WEIRDO’WEEN #10: Let The Right One In [2008]

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Contrary to popular belief, not every vampires you see in the movies are over 1000 years old. Sometimes, they’re younger, say about 12 or 13.. except they’ve been 12 [or 13] for a long time! Wait a minute..this sounds familiar; too familiar in fact. [find out why this sounded so familiar here!] Let’s try this again..

Today, we’re going to talk about Vampires, and no, not those ones that involve shining in the sunlight, or living in the middle of the woods with their entire [adopted] families. I’m talking ones that need to drink blood to survive, and drift from place to place, before being discovered. But this can be tricky, because we are also talking about younger vampires in a foreign country. [this is starting to sound familiar too] Today’s movie came out in 2008 and already got itself a remake – which was surprisingly half-decent. Surely, if you’re a fan of the genre, you’ve already caught on to what movie were talking about today..or you flat out cheated, and read this post’s title! Either way, let’s not just watch just any vampire film that comes into our homes, let’s be sure we actually Let The Right One In. Also, this is weirdo’ween review #10 today, so that’s a thing worth celebrating too! [only 21 to go!]

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Based on the book of the same name, Let The Right One In is what I’d call a unique take on the typical vampire film. It’s technically a horror film, but it’s hard to class it as only that; it includes romantic elements, but also horror, kisses and love, but also blood and death. It has some brutal death scenes, but we never linger on it – it’s like the movie is trying to explain that it’s a necessity, but not the only thing we’re meant to be concerned with. It’s as if the vampire, is more human than the rest of us; that she just wants to be loved, and cared for. It could even be classified as a human movie, starring a vampire! But there is one thing we have to address..

In the film, Håkan [Eli‘s guardian/old lover]  butchers boys not much older than Oskar as a blood source for Eli. In this story, the storytelling is the most important theme to the point where we’re mostly meant to assume things, while some things are hinted and suggested at. There’s some questions that come up that are never answered. Why does Håkan pick these younger victims? Are they are Eli‘s preference? Then what does that say about Eli‘s sudden interest in Oskar? What is Eli‘s true nature? She tells us early on that she’s been twelve “for a very long time”, but we briefly glimpse her true physical age, which shows us that she is in fact, middle age; roughly the same age as Håkan. What about her gift to Oskar in the films last moments? Eli decides to go through with the brutal slaughter of his child tormentors. Entranced in her glamour, this of course, makes Oskar happy, but is this truly a good thing? They go off happily into the sunset, Oskar presumably destined to the soul destroyed shell of a person that Håkan had become, butchering humans to provide Eli with food for the rest of his life. People often talk about how the “happy ending” is sweet, and almost cute but think about it: it’s almost chilling! Essentially, Oskar has happily swapped the misery of childhood bullying for a fate that will truly be hell on earth and it feels nearly depressing as you know as he happily smiles in the films last shot that he doesn’t have a clue what’s going on. Remember, this boy is 12. He’s doing it because he has fallen in love with Eli, but he doesn’t know what her plans are for him. Did/Does she even really care?

Ultimately, Let The Right One In is a very quiet and patient film. It’s main points involve focusing on the progression of friendship between Oskar and Eli first. Unlike what you’d think when you think “vampire”, this is a beautiful and tender story – despite the overthought out process above. Despite its dark undertones, the film never feels sinister. Even during it’s highly enjoyable climax, it retains its heartfelt love.

Both Oskar and Eli are wonderfully drawn characters. Both young actors are emphatically true to their characters, making them all the more sympathetic. Through out the film, Director Thomas Alfredson shoots them in muted tones, as in – from their point of view, instead that of an adult. Reminding us, these are still kids [just in adult situations] He uses very little music, allowing the crunching of snow, the grumbling of their stomachs, the ambient sounds of the world around us instead to frame the action on screen. It’s something that hasn’t been done in this way before, and for that – I love it. The movies were made to tell stories like these. Unfortunately, I have not read the book the film is adapted from, but it certainly would expand on much of what is only hinted at here. But if you’re only going to see the movie, you don’t need any expansion. This is such a wonderful film as it stands today, in its boldness, its darkness, and its touching beauty.

If you like vampires, but you’re also a sucker for love stories, then I implore that you please watch the masterpiece that is Let The Right One In. It’s such an important piece of cinema: it does have subtitles – being a foreign film, but do not let that turn you away. If you manage to get a chance to see it..take it. It’ll trap you in a world where you feel the connection between two seemingly innocent children. If you have an idea for the next weirdo’ween review please let me know which movie[s] you’d like to see next! If you found yourself to enjoy this particular review – and want to see more – then take a minute and follow me over on my Facebook page [it’s at over 120+ likes almost at 130!] By clicking that “like” button, you’ll see every post from warrenisweird the very moment it’s been posted online; as well as links to articles and pictures/videos that will not be featured here on the blog. Every “like” helps me a ton, giving me the ability to write more posts for you to read, so be sure to tell the horror enthusiast in your life to do the same, and share The Facebook Page with your family and friends! Join me tomorrow when I talk about weirdo’ween #11! STAY TUNED!

THANKS FOR READING.

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