Thursday, October 30, 2008

Review - Let the Right One In

A fragile and bullied pre-teen boy makes friends with a unusual girl who has just moved into his apartment complex. As a friendship develops between the two, the boy soon comes to realize that the intriguing girl may be something far darker than he ever realized. Coinciding with the arrival of the girl and her guardian, murders and a disappearance in the town gives rise to suspicion surrounding the new tenants.

Directed by Tomas Alfredson, Let the Right One In, is a thoughtful and masterful love story about two unlikely friends. Alfredson delicately unfolds the timeless vampire tale with stunning cinematography and sporadic moments of terror. The film has a leisurely pace, moving unhurried through character and story development, however the film never feels bogged down or even slightly inactive. The development instead, sets an eerie tone that pulls the viewer in and doesn't let go until it's fantastic finale.

The two teens that were cast as the leads were absolutely perfect in the film. Kåre Hedebrant who plays Oskar, does a marvelous job of playing the bullied boy who is afraid to stand up to his bullies at school. Alfredson does a flawless job of using Kåre's vivid innocence throughout Let the Right One In to evolve the subtle romance between Eli and Oskar. Lina Leandersson is absolutely mesmorizing as Eli. She delivers a unsurpassed performance as the vampire who is locked in the unaging body of a twelve year old girl. Leandersson effortlessly fluctuates between what seems to be a pure pre-teen to a weathered vampire who cannot resist her craving for blood. Some of Let the Right One In's most haunting moments come at the hands of Eli's thirst for blood with unforgiving realism. Every moment she is on camera, the viewer is riveted by Lina Leandersson's haunting performance.

The relationship of Eli and Oskar is the heart of the chilling film and doesn't let the viewer down in the slightest. Oskar's interest of Eli is matched by her resistent nature to his friendship. Oskar is immediately attracted by her undeniable strength while, Eli is intrigued by his innocence and persistence towards their friendship. Together they each gain something the other is craving which makes for a very touching and thought provoking story.

The picturesque setting of the snowbound Sweeden is breathtaking to say the least, while also achieving an eerie mood that rivals Stanley Kubrick's The Shining or Jon Carpenter's The Thing. Tomas Alfredson also eloquently gives the viewer uncanny tidbits of horror that build the mood until the timorous climax. In superb form, the title is flirted with and brings the viewer face to face with what would happen, if a vampire was to come in uninvited. Ultimately, from beginning to end Let the Right One In sets a rarely matched mood that grabs the viewer and keeps them compelled with the unique, but timeless vampire tale.

Let the Right One In is a superb story that delicately unweaves a short moment in a vampire's long lived life keeping the viewer enthralled throughout. The entire film is masked with an eerie mood that has a goregous background of a bleak winter in Sweeden. Kåre Hedebrant and Lina Leandersson together deliver knockout performances in their budding realtionship that is left open to interpretation of who has the most to gain from the bond. Finally, Alfredson chilling vision that was adapted from John Ajvide Lindqvist novel, is sure to become a new classic in horror.


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