[Just looking through my movie reviews, I noticed that I inexplicably left out one of the best films I saw when I was over in the UK last year. The film is a little old now to be reviewing it as a new film, so I’m going to review it as a ‘classic’.]
Let the Right One In (Låt den rätte komma in) is a 2008 Swedish film that was released to much critical acclaim, won a bunch of awards, and has attracted a cult following. I am usually somewhat wary of such foreign films because they do tend to get over-hyped, but thankfully, this one is entirely worthy of the praise.
Without giving too much away, Let the Right One In tells the story of Oskar, a bullied young boy living in the suburbs of Stockholm in 1982, and Eli, a mysterious, pale young girl who moves in next door with her father. The film is an unconventional horror-romance – where the horror is genuinely creepy and frightening, and the romance is heartfelt and strangely, sweet.
Directed by Tomas Alfredson and based on the best-selling book by John Ajvide Lindqvist, Let the Right One In is freakishly atmospheric. It must be a combination of setting the film in the beautiful, icy-cold Swedish winter and the finely-paced direction of Alfredson, who shows you just enough blood and gore to get your heart racing without making it seem gratuitous.
Many have said that Let the Right One In is Sweden’s answer to Twilight – well, that’s a bit of an insult to the former. Don’t get me wrong, I quite like Twilight, but Let the Right One In one of those rare horror gems capable of lingering in your mind even years down the track. There are numerous scenes in the film (and one in particular) where the imagery has been etched onto my brain forever.
4.5 stars out of 5!
[PS: Sadly, the film is being remade by Hollywood as ‘Let Me In’. It will be directed by Matt Reeves (Cloverfield) and the setting will be moved to a small New Mexico town. Oskar will be renamed Owen and will be played by Kodi Smit-McPhee (The Road). I sincerely hope it will be good.]