By Brett Mullins
Directed by Tomas Alfredson
If you know anything about the vampire, it’s that they are surrounded by dark themes, both literally and figuratively: the night, coffins, bats, lack of pulse, etc. Let the Right One In is a Swedish film that takes these dark themes to a new level with the modern age vampire.
A young lad named Oskar is tormented by a trio of bullies at school and fantasizes about his revenge quite often. When jabbing away with his knife at imaginary figures at night in the snow outside his apartment building, Oskar meets his new neighbor, Eli, a dark haired girl of around the same age. Eli shows Oskar much attention, which he never had from being ostracized in school, and he begins to fall in love with her, so to say. Unbeknownst to Oskar, Eli is a vampire.
This film is technically sound. The employment of long shots to set the mood to open nearly every scene is quite remarkable. In addition to this, Eli’s transition from innocent looking little girl to blood sucking fiend is down right scary.
The film broaches a number of ethical questions such as adolescent romance; however, these are discussed in my review of the film’s remake, Let Me In. This film, as with the original novel, throws in a bit of a twist regarding Eli’s identity prior to becoming a vampire with makes the potential love affair a bit more disturbing.
Let the Right One In is an interesting and dark take on the vampire that utilizes great visuals and the idea of the familiar, the vampire’s human assistant, which is nearly long forgotten.