September 30, 2008

Review: Let The Right One In


I'm sick of vampires.

Well, more specifically, vampire movies. I've just seen so many and I feel like it's all been done and it's so cliched and the metaphors of vampires for sex or vampires for AIDS or whatever.

I'm just tired. Sick and tired.

Where are the new monsters, people?

When I got to Comic-Con this past summer and saw the signs for HBO's new series "True Blood" plastered all over the place, I think I rolled my eyes for five days straight. And the only reason I even bothered Tivo-ing the pilot episode of the show is because my roommate is an obsessive fan of Christine Feehan's Dark Series and I figured she would like it.

OK, so, maybe I'm not THAT tired of vampires.

I totally overlooked the social metaphors inherent in the Sookie Stackhouse stories, and I have to admit that True Blood has been one of the more consistently compelling hours of TV drama I've seen in the while.

It's good stuff.

So, when I got the invite to check out the Swedish vampire flick "Let The Right One In" as part of Mahalo.com's inaugural Movie Night here in Los Angeles, I was already primed for something good.

It didn't hurt that the film had gotten a nice mention on American Movie Classic's horror movie blog, MonsterFest, as a part of their emerging thesis that all of the good horror is coming from places other than North America (a thesis, with a few notable exceptions, that I tend to agree with).



I must say, even though I found parts of the pacing to be excruciatingly slow, "Let The Right One In" is an incredibly haunting film. It kind of takes the notion of Claudia from "Interview with The Vampire" and explores it to it's full potential. What would it be like to 12 years old... forever? And what's the inherent heartbreak of knowing you can only truly find love with a child, who'll always grow old, always disappoint, always become less than what they were, while you stand still in time?

In many ways, it's heartbreaking, even though it appears to have a happy ending, because we already know what the REAL ending is.

Which, of course, is not to say that it doesn't have it's crazy, only-in-a-vampire-movie moments. The vampire/house cat battle royal has to be seen to be believed.

And I cannot say enough about the two young leads, especially Lina Leandersson. You can totally understand how, even knowing exactly what she is, a lonely young boy could just completely lose himself in her pleading eyes, eternal hellfire be damned.

If you have the patience, it's definitely worth it.



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