Directed By Thomas Alferdson
Starring Kare Hedebrant and Lina Leandersson
This is a hard film to discuss without spoiling certain plot details so as I've said before I'll ask you to skip this review if you haven't seen the film. I unabashedly love it and hope you will take a night off to enjoy this wonderful little movie.
Oskar is an awkward kid. His clothes are strange and the other kids in school pick on him. He dreams of standing up for himself but he is far too timid for anything like that. A girl named Eli moves in nearby and he falls in love. She is also strange but in different ways than Oskar. She can't go outside during the day, she must be invited before she can enter your home and she needs to drink blood to stay alive... undead... or whatever vampires are.
The film is about vengeance but its also about friendship, loyalty and that first love. There is no romanticizing the vampire here. The film is bleak and sober. This film could have easily worked as a meditation on the loneliness and isolation that some latch key kids must face everyday. Children of divorce who wander the streets unmonitored by parents who are doing their best to make ends meet. The film feels like a commentary on these abandoned children and if you take it a step further an indictment on the parents who have left them.
The performances in the film are pitch perfect. While I am no longer a lonely 12 year old female vampire the film was incredibly relate able. It speaks to a time that most of us go through but few of us remember honestly. We have a tendency to look back with a fondness that bears little to no resemblance to the lives we once lived.
The camera work in the film is stunning but restrained. The colors are muted and everyone's emotions are kept close to their chests. The visual flourishes are sparse but when they come they are explosions. Moments that reflect our characters true selves for brief but powerful moments.
The ending is a crescendo that easily upped my appreciation of the film by an order of magnitude. That's not to say that it was like the first Saw film, a pretty terrible movie with a great ending that made some people change their opinion about the whole film. No, this is a really good movie with a brilliant ending that was near perfect. I left the film feeling fully satisfied in a way that I didn't know a film about 12 year old vampires could make me.
Let the Right One In is a poetic, lyrical film that I highly recommend.and its streaming on Netflix