Friday, April 2, 2010
FILM #14: 'Let The Right One In' (2008)
Vampire films seldom foray into 'best of' lists anymore but this Swedish gem doesn't seek to pander to excessive adolescent needs but examines the bare essentials needed to survive such a stage in life. 'Let The Right One In' is about Eli and Oskar, two outcasts in society. She is the vampire and he is the bullied youth. Based on John Ajvide Lindqvist's novel, the film takes its cues on the reality of their situations. So the endless bullying that Oskar endures results in him moving from victim to violator, right under his mother's nose without her suspecting a thing. Eli's need of blood to keep alive is masterfully played out in a sequence of scenes that are gritty and portray real terror.
Both come to form an unusual alliance because Eli doesn't view Oskar as food and besides after her 'father' Hakan dies, he becomes her only source of companionship. The sexual connotation of this bond is disturbing enough but it parallels the ease in which it is welcomed in the society. What ensues is pure art and accomplished in inescapable silence. Though the film doesn't adapt some of the more morbid plots of the novel, director Tomas Alfredson manages to keep the tension going full speed ahead.