Thursday, April 9, 2009

Let the Right One In: Vintage Vampire

Låt den rätte komma in/Let the Right One In is vintage vampire. I thought I'd never enjoy another in this genre but this film took me by surprise. A real gem!

This is the best foreign language, pubescent female vampire movie of 2008 by far. It’s set in Stockholm in 1982, obviously a memorable year for Swedish horror. Kåre Hedebrant as the bullied boy Oskar and Lina Leandersson as the girl vampire Eli are magnificent! They even outshine the child actors in Slumdog Millionaire.

The local eccentrics add extra colour to the blood on the snow. The group of friends who get caught up in Eli need for blood are truly Dickensian: Jocke (Mikael Rahm), Gösta (Karl-Robert Lindgren), Lacke (Peter Carlberg) and his girlfriend Virginia (Ika Nord).

Most of the conventions are followed: the ageless vampire; aversion to sunlight; a Renfield character played by Per Ragnar; infected victims; the necessity of being invited into a room.

Like all good vampire movies it’s a love story, if just a little unusual.

Director Tomas Alfredson and novelist/screenwriter John Ajvide Lindqvist are to be congratulated on breathing life into this genre. Though there is plenty of blood Alfredson doesn't overdo or milk the horror. In contrast the boys who torment Oskar are far more chilling than any vampire. They give the tale its real elements of suspense.

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