Låt den rätte komma in [Let the Right One In] (2008)

<strong class="MovieTitle">Låt den rätte komma in [Let the Right One In]</strong> (2008)

(On DVD, December 2009) “Cold and restrained Swedish film” may seems like an oxymoron, but when it comes to vampire movies, ice-cold restraint can work wonders at telling us a vampire story we haven’t seen before.  There’s no glamour or sublimated eroticism here in the snows of wintertime Sweden, alongside a troubled boy-protagonist who befriends a tween vampire who looks about 12 (but acts 200).  There’s little comedy either as we follow a caretaker who kills strangers to get blood for his vampire protégé, or the bullies who pick mercilessly on the lead character.  But there’s a lot of skill in the way the story is presented, sometimes obliquely, sometimes ironically, sometimes brutally.  (The ending is a pure nightmare, simply due to a camera angle.) At a time where vampire films glitter in the sunlight, Let The Right One In is a welcome reminder that it only takes a bit of imagination to rekindle interest in the sub-genre.  While the film isn’t an unqualified success (it’s slow, it has its share of silly scenes such as the cat-attack one or indeed that entire subplot, and I can’t imagine willingly re-watching this film for fun in anything less than five years), it’s good enough to be noticed, and striking enough to earn modest praise from genre and non-genre audiences alike.

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