j's Review of Let the Right One In
Let the Right One In(2008)
This is the vampire film people should be talking about.
I'll admit, I'm one of the "Twilight" apologists (if you will). I was pleasantly surprised by the first one, thought the 2nd was dreadful, and felt the 3rd was a better film than the first two. Released in the same year as "Twilight", "Let The Right One In" seemingly got lost in the shuffle.
There is more here than just a simple vampire horror film. It is a coming of age story, a family drama, and a taut thriller. The first of which is the most important and an element of the film I find to be most crucial.
Oskar is a bit of a bookworm and is constantly teased and bullied at school. He is smart, attentive, and obsessed with the gruesome aspects of society, namely murders. Eli is the new girl who moved in next door, she first appears to him in the courtyard of the apartment seemingly out of thin air. She is strong, assertive, cold (literally and figuratively) and is curiously drawn to Oskar, as he is to her.
The relationship between these two is what drives this film. Through all the scares and blood pools formed, it all comes back to the connection between Oskar and Eli and how they help each other out in their lives. Their bond is strengthened through their varying experiences and the film succeeds on a level I had not anticipated: providing me with a sense of hope that these two characters will prevail against all odds and actually wanting that result. I have never felt so much affection toward a supernatural character as I have for Eli. Oskar welcomes her burden and accepts her for who she is because of his genuine love for her. And it all works.
I have nothing but admiration for this film. It is chilling, terrifyingly realistic, and at it's core a story of growing up and moving on even in the face of adversity. Truly, a great film.