Archive for Vampire

Blood on the ice – Let The Right One In (Låt den rätte komma in -2009)

Posted in Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , on April 9, 2009 by cultfriction

A Swedish romantic vampire film directed by Tomas Alfredson, based on the novel of the same name by John Ajvide Lindqvist, who also wrote the screenplay for the film. It tells the story of a bullied 12-year-old boy who develops a friendship with a vampire in Blackeberg, a suburb to Stockholm.

Having already been screened in America and Europe it was hard for anyone to ignore the critical acclaim the film has already garnered. Any foreign language horror film is always worth its weight in gold when you hear that plans for “Hollywood-ising” the original are underway. Even amidst the hype one cannot be swept away by such sweeping statements that this is truly a modern classic .

Having recently been bombarded with vampire films such as emo/goth/silly screaming girl film Twilight and the ridiculous over budged over exposed Lesbian Vampire Killers, Let the Right One In is the renaissance for the wizened genre we have all been waiting for.

Stripping away the stereotypical Gothic aesthetics that dominate the traditional  films, Let The Right One In is placed in a clinical, sterile domestic environment of 1980’s Sweeden which adds more urgency to the films more frightening scenes. Arguably the films strengths as a horror film come not from its vampire led violence but from seeing our protagonist being sadistically bullied by his peers over and over again. Even scenes where Oskar (Kåre Hedebrant) is being verbally taunted are harder to watch than some of the more gruesome attacks. This is a film dedicated to anyone who had a tough time growing up in the cold confides of pre adolescence.

The burgeoning love between the young boy and the vampire girl is chillingly touching, evoking an awkward memories of any short lived teenage romance. Eli (Lina Leandersson0) has a real other world presence on screen and her portrayal of a vampire, (traditionally  brash, foppish characters) is beautifully timid and restrained.

Be warned that even though the BBFC have rated this film as a 15, there are plenty of moments that are guaranteed to frighten you to the core. Much of the shock factor comes from the under stylised violence, still camera work, brooding lighting and subtle sound effects. For example, in one of the most disturbing scenes in the film we have a young boy being surgically bled to death by the child vampires minder. While much of the action is blocked and hidden, the sound of the victims blood dripping into a Tupperware canister is enough to induce nausea.

Without spoiling the plot at the end, may I suggest reading the original book to highlight some of the blips in the films plot i.e. the relationship between Eli and her helper at the beginning and to Oskars implied future at the end. This is sure to fuel much Internet and pub debates post viewing. In short there is nothing more this review can add to the mountain of critical laurels other than suggest that you go and see it before Eli Roth gets his hands on it.

Let the Right One In opens in cinemas nationwide on April 10th 2009.