Let the Right One In

(A 2008 Swedish vampire/romance/horror film directed by Tomas Alfredson.)

Let the Right One In (Swedish)

Rating: 10/10

Let the Right One In (in Swedish: Låt den rätte komma in) is based on a Swedish book by the same name, and I give it a perfect rating because it is by far the most unconventional serious movie I have ever seen. That may sound like an oxymoron, but it is true—this Swedish film contains ideas and scenes that American directors would not dare to show, for fear of being politically incorrect, and for fear of backlashes from material that might be, as a ridiculous euphemism goes, “corrupting the morals of youth.”

To be sure, this is a vampire movie, but it is NOT the same thing as Twilight (which I haven’t seen, but I am sure it must be Americanized). Let the Right One In deals instead with preteen children—or rather, preteen children and a 12-year old vampire who has been 12 years old for a very long time. And when these children and the child vampire begin to employ violence which is not condemned, and which becomes rather the object of sympathy, the film becomes markedly un-Hollywood, un-American.

The movie is quite chilling and also quite moving. As a viewer used to American films, I noticed that the Swedish film seemed slightly slow due to the lack of nonstop action, but this was all well done: I welcomed the time which allowed the deeper and more complex emotions to set in. There are scenes which I had previously imagined happening, but which I never thought would be put into a movie. It is no accident that this film is critically acclaimed—it won numerous awards and the movie has right now a 97% Fresh rating from 149 critics on Rotten Tomatoes.

An American remake of the movie, titled Let Me In, is scheduled for release later this year. I was skeptical at first when I read about this, as I thought it would Americanize the story and presentation too much; however, the director Matt Reeves has made it clear that he respects the ideas of the book and has even rejected a suggestion to change the ages of the main characters, saying that it would “ruin the essence of the story.”

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