Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Let the Right One In

A vampire moves in next door to a kid who's being bullied in school. He's lonely, she's lonely, and they're both 12 years old (she's been 12 for a long time). He accepts her without question, but then he doesn't know about her familiar, or whatever he is, who goes around killing people and draining their blood for her. Just why is never explained (or I missed it). Maybe she doesn't want to get caught, but this guy is the most inept serial killer in history if the two examples in the film are anything to go by. Could be he's just starting out, I guess. She doesn't mind killing when the occasion calls for it.

The less said about the rest of the film, the better. I wouldn't want to spoil it for you. Let's just say that things go wrong, young love blooms, and it's not bad to have a vampire on your side.

I liked the quiet horror of this movie. This is no "show me the entrails!" gorefest, but it's certainly scary at times. I have a feeling the upcoming U. S. remake will be a lot bloodier, louder, and faster. And less effective. I'd say see this version instead. It's not a standard vampire movie in any sense, more of a coming-of-age story, and well worth the time.

Here's a problem, though. Should a vampire's breath condense in the cold air? Do vampires even breathe? Much is made about how cold she is, how she goes out into the freezing snow without shoes or jacket. The condensing breath just seemed wrong to me. But what do I know?


Karin M said...

The main unanswered question is why the man has to do any killing at all. Doesn't make sense when she can do it more effectively. And how did they end up together? And why does he do what he does after killing? He can only have done it once before the last time, if you know what I mean. Beautifully shot, well acted, very eerie. Who needs and American remake?

pattinase (abbott) said...

Please no American remake. Think of what they did to THE VANISHING and a lot of Korean horror films. Horror here is mostly about slashers.

Unknown said...

I had all the same questions, Karin. Maybe they're answered in the book.

Patti, the remake is already on the boards.

Richard Heft said...

When I saw the movie, I came to the (apparently wrong) conclusion that her inept middle-aged familiar is simply her last childhood romance, only 30 years along, and he represents the ultimate future of the male protagonist circa 2040 or so. But I'm told that in the book, the "familiar" is a pedophile teacher who fell hopelessly in love with the vampire, went on the run with her and is now awkwardly trying to keep her alive.

Unknown said...

Thanks, Richard. That explains a lot that was missing from the film. No wonder he was so inept.

Todd Mason said...

Horror here isn't mostly about slashing, but it is true that almost anyone can get money for a slasher. So the slasher films, most of which are crime drama of the most debased sort, run around like roaches.