With the 31 Days of Halloween coming to its end, some movies still need some reviews and this one is quite special because it is the original Swedish version of Let Me In.
I’ve seen this movie three times, a romantic horror from the year 2008 based on a novel of the same name. I found the atmosphere and general feel of it to be very original.
The dark themes of vampirism and murder playoff contrastingly against the subtext of young romance and friendship set against the frozen, desolate concrete and woodland of Sweden’s capital.
Oskar, a bullied 12-year old, dreams of revenge. He falls in love with Eli, a peculiar girl. She can’t stand the sun or food and to come into a room she needs to be invited.
Eli gives Oskar the strength to hit back but when he realizes that Eli needs to drink other people’s blood to live he’s faced with a choice. How much can love forgive? Set in the Stockholm suburb of Blackeberg in 1982. — Written by John Nordling, Producer, IMDb
Foreign Language & Story
I found the subtitles made watching the dimly lit movie very intimate and touching as well as the haunting musical score throughout, provided by Johan Söderqvist.
Set in Sweden in the Stockholm suburb district of Blackenburg in 1982. The story centers around a bullied 12-year-old boy, Oskar, who lives with his mother Yvonne and sometimes visits his father, Erik in the countryside.
He is otherwise overlooked and seeks vengeance against his tormentors. Eli; a mysterious girl new to the neighborhood, who can’t stand the sun or food, befriends Oskar and they slowly begin to form a close bond.
In the earlier parts of Let The Right One In, alone a man dressed in a protective white suit is seen dragging a body to the trees. He then strings them upside and begins draining the blood from the unknown victim into a plastic container.
This scene gave off an eerie feel, especially with the killer appearing so calm and casual. Further context reveals that the killer is Eli’s guardian or protector. He kills people then drains them of their blood and delivers it to Eli to sustain her.
The Bullies & Eli
Between Oskar fighting off his bullies and all the murder and mayhem brought by Eli’s protector gravitate towards each other. With the proximity of their homes within the same housing complex, as well as the two of them both, feeling very lonely and isolated surely would have given them a lot in common.
There is one scene where the two are both seen on opposite sides of their wall as if trying to be closer to one another; this is particularly touching display. Also; Oskar gifts Eli his Rubik’s cube, a splash of color in the otherwise black and white scenario, as she had taken a shine to it.
The two bonding over such a simple thing shows the depth of Eli’s isolation. She returns the favor by offering Oskar advice on how to deal with his bullies after being whipped with a riding crop.
Not Most Vampires
The movie reminds several times that Eli is still a vampire, meaning she needs human blood to survive. Eli poses as an injured child in a tunnel and subsequently repays the kindness of a passerby by ripping open his throat.
A resident witnesses this vicious attack from his window, but he takes a suspiciously long time to raise the alarm, perhaps out of fear of being called a liar. The gruesome methods of her carer are made clear again when he attempts to murder another person in the locker room of Oskar’s school.
Although he is interrupted and fearing his face might be traced back to Eli and their home, he is prompted to pour acid onto his face. Melting most of his face off and dissolving any evidence of his identity.
The acid failed to kill him and Eli risks being discovered to visit her protector in the hospital. Escaping out of a window when leaving.
The movie is worth watching for the setting, the originality and the what would the sad reality be for a vampire condemned to be eternal in the body of child. The scenery, the drama and the take on the ever lasting folktales of vampires is renewed and refreshed with this adaptation of Let The Right One In.
If you do not feel like reading the subtitles, there is an American adaptation of the movie called Let Me in. It differs a little from the Swedish version, but still encompasses the movie quite nicely.