Monday, December 01, 2008

Swedish Vampires

There are two "vampire romance" movies out right now. One is the teeny-bopper friendly Twilight, based off a series of books that is wildly popular in high schools around the country. The other is the dark Swedish horror film Let the Right One In, a dark tail of love and 12 year old girls who aren't quite what they seem.

Guess which one I saw?

Let the Right One In is a very good horror movie. Now those who know me probably know of my distaste for horror in general. I don't like slasher movies or zombie movies or any movie where the music spikes as a cat walks past.

I do enjoy moody films that present less gore and and cheap scares and more horrific things to think about and chew over after you leave the film. Here we are presented with a 12 year old boy named Oskar, and his divorced parents and bullying classmates. He's not a happy kid, and when he first meets the cold and strange smelling new girl in the neighborhood, Eli, he sees a possible new friend. This is despite her immediate statement, "We can't be friends."

He eventually does worm his way into friendship, and even a tentative 12 year old style romance, but soon her secret comes out, and he has to make a few decisions.

The stark Swedish winter is really another character in the film, and deserves a mention. This movie looks COLD.

Let the Right One In is everything American movies are not. It's dark without being nihilistic, bloody without being gory (Eli is a messy eater), and intellectually challenging without being preachy. So of course, an American remake was announced before the film's Swedish premiere, much to the dissapointment of the director.

My final verdict, this is a horror film for people who don't like horror, and is well worth your time. Remember: Subtitles aren't scary, vampires are!

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