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Let Me In/Let the Right One In (some spoilers)
Just when you think there are no more good vampire stories to tell with originality (I mean is TWLIGHT all that good as a movie or a book?), along comes something like this. There is much to say about this movie and book, most of the content controversial. First of all, the movie has great performances, great cinematography, great location work, and great effects and make up. The music is fiting and the atmosphere good. It avoids most cliches of the vampire genre and makes the setting lit well even at night. I don't really scare easily, especially from vampire movies but this one...isn't scary but disturbing. Mostly from the humans but also the vampire, as she's uncompromising in her kills
It takes place in 1982 in Sweden, just out of the Iron Curtain phase. There are bullies bullying a 12 year old boy. I like that the makers of the book and the movie respect the fact that characters can be this young and still carry a story and be interesting. They don't have to be 19 year old studs to carry a movie and attract young girls. Whatever. I can't fully believe the boy as a victim because he's not physically that unpowerful however his acting makes it work. A strange peer, seemingly a girl, moves next door. I'm not giving anything away to say that she walks outside without a jacket (and the snow looks beautiful in this movie) and without getting cold, smells funny to Oskar, the boy and thirsts for blood. Well if haven't guessed the neighbor is a vampire. She has many other secrets, one of them huge. She also kills for food. Most of this movie is puzzling. The book states things outright and I felt the movie shied away from the mostly controversial stuff and didn't explain some major plot details. That's why it's not as good as the book and even the book leaves questions. It's moody and in some ways dreary. It is NOT fast moving and yet...and yet it leaves things iwth you about man and women and loyality. The two characters are extremely loyal to each other. But should they be? The bullies are...well, troubled themselves and one of them...well, you'll see. The pool scene at the end is magnificent. The fire effects of sunlit vampires going up in flame are brilliant. The loyalty between the two makes you want to cry. But is Eli, the vampire, setting Oskar up for something? Or is he just deluded.
The adults seem to care about the children in the movie, yet they are portrayed as looking away, as incompetent, and as blind to the bullying, the killing. And jsut what is Oskar's mother on the nag/rag about all the time? She's annoying. Even Eli's Renfield wannabe, can't get things correct, botching up two near blood feasts for her.
There also seems to be a bit of homo eroticism that strings throughout the book and maybe, just maybe has a small bit of it in the movie but it's so repressed in the movie that it's barely there. The cat scene, I'm glad they did'n't show too many cats being hurt. In the book and the movie, cats bunch up and attack a vampire victim who is turning into a vampire.
Oh, and we get to find out what happens to a vampire that isn't invited into a house but keeps on walking through the doorway anyway...it's not pretty.
Fortunatately, although slow moving, the movie has things to hold our interest...just. One does not truly know how it will turn out and the way it turns out...is...a happy ending for some, a not so happy ending for others. Me? I'm not so sure. I'm not even sure I can recommend either as they are not FUN, both book and movie are quite moody, dark, disturbing, and make you think. and I haven't given away the secrets. At the outset, the movie might remind you of SHIPWRECKED for the snow and bullying (but there the comparisons end), might remind you of a genre horror movie but saying which will give away one of the BIG secrets so I won't, and might make you think of a few other things but most of them come up shallow against this. The thing I have against the characters are they commit the violence without seeming to have any emotion at all about it...
I also think the movie (and maybe even the book) compromised on the horror, the gore, but also the homo eroticness of the entire story. The book has most of it intact, The book was named LET THE RIGHT ONE SLIP IN after a Jim Morrisey song but was changed to LET THE RIGHT ONE IN, which somehow doesn't sound right if you see the movie. LET ME IN sounds like the best title but even that was a compromise for the US (and maybe UK) book stories. I just think the movie makers compromised far too much but who can blame them in today's society?
The other thing is: this movie is going to be made into a US Hollywood film so you know they'll probably mess that up too and make it more like Twilight. FOr shame if they do!