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Let the Right One In (DVD Review)

28 Feb, 2009 By: Kyra Kudick

Let the right one in

Street 3/10/09
Box Office $2 million
$26.98 DVD, $34.98 Blu-ray
Rated ‘R’ for some bloody violence including disturbing images, brief nudity and language.
Stars Kåre Hedebrant, Lina Leandersson.

Let the Right One In may be the single most beautiful horror film I have ever seen. This is a strange feeling to have about a horror film, but so fitting for a movie with sweeping vistas of the snow-covered Swedish landscape.

It is not so much frightening as it is melancholy, with a dark story told against a stark background. At its heart it is really a love story between a lonely and bullied 12-year-old boy, Oskar, and the 12-year-old girl, Eli, who befriends him. The fact that the girl is actually a vampire becomes almost secondary — an obstacle for their adolescent love to overcome, rather than the central focus.

For American audiences accustomed to fast-paced, uber-gory films with high body counts, this movie will not fit that bill. The pacing is even, though not too slow, and although the essence of gore makes its way on screen, the kills are not shown in their excruciating detail.

For vampire aficionados this falls more in line with the traditional mythology a la Dracula, but has vestiges of more modern, reluctant vampire stories (think Louis from Interview with a Vampire). Eli knows she must kill to survive, but hates the hunt. She is remorseful of her own kills, but in a twist of irony that can only be rationalized in the mind of a perpetually adolescent girl, she asks others to kill for her.

With superb acting by both young stars, the most horrifying moments of the film occur in the quiet spaces amid the violence, as the relationship develops between a skinny, lonely boy and a blood-soaked, woeful girl-cum-monster.

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