand the true tragedy of the lives of vampires and how they can be softhearted, and not perpetually evil or violent. Take your under 17 kids too, but only if you are willing to discuss the intricate storyline afterwards, or believe them mature enough to seize it on the first go. They can handle the brief nudity and the violence, it's probably nothing thay haven't seen before.
Official Movie Website