Monday 14 February 2022

Let the Right One In (2008)

This is a little Swedish film (
Låt den rätte komma in) from 2008 which is a thriller/drama come vampire film. Now I usually shy away from any mention of vampires when selecting a film but when I started watching this I didn't know it was - and am pretty glad that I stayed on the bus!

It's set in Stockholm in the middle of an inner-city/town housing complex in 1982. Our central character is a 12 year old boy who's dad has left home and living with his mum he's a bit of a social outcast with everyone he knows including people at his school, some of whom pick on and bully him.

A man and 12 year old girl move in next door to him and we're first introduced to the new people as we see him stringing up a man in the park and draining his blood. He's caught in the act and scarpers but this sets the scene for the town to be wary of some fruit-loop on the loose doing strange things to people and killing them.

Why does he want the blood is the question - and it turns out that yes, the girl doesn't eat but lives on the stuff. Who he is and why he's serving her needs, we don't really know. Anyway, back to the 12 year olds and we see a cutesy relationship growing between them as she tries to help the boy fight back at the bullies - and they develop a bond. Eventually the secret comes out and the boy has to face the truth of what he's dealing with, empowered by her as he may have been. There are a few scenes which follow demonstrating more grizzly murders, blood-sucking stuff and some other quirky behaviour - such as she having to be invited into a room - and what happens to her if she goes in uninvited!

At one point she accidentally makes herself another vampire by only partially draining a woman and getting interrupted. We're then shown the impact of that (and what the woman does to resolve her position too). By this time in a film with this kind of storyline, I tend to be laughing along as it's all so absurd but this is presented in such a mixed-focus kind of way that it presents itself as a love story intertwined with a revenge yarn - with vampires on the side.

The two kids act their parts terrifically well and the whole set puts me in mind of something from a Polish set from Kieślowski's DekalogAs we reach the finale there's some surprises to consume for the audience, resolves for the other threads of the storyline and a view of what might be likely going forward for the pair of these kids. There really aren't any silly jump-scare moments, which is probably another reason I really enjoyed this film, which I did.

The director is actually Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy man Tomas Alfredson who does a great job creating that atmosphere, making use of super camera angles, lighting and general photography in this bleak and dour snow-covered locality. I don't know any of the actors, the two leads seeming to have had pretty short careers and dropped off the radar at a fairly early age.

It's a super atmospheric but intelligent thriller without a lot of the usual clap-trap from the genre. It might be another one of those find-a-DVD outings though as attempts to find it otherwise seem a bit tricky. I did see that it was £1.79 on AmazonUK however!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Perfect Days (2023)

This Wim Wenders (Paris, Taxas, The American Friend) film is a moving and beautifully created character study depicting the everyday life of...