Let the Right One In (2008) – Revisited


I was intending on re-watching Tomas Alfredson’s Let the Right One In for my horror movie marathon, but I didn’t. I reviewed this movie before, but I did not give credit where credit was due to superior film that blows Twilight out of the water. Now, that the remake, Let Me In is coming soon, I wanted to shower my praise on this film again.

John Ajvide Lindqvist adapted his book about a young twelve-year-old Swedish boy named Oskar (Kåre Hedebrant) who is constantly bullied at school. He dreams of the day that he could strike back.

One night, young girl, Eli (Lina Leandersson) moves into the apartment next door to his with an older man, Håkan (Per Ragnar). The new neighbors are not what they seem be. You notice that at night, Hákan has a kit containing a butcher knife, funnel, old gas can, flashlight, jar of acid and a gas tank, killing people in a quiet place and draining their blood. You think that he was a mass murder, but he has his reasons.

Every night, Oskar talks to Eli at the jungle gym in the courtyard of their apartment complex. The peculiar Eli who never wears a coat in the dead of winter intrigues Oskar. He tries to get to know her, but she doesn’t open up.

What Oskar doesn’t know is that when Eli is hungry, her next meal is Jocke (Mikael Rahm). The viewer knows that she is a vampire, but nobody else knows except for Gösta, (Karl-Robert Lindgren), a spinster cat man who watched what Eli did.

Eli and Hákan’s lives begin to unravel when Eli and Oskar’s friendship continues to grow. They rely on each other to each other every thing. Eli teaches Oskar to stand up for himself against the bullies. In turn, Oskar teaches Eli how to be the kid that she once was.

I watched this the same time as Twilight. This is the far superior vampire movie, because it doesn’t have shimmering shinned vamps that scare creepily at you. This movie has so many layers to it that you don’t realize upon a second viewing. The stark snow covered landscape painted with red, vamps actually drinking blood, the subtle nuances of the relationship between Oskar, Eli and Hákan.

The remake, Let Me In, is not going to have the dark humor, the sexual awakenings of pre-pubescent children, child-to-children violence, the obsession with knives, blood, and the revelation about Eli. It won’t fly. It would just a sterilized version that will cater to a mainstream audience.

Judgment: This is not your tween vampire story. This one is actually good.

Rating: ****

About Branden

Branden: I am just your average movie nut that reviews films. Gives his take on pop culture and Hollywood happenings. Dreams to have his own thriving website and make a living doing what he is passionate about.

Posted on November 3, 2009, in 2008, Crime, Drama, Foreign Language, GLBT, Horror, Running Feature, Top 250 of All Time on IMDB and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. mcarteratthemovies

    It hurts my heart of hearts that people saw “Twilight” instead of this. Why in the name of great cinema would people do that? “Let the Right One In” has so many things going for it — sympathetic characters, a nice coming-of-age movie, touching look at friendship, the line between reality and fantasy.

    • The movie slid under the radar for the general public. Film freaks like us know about this gem. Now that the remake is coming out, it will suffer for being another vampire movie. That’s a damn shame.

  2. Isn’t it weird that it becomes the American version of a Swedish movie that will wind up bland and sterile… Not the other way around. Isn’t it also weird how the furniture in Let the Right One In was completely unremarkable – including the worst jungle gym I have ever seen? I’m about to sit down to watch Thirst – we’ll see if Korea can do subtext-laden vampire movies better.

    • You have take into account that the movie takes places in 1982. The decor had to look drab and unremarkable.

      I heard about Thirst. Let me know if I should see it or not.

  1. Pingback: Let Me In (2010) « Foolish Blatherings

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