Friday, July 17, 2009

Let the right one in

Finally, we got around to watching the Swedish vampire film, Let the Right One In.

It's about a lonely 12 year old boy, one of those sensitive and strange types who gets bullied a lot, and his friendship with a 12 year old girl vampire. Oskar meets Eli when she moves in next door with her dad (who seems to be human). Dad's a serial murderer, it's his job to bring home blood so that she doesn't have to. Only he's not very good at it any more and eventually Eli must go out hunting or starve. At the same time, Oskar and Eli become close and she encourages him to hit back at his bullying tormentors. When he does, it feels like he has crossed the line into a life of violence.

Vampirism is not at all romantic in this movie. When Eli brings attacks a local, it's like watching a big cat bring down a zebra. And even when her mouth isn't covered in gore, she's no ethereal beauty (like Kate Beckinsale in the Underworld movies) - she's just an anemic kid with dark, curly hair.

I also liked some of the vampire mythology, where it differs from that of Buffy (and other vamp stories), like what happens if you don't invite a vampire into your home but they come in anyway.

There's also a look at the darker side of school-yard bullying, where the physical cruelty is far worse than I would have expected in real life.

So it's a love story, one with a happy ending. Sort of darkly beautiful.

4 comments:

donnasoowho said...

I seem to remember in the book he talks a lot about she smells too. Sort of mouldy. Eow!

I want to watch it now.

Antoinette said...

I'm not sure I'd heard of this movie before... thanks for the tip. Are you feeling better?

Violet said...

donnasoowho: yeah there is a bit when he first meets her, and mentions that she smells "funny". But he doesn't say after that, and he doesn't say what exactly she smells like. I wish they filmmakers had left in the "mouldy" thing because that makes it much clearer to me.

Antoinette: I hadn't heard of it either, until after I saw it on the film review blog that I subscribe to (http://www.filmguide.co.nz/). I am feeling a bit better, but as well as I'd hoped after more than 2 weeks out of action. I must be getting old.

Antoinette said...

Wanted to let you know that I finally saw this movie a few weeks ago and LOVED IT. Really original in our Twilight-obsessed, vampire-hyped society. Thanks for the recommendation -- I had heard of it before but prob. would not have seen it this soon if you hadn't written about it.