Adam says you should Let the Right One In

Despite their undead appearance, vampires are seriously hot right now. Unless you live in a fundamentalist Christian commune (and even if you do) , chances are you have heard girls (and gay men) going ballistic for Twilight. If, like me, Twilight-mania has been shitting you to tears, check out Let the Right One In. This little Swedish gem carved up the international film circuit and has become a bonafide cult classic, so why all the fuss?

Based on the great novel by John Ajvide Lindqvist, Let the Right One In eschews all the crap that has plagued vampire films for years. This is a dark, serious and twisted film. Despite its unflinching commitment to the macabre, this film also harbours a tender love story at its core.

The film focuses on an awkward, bullied boy, Oskar (Kåre Hedebrant), and his young, mysterious new neighbour Eli (Lina Leandersson), who may just be a vampire. To give any more away would be a disservice to this film. Let the Right One In has a great, dense plot that snakes through genres and tones; sweet one moment and terrifying the next, this is a hard film to pin down.

Both of the child actors in this film are phenomenal, capturing pain and alienation beyond their years. But despite the film’s great acting, its real success is making vampires scary again, not just creatures with incredible cheekbones. Let the Right One In’s vampires are primal, savage and disquieting, the antithesis of Edward and his sparkling brethren. Director Tomas Alfredson loads the film with dread and atmosphere, successfully walking the tightrope of horror and a coming-of-age story.

Prison life had changed Conny’s perspective on men.

This film has been remade for English speaking audiences under the title Let Me In. While most remakes are dismal, Let Me In is a really good film in its own right. It streamlines the narrative and has some clever interpretations of the source material. If Let the Right One In does it for you I encourage you to track it down.

My only criticisms of Let the Right One In lie with the source material (or how good it is). The Novel contains some seriously dark ideas, ideas that I thought were inflammatory and fantastic. Both adaptations omit or obscure the novel’s darkest notions. I can’t blame the director, as novelist John Ajvide Lindqvist handled the adaptation of his book. I just wish Lindqvist had the fortitude to stay close to his original vision in all its perverse glory.

Four Stars