Film review: Let The Right One In

Posted by Bel. The time is 5.07pm here in Wellington, NZ.

Let The Right One In. Let the right one in. Choose carefully who you invite in your home - and into your heart. This Scandinavian vampire film is a heart-breakingly bittersweet tale about the horrors of first love.

Oskar is alone and lonely. But the mysterious arrival of Eli, who is both young and ancient at the same time, changes his life. She doesn't feel the cold, but she understands him. The audience learns before Oskar does that of her secret, that she needs blood. Too late, she has his heart, metaphorically at least.

The cinematography is a little bit Kubrick, a little bit Gus Van Sant. Colours are mostly muted, giving a sense of time (1980s, great costuming... and by great, I mean awful) and place - the suffocating dreariness of an austere classroom, uniform and impersonal apartments, a landscape blanketed by snow in a way that seems more dour than delightful.

There is a beautiful soundscape, with the squeaking of brilliant white snow being trod on, and the harsh air-snapping cracks when Oskar is whipped by the bullies, and the thick squelching sloppy sound of flesh being - well, you'll have to wait and see...

Yes, it is scary. But in an atmospheric, suspenseful way. It's not Twilight and it's not Saw Part A Billion. But shouldn't we be grateful for that? See it for the best child actor performances in years, if nothing else.

5 thoughts on “Film review: Let The Right One In”

  1. Ha, I watched this with my girlfriends Dad and sister while she was at a wedding rehearsal thing. We bonded. I like the scene where all those cats attack. Hilarious AND spoooky all at once. Oh, and the swimming pool scene....creepy teen wish fulfillment at its best.

  2. Heehee... that sounds brilliant! And yes I agree with your 'creepy teen wish fulfillment' comment - it's kind of like My Girl meets Heathers with a bit of weirdo Scando Fucking Åmål thrown in...!!

  3. Wow sounds great... I wonder if I'll be able to find it showing somewhere in Aussie? Certainly not in the megaplex near the University.
    That thing is a monstrosity... it has an iceskating rink and I shudder to think what you have to do to keep an iceskating rink going in THIS heat.

    Bloody Aussies.

    And with that rant have a good day, but I would like to say I hate Van Sant... sorry.

  4. My affection for Van Sant waxes and wanes. I mean, how great is Good Will Hunting?? And Milk? And My Own Private Idaho?
    But then how is it possible that Elephant had so little emotional resonance...? And what was the deal with Finding Forrester?!

    Yet something about his imagery gets me every time. And I saw it echoed in this film - stuff like this and this and this... Mmmm pretty!

  5. I'm a firm Van Sant fan - LOVE My Own Private Idaho, Good Will Hunting, Milk... and thought Elephant was an excellent piece of cinema. AND - get this - I even liked Finding Forrester. Though obviously will never feel the need to watch again. And actually didn't realise he made it. Which seems a really weird thing to do as it is officially a rip-off of Good Will Hunting. Weird.