Saturday, May 31, 2008

Let The Right One In  

Film: Movie number two in our SIFF series, Let The Right One In is a dark fantasy from Sweden that goes wildly off the mark and completely wastes any potential it had to tell a good story.

A young, wispy boy is alone and friendless in his apartment complex until a dark-haired girl and her father move in next door. A series of murders immediately occurs afterwards, and it's revealed that the girl is really a vampire. The young couple (both about 12 years old) go through a brief getting-to-know-you phase, and the story goes on from there.

This charming as the idea may be that a cute vampire could move in to you next door, the film absolutely fails to make any of the characters real or relatable, and of the series of events make precious little sense. The film's bloated two-hour running time consists mostly of moody, pensive shots with very little dialogue, and at no point is there ever any tension or mystery built up. The film makes it pretty clear that the girl is an actual vampire within the first 20 minutes, so there's nothing really to resolve afterwards... and if the director thinks watching these two 12-year olds get into bed with each other and share bloody kisses is somehow charming or touching, he's woefully mistaken.

The worst part was that the film had creepy, pedophilic overtones. The wife and I kept commenting to each other that what was happening on film would be vastly more appropriate with teenagers or young adults as the leads, not kids who haven't even started puberty yet. The worst moment came when the director found it necessary to flash a shot of the girl's vagina for no other reason than, what... shock value? His own satisfaction? We both felt slightly dirty.

I'm not a huge vampire fan, but I've read more than my share of the books and I certainly enjoy a good fantasy tale. Unfortunately, Let The Right One In feels pretty nonsensical and amateurish when dealing with the vampire issues, and comes off like some sort of inappropriate self-gratification remedy for I-was-an-unpopular-kid syndrome the rest of the time. There was plenty of snow and tons of inexplicably silent scenes, but the movie fails to rise above the level of "rough sketch" in terms of storytelling.

Not recommended.

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5 comments: to “ Let The Right One In


    Hello Brad

    I don´t agree with you but of course I respect your opinion. I won´t argue about it so that´s not the reason I write this. The thing is that a friend of mine, to whom I recommended this film, looked at your blog but went very unhappy when she accidentally discovered that you reveale what happens in the end of the film.

    Many people love this very special vampire flick. The reviews are fantastic and it has already won 3 Film festival prices. It´s one thing if you don´t like the film or respect the film makers but please show the audience that respect. It´s almost like revealing a magician´s trick.

    So please, Brad, can´t you change a little in your plot summary so it won´t happen again to somebody? Thank you and have a nice Coffeecola.


    Hi rose-buddy,

    yes, you're absolutely right... I shouldn't have gone over the entire plot, and I apologize for any accidental spoilage.

    I changed the post, and I'll post a quick apology at the top.

    Sorry!!! = (


    One quick correction: The shot of the vampire's genitals was meant to tell the audience that he was a castrated boy rather than a girl. That was the purpose of the shot, not the filmmaker's satisfaction.

    Remember when she asked him "Would you still like me if I wasn't a girl?"


    Hi Mario,

    Thanks for your comment. : )

    You are indeed correct about what the shot was for, though I will say in my defense that I don't think it served its purpose since it was unclear about what was going on at the time.

    After seeing the film, I did a little research and honestly, the book the film was based on (i only discovered it after i saw the movie) sounds *much* more interesting and layered.

    the film seems as though it didn't do a good job of capturing the various elements in the book, and the result is just muddled and unmoving... when i read the book, i may do a follow-up post about it.

    ; )


    I read about the synopsis of this movie that HÃ¥kan serves Eli, whom he loves, by procuring blood from the living, fighting against his conscience and choosing victims who he can physically trap, but who are not too young., so I think that this movie is really good.!I want to watch it again!22dd