Sunday, November 1, 2009

Let the Right One In: No Twilight Allowed.

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.


Stewie said...

I avoided this movie -- raves and all -- for the same reasons you did. I just didn't want to see a lame ass vamp love story.

But I finally broke down and streamed it when netflix offered in it in HD, and holy crap it blew me away.

It's extremely well written, acted and directed, and once I can find the DVD with the fixed subs, I'll be buying it.

Frostbiten is another decent Swedish vampire flick. While not nearly as good as Let the Right One In, it's still a lot of fun. Blood on snow is always a good shot.

Andre Dumas said...

Oooh thanks for the recommendations I will have to put those on my queue... Thanks!!

Stewie said...

I'm a jackass. I completely worded the last sentence pisspoor.

I meant that blood filmed on snow is always a good shot. It's not a movie. May make a good title, though.

Frostbiten (aka Frostbite aka Frostbitten) is a movie, however.

Andre said...

Haha actually I knew "blood on snow" wasn't a movie, i didn't mean to say recommendations plural. So you're not a jackass!

William Malmborg said...

I just bought the book and am looking forward to reading it and then will rent the movie. I too have been disgusted by the 'romantic vampire' image. I prefer the Brian Lumley vampires to these teenage heartthrob ones. There is a reason they are called 'Creatures of the Night' not 'Cutest Guy Ever of the Night’.

PS: I loved it when Stephen King criticized the writer of Twilight. His forum was bombarded by teenagers who didn’t know the difference between writing a post and texting with their friends, all of them vowing never to see another Stephen King movie. Some even accused him of being jealous of her success. Guess they don’t know much about his success.

Andre said...

I LOVED when Stephen King did that too. I'm so sick of people saying that Twilight is just another Harry Potter when JK Rowling CAN actually write and Stephanie Meyers is just a lame ass who had a dream about vampires and decided to write it down. Stephen King became my personal hero after he slammed Twilight. Looooove it!

Also, tell me how the book is when you finish!

Sean said...

This movie is incredible. I was very scared when a friend in Florida reported to me that her Wal-Mart purchased copy came with dumb-downed subtitles and played the English dub as the default.

Allegedly that's been fixed, but for those worried about it, the dumb-downed English version should be available once Matt Reeves is done filming it.

(My write-up on the movie can be found here)

BulletWitch said...

Loved the movie as well! BTW, did u know that a remake is coming up this year? I feel rather "meh" about this, but I'm curious to see Chloe Moretz (aka Hit Girl from "Kickass") portraying the she/he vampire. They titled it, "Let Me In".

Suppose they're gonna be faithful to the original movie, I've heard rumors about the whole subplot of her being a "castrated boy" is dropped, so i guess they'll keep her as a full female (not surprised for some reason :P ).

Andre said...

I do know about the remake. From what I've seen and heard from the director, I'm actually pretty interested. He seems to have a good grasp on what makes the orignal---well, original. And what fans love about it. Hopefully it'll turn out OK. Although one has to wonder what other ways it will be americanized aside from the no castration thing. I'm guessing..........more emo maybe. Ugh I just hope it doesn't turn into Twilight.

Nisha Mei said...

The character of Eli is actually a castrated boy, though most American audiences wouldn't have gone for that - it's stated quite a few times. Also, Håkan is a pedophile. Eli needs Håkan's help and is dependent on him, and Håkan loves Eli and helps in the hopes they can have some kind of sexual relations.

It's still a beautiful movie, and touches on a lot of deep subjects. The remake coming out "Let Me In" will have different aspects to the story. I'm not usually a fan of remakes, movies based on other movies, or what have you... but I wonder how that will turn out.

You have a GREAT site, by the way! I love it! I will be checking in on your recommendations as well. Time to add to my Netflix Queue. :)

Andre Dumas said...

Thanks Nisha. Since this is an older review I have since then read the book. Everything you refer to is more a reference to the book than the film. The pedophile stuff while maybe slightly implied (I didn't sense it) is really not delved into throughout the movie. When I read the book I was pretty astonished reading about Hakan's past. Very disturbing stuff that I'm almost positive will also not be in the American reboot.

I too am curious for the American version, even though a great deal of it looks shot for shot influenced by the original film version. But I am rather curious about what will be different, and more loyal to the novel.

Thanks for reading!