I've been staring at this movie on my watch instantly Netflix queue for months now. I always ignored the almost 5 star rating and zeroed in on the vampire love story aspect of it- which of course sent me into epileptic shock. Stupid Twilight and it's ruining of the vampire genre! But seeing as last night was Halloween I decided I had to give it a chance and good thing I did.
The key to not being utterly disgusted by any vampire movies that are coming out- are to face and embrace the ugly side of vampires. Vampires shouldn't be these beautiful creatures that float on air and remain the centerpiece of every teenage girls fantasy. They are brutal, they are creatures of the night that feast on the blood and flesh of their victims. There shouldn't be anything conventionally beautiful about it. Eli however, is the real- brutal side of vampires. She doesn't have this glamourous life of seducing young men. Rather she is merely trying to stay alive and discover what her life as a 12 "more or less" year old girl/guy life is all about. It's truly a touching story that doesn't once delve into roll your eyes cinema.
The movie is all around beautifully done. The blood flow in particular was exceptional- as was the overall white imagery of the landscape. What also struck me as stunning was that we are immediately on the side of Eli and Hakan when the movie begins. When Hakan has strung up that man in the woods and the poodle comes, closely followed by it's owners- there is a sense of panic. Even though I had no idea who this guy was or why he was slitting some guys throat- I didn't want him to be caught- and that to me is very powerful. Additionally, the scene where Hakan is caught trying to get one of the boy's blood- it's so heartbreaking. I really felt for the guy and then later at the hospital...ooh I literally made the frowny face.
There are also all these little surprises- Eli climbing up the hospital, her not being able to come in unless invited- and her actual attacks on people that I found to be really well done. My favorite scene hands down though was the pool scene at the end. So amazing! Other scenes of note include the hospital scene with the woman, and when Eli came in without Oskar saying she could. I also loved the idea of what condones revenge- everyone in some way was acting out a form of revenge- which is what Eli implored Oskar to imagine when putting himself in her place. Anyone who did act out revenge that wasn't Oskar or Eli however ended up killed- and what can that really mean?
Overall a truly stunning movie with plenty of startling and beautiful images and vampires that aren't annoying and emo. I hate Twilight as much as the next horror fan- but this movie clearly sets itself apart from it. And thank god because if I had to look at Cedric Diggory's stupid vampire face again I was going to jump out the window.