This entry is part of what I hope will be a weekly review of a film available on Netflix Instant Queue. I think that Instant Queue films are the same across the board whether you are watching them on your Nintendo Wii, iPhone, Xbox, Roku, etc. but in case they differ, this is on the Wii instant queue.
Let the Right One In
Boy meets “girl.” “Girl” is vampire. They still fall in love. A mutually protective bond ensues. In Swedish. That is pretty much the gist of the 2008 horror/drama, Let the Right One In. Not necessarily a movie to write home about (although is that what I am doing right now?), this movie is endearing and eerie enough to be worth a watch, at least if you’re bored and not in the mood for the other titles on your instant queue. Be prepared for subtitle reading, it’s not really a movie you can multi-task to, though it isn’t like many of the foreign films I am privy to in that you probably aren’t going to lose an important point to the plot if you miss a line or two.
This movie reminded me a little bit of Powder, probably because the young protagonist, Oskar, is a pasty-pale boy who gets ridiculed, bullied, and abused by classmates; a tad bit of Fucking Åmål (American release title: Show Me Love), probably because it is Swedish and deals with unconventional and not necessarily hetero- young love; and a lot of Nói albínói (Noi the Albino) because of the Powder reasoning plus being an Icelandic film, it is snowy or snowing the entire time.
In general, I am not a fan of vampire movies. If you are, I have a feeling this movie will be one of your favorites. I’m certain this film is better than Twilight. We break from the Twilight/vampire-movie formula in Let the Right One In because Eli, the vampire, is a “girl” in this case, but not necessarily an evil, conniving woman as female vampires are often portrayed. So there isn’t a weak and innocent Bella main character that needs to be protected. Eli, herself, shows her own weaknesses and limitations. The film does, however, still follow the vampire movie prescription in that the main mortal character is more of a weakling and hopelessly infatuated with his vampire love interest.
The title of the movie was what drew me in, and the fact that Netflix thought I would give it 4.5 stars, which is a pretty hefty rating. I might give it a 3 or 3.5 to be generous, just because the violence was pretty good without being over-the-top. It wasn’t too tacky except for a cat attack scene which was totally over-the-top. The child actors are pretty good, slightly creepy, yet endearing. I know that suspension of disbelief is the name of the game with such movies, one thing still bugged me about this one. Although Eli looks twelve, she is probably thousands of years old, being a vampire and all. With all of that worldly experience, what does she want with an actual twelve-year-old boy? And if it is to have another man-slave like Jocke, it totally takes away from the loving elements of Oskar and Eli’s relationship that you are kind of rooting for.
Like I said, you might get something out of this movie, and it is probably worth catching at least once. It got overwhelmingly positive reviews (98% on rottentomatoes.com) from critics and sources that are not mainstream and Hollywood-loving. If you want a touching, foreign-language, and out-of-the-ordinary vampire film, Let the Right One In is your flick.
Here are some scenes that made the film:
- Both hospital scenes (with Jocke after the face-defiguration and Ginia after her transition into vampire)
- Oskar sneaking a peak at Eli’s girlhood. Which doesn’t exist because “she” is a vampire! Duh!
- The pool scene at the end.
Next time I promise, no more horror for real…