Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Let The Right One In (aka Låt den rätte komma in or Let Me In)

Genre: Foreign
If anyone out there were to ask me what movie to watch to get a feel for a perfect World of Darkness game, or if anyone wanted me to recommend a vampire film which truly explores new ground, this foreign film based on the 2004 vampire fiction novel by Swedish writer John Ajvide Lindqvist would definitely be the film I would cite.

Let The Right One In is a movie unlike any I have ever seen before. Brooding, dark, poetic, disturbing, touching, thought-provoking and yet fascinating, this film stands apart in the deluge of Underworld/Twilight (aka Too much Action, or Too much Drama) vampire tales that have been appearing in both film and on printed media. Centering on the awkward friendship forming between a 12-year old boy Oskar and a child named Eli who may or may not exactly be human, the story is a winding snow-covered path through a dark fairytale of poetic viciousness and ravenous human nature. Perfectly cast, beautifully shot, concisely scripted and then given just enough a dash of special effects to retain its modern nightmarish feel, this film had me holding my breath, staring in muted tension and sighing in uneasy happiness as the tale unfolded in its almost two-hour length. (I had opted to watch this over lunch, having the unfortunate scenario of having to stay up since yesterday... but I tell you, in no point did the film feel too slow, dragging, or overly focused on unnecessary plot threads.)

The title was taken from the Morrissey song "Let the Right One Slip In" (one can find this in their Viva Hate special edition album) as well as from the vampiric lore of vampires being incapable of entering another's abode without being invited first. The movie beautifully bares its own adaptation of vampire lore and carefully reveals it aspect by aspect in each passing scene. A gamer using the Vampire: The Requiem system can very easily design a Bloodline after watching this film. You will also find yourself fascinated by director Tomas Alfredson's attention to little cues on color, sound and detail. In fact, after seeing this film, you will realise how this small list of items suddenly invokes great images to recall:
1.) Rubik's cube
2.) Morse code
3.) Acid
4.) Window blinds
5.) Underwater swimming pool shots

Sadly, with this film already being so beautifully done, an American remake is supposedly in the works. Somehow, American distributors still find it difficult to believe that a Swedish language foreign film of this caliber would be hard for their audiences to understand. Then again, even the English release of the book was renamed to "Let Me In" because the publishers felt the original title was too long.

How sad.

Catch the original before the remake distracts you with its really shoddy version! (cases in point? Ringu vs The Ring, 엽기적인 그녀; literally, That Bizarre Girl versus the American remake, My Sassy Girl)



  1. I loved this movie as well, Tobie. Aside from the things you mentioned, one other thing I liked about this movie was how it took the oldest vampire myths (e.g. needing permission to come in, sunlight is fatal) and made it work. Unlike other recent vampire films which dispelled all previous beliefs about vampires, this one went the other way and worked with them.

  2. Exactly.

    This movie gave enough respect to the old myths, and yet gave them a modern spin which seemed so real. I loved the "woman subplot" and her "finale" was specatularly visualized.

  3. yes!! this movie is spine tingling.. i saw the trailer of this film in ANC and i told myself.. i am soo gonna watch this film.. the puppy love is dark and disturbing..

  4. "Do you like me?"


    "Would you still like me if I was not a girl?"


    And to think of the context of this exchange is huge! We viewer's know Eli is talkin about being a vampire. But for Oskar, she might be talking about being a guy, and he still does love her!

    ASTIG! Galeng ng movie sobra!

  5. another thing that i totally like is the way the characters talk.. i mean converse with each other.. the pause.. the deep breath kinda thingy.. and the jumping / falling scene in the balcony is a winner.. and of course that inviting to enter the door is also awesome.. i almost yelled "dont let her in!!" oh wait.. thats how the movie is supposed to be..

    i also like how the movie shows oskar's selfishness which is kinda normal for all kids. Kids are wicked sometimes, when they find a new friend they will treasure it selfishly and accept their dark side..in this case, the dark side of oskar's new friend is just way too dark...

    i think there's also a part where eli asked oskar if he wants to suck.. i just cant remember.. that was also wicked!

  6. I can soo see how much the American version will SUCK big time bad way!

  7. saw this a moth ago. couldn't get enough of it. great movie. made up for all the neurons i lost bitching about twilight. i was in a fritz when i heard they were making an american adaptation as well.

  8. It is so sad that they have to remake things they like which they didn't make. So sad.

    Oh wait. We do that too. On TV that is.



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