23 July 2010

let this one in

Tonight, for the third time, I watched my favorite Swedish vampire movie—how about one of my favorite vampire movies of all time?—Let the Right One In. Considering that it was done in 2008, it must have made a big impact for me to say “of all time.” Well, it did, and does.

We have Oskar, a twelve year old boy who’s being bullied at school. Enter Eli, a twelve (?) year old girl who suddenly presents herself as his next-door neighbor. She tells him that they can’t be friends, but it doesn’t take long until the opposite is true. And what a girl friend! She gives him tips on dealing with the bully and schools him (in often gruesome fashion) on her vampiric nature.

This is a lovely little fairy tale by Tomas Alfredson. I heard a nasty rumor of this gem being redone for the American audience. I fear that the intelligence and charm will be drained from it, just as surely as Eli drains her ill-fated quarry.


Wolfchild said...

So what is it about this film that prompts you to watch it three times (so far)?

dr. sheltie said...

There are a number of things. First of all, winter is my favorite season--so a movie that begins and ends with snowfall, and of course has snow throughout--will sway me.

But more importantly, it seems that Eli introduces some new elements to the vampire mythos. (Or at least, things that haven't been explored as much.) For example, she makes herself vulnerable when entering Oskar's apartment without being requested. It's conceivable that she would have died had he not quickly uttered his compliance.

One can only imagine how her father/companion first met her. How many others has she had? As with every vampire, what was her origin? What lies in store for Oskar?

These are a few of the things that go into my giving this movie two enthusiastic thumbs up!

Wolfchild said...

If you are interested in Eli's backstory, the novel gives a bit more of it. However, as the film portrays the heavy burden that horror of Eli's life lays upon her, you can imagine that her backstory is also filled with horror. It is perhaps not for the faint of heart. Also, much more is told about Håkan (her helper) and that is also not very pretty.

Even so, the beauty of the love story is there in the novel. While the movie leaves Eli's motives open to interpretation, the novel makes them clear. If you became infected by the characters of Oskar & Eli in the film, reading the novel will not take them away from you. In fact, it may lead you to appreciate them more.

If you care to discuss this film with other fans, I would invite to come to the forums on the fan site. There, no aspect of this film is too arcane or trivial to discuss. ;-)

dr. sheltie said...

Wolfchild, how did you happen to stumble upon this post?
(By the way, I like the website for the movie!)

Wolfchild said...

Well, of course, your fame precedes you. That and a Google search alert. ;-)

It seems that I never know when I will come across some interesting new comment or observation about this film, so I'm always trolling blogs for mention of it.

I'm glad you like the site. I hope that you will feel like you have something to add to it.