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Movie rating system (0-2) The movie is balls (2-4) A few moments but mostly bad (4-5.5) Entertaining film but lacking something to make it good. (6-7.5) A recommendation meaning a good solid watch. (8-10) must watch films, they are usually leaders in their respective genre. I can also be found on Facebook or follow my blog at the bottom of this page. THERE MAY BE MINI SPOILERS AHEAD!!! But there will be no endings/twists/cameos/or large plot reveals given.

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Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Let the Right One In

Let the Right One In
Drama (Horror, Thriller, Vampire, Foreign)
Rated: R
Running Time: 115 minutes
Starring: Kare Hedebrant, Lina Leandersson
Directed By: Tomas Alfredson
Rating: 7 out of 10
A boy, who is bullied at school, befriends a weird girl with a bloodsucking secret.

To my regular readers, please forgive this quick introduction as not only is this a movie review, but it is also my first submission into a movie review club. I am participating in a group called DJ’s Digital Movie Club that can be found on Facebook. So welcome everyone to my blog. My name is Tyler Bonham and my dad’s name is amazingly John Bonham, but I have no relation to Led Zeppelin. You can probably tell by my Scarface picture that I take life pretty seriously (That picture was taken by my ultra conservative and elderly mom BTdub.) I have been described as a husky and more alcoholic version of Kiefer Sutherland. I have also been described as a svelte and more alcoholic version of John Goodman. I love movies, and I like to make outrageous claims like I invented Fruit by the Foot. I hope you enjoy my writing and I look forward to reading all of your submissions on this movie. Lastly, I am Canadian and I would like to thank all of you for choosing this movie as it is not on Netflix Canada. We also have no access to Amazon Prime (possible name for Transformers 4 character) and so I had to trade two bottle of maple syrup and a beaver pelt for a copy of this movie. Cheers!

Little known facts about Canadian vampires are that we have to stake them with icicles or sharpened hockey sticks. So, when I saw that this movie takes place primarily during the winter months, I instantly got a sense of familiar territory. Let the Right One In is the story of a kid named Oskar. He is scrawny and a little bit of a loner. He is bullied at school and neglected at home. Through his struggles to fit in, he befriends a strange girl named Eli, who has a chilling secret.

The movie starts off and we are introduced to Oskar as he looks out his apartment window. We are also introduced to Eli as she moves in next door with an older gentleman. The film’s opening act takes its time in detailing Oskar’s struggles at school. He is called piggy and is physically assaulted by his classmates. He is also ignored at home by his seemingly nonexistent mother and absentee father. In Oskar’s quest to find a quiet space from the abuse, he heads outdoors and encounters Eli in the chill of night. It is in the budding relationship between them that this movie thrives. Oskar finds solace in this odd girls company. She treats him as an equal as they discuss life. The film is beautifully shot, and it is the continual quietness of the falling snow and in the lack of musical score that makes this story seem very real. I also liked that there are simple things to be appreciated, like cars passing in the background as a body is strung up in the woods, or the twitching of a man’s foot as the blood is drained from his neck. It is these little captured details that can give you the chills if you care to notice. You will also get lost in the story as these two unlikely kids form a very adult relationship with each other. Oskar doesn’t seem put off that Eli smells weird or that she doesn’t wear shoes in the snow. Eli doesn’t hold it against Oskar that he is a so called loser. Their relationship is open and honest even if Eli’s secret is menacing. Whenever they are together it seems they are the only two people in this movie, and that is how it should be.

Oskar is played by Kare Hedebrant and he does a great job as the lead character. It doesn’t hurt that he very much looks the part of a picked on child. His albino skin, paper thin body, and unkempt haircut (that looks like an amalgamation of Jim Carrey’s and Jeff Daniels hairstyles from Dumb and Dumber) make you feel his suffering. Eli is played by Lena Leandersson and she is also very good in the role. Her lack of facial expressions and quiet delivery make you feel that she could easily be a vampire. It is in her dealings with the older gentleman that you can really feel the caged animal insider her. She directs the old man like a pet, while going about her business and it is cool to witness. Hedebrant and Leandersson have great chemistry together and it only grows as their relationship does. Eli has a strange charm about her and it doesn’t seem a stretch that she seduces Oskar so easily.

As the film carries on it is clear that this movie will not really scare or frighten many people. It is all about the relationship between the kids and Eli’s survival (which depends on drinking blood unbeknownst to Oskar.) Bodies go missing and strange things are happening all over town, but most of it takes place off screen or in the shadow of night. The film will never be described as fast paced, so if you need the thrill of the vampire hunt, this will not work for you. As the film comes to its bloody end, I couldn’t help but feel they did a great job on a genre that has been oversaturated for the last little while. In conclusion, this film will awe you with its tale of a vampire stuck in a child’s body. A strange love story that ends up in a quest for revenge will beguile you. Be warned though as this film is VERY slow and it is never going at a pace faster than molasses. It also has very few scenes of blood so it will not win over the gore crowd. The films lack of budget is noticeable in a couple scenes, especially one involving cats. The cats look imported straight from a 1980’s Stephen King movie, they were that bad to look at.

Director Tomas Alfredson is virtually unknown to North American audiences but this film should put him on the map. He has shot such a great film on a very tight budget (est. 4 million) that he has much to be proud of. Vampire movies are hard to do well and the fact he did it with two child actors is amazing to me. I was lost in the dialogue between Oskar and Eli and the film is so gentle at times it is hard to remember that vicious murders are taking place. The film is very slow and not as violent as I would like, but that cannot deter it from the awesomeness of the story (written by John Ajvide Lindqvist.)

I give this movie a recommendation to people looking for a neat take on the Vampire genre.

T Factor + If you like Vampire movies then this could score higher on the rating scale.

T Factor – If you like lots of graphic violence in your vampire movies then this could score lower on the rating scale.

If you liked this film reel recommendations: Interview With the Vampire, Orphan.

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