Heave all of your preconceptions about vampire films out the window because Let the Right One In will undoubtedly exceed expectations or rather, scare them away. Based on the popular Swedish novel by John Ajvide Lingqvist, who also penned the screenplay, this is magical realism/horror at its apex, and the undead have never been so full of soul.
Tow-headed, 12 year-old dweeb, Oskar, lives a dismally lonely existence. After suffering through verbal abuse and dangerous bullying from classmates, Oskar returns to a bleak apartment complex where he goes through the motions with his disconnected mother and near-stranger of a step-dad – all of this during Sweden’s bitter winter, no less. Just when your heart is about to crack in half, there appears Eli, an unusually enigmatic little girl, hanging out on the frozen monkey bars wearing nothing but a tee-shirt.
Eli likes Oskar instantly and the moment she gleans the shiner on the side of his face, a memento from the afternoon’s bullying, she offers to protect him. While Oskar initially doesn’t quite believe that she is capable of such a thing, he is nonetheless captivated by this mysterious creature and they embark on a unique and profound friendship.
Of course (You know where this is going.) Eli is a vampire, but it’s not what you think. We very quickly learn that though she is a killer, Eli is foremost a tragic figure and by no means incapable of love.
Superbly directed by Tomas Alfredson, Let the Right One In is a surprising and exceptional take on an age-old genre.
For local theaters and showtimes, visit Fandango.
Click here to view the trailer.