19 November 2008

At the movies: Let The Right One In.

Oskar is a young boy dealing with his parents’ separate lives and with an escalating problem with bullies at school. He doesn’t have too many friends, that is, until he meets Eli, who is everything Oskar could have wanted in a potential girlfriend. She’s smart, self-sufficient, and a vampire. And nothing helps nurture one’s first crush like an escalating body count…

Riding a rapturous wave of response from genre enthusiasts, gorehounds, hopeless romantics, foreign film junkies, and lovers of fairy tales, Let The Right One In is the real deal. It’s a perfectly-balanced thriller, equal parts sweet and merciless, as well as the kind of dark tale that, while dealing with a child’s milieu, understands and uses the tropes that can’t help but make adult audiences shiver as well. There also hasn’t been an iceskating scene this unnerving since The Dead Zone.

If Twilight is the sensitive middle sister and HBO’s True Blood is the wild bisexual oldest sibling who just moved out of the house, then Let The Right One In is the youngest child in the theoretical family of contemporary pop culture vampirism. All share elements that draw on our desires to truly know the dark, but this adopted Swedish child has gazed deeper into the heart of what lies beyond the pale, and it wins as both an object of beauty and an instrument of cruelty.

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