Let The Right One In (Tomas Alfredson – 2008) A

It’s been days since I first saw this and I am still thinking about it. What at first glance seems like a friendship story between two outcasts (granted, one is a very old 12-year old vampire) after more consideration it really comes through as a complex and layered drama. The vampire, Eli, is cast perfectly. She (is it a she?) is not an attractive pale teenager who happens to be a vampire. She has a face that sometimes looks like that of a 10 year old and other times that of a 35 year old. The vampire is at the same time pathetic, creepy and haunting. The boy, Oskar, gets severely bullied at school and he has no friends. So when the new “girl” in the neighborhood shows interest in him he is more than willing to hang out with her and not ask too many questions early on. Eli does all the vampire things like fly, suck blood and need to be invited in to come to a new place. These are all classic, but they are not made central to the plot. They are not dramatized in long action sequences. They just happen. For Oskar, he found a friend and protector, but for Eli its much more that. I will leave it at that and not spoil anything, but the final shot in the film puts a slant on the movie, especially Eli’s motivations, that is not immediately obvious.

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