Friday, October 17, 2008

A lovely little film about bullying, love, vampires and revenge.

I'm a sucker for well made films.

And even more so when it comes to well made vampire films (which are really few and far between).

As a respectable and quite literate friend of mine once said:

"Vampires can be rather interesting literary material as, properly portrayed, they become very complex and troubled characters that can be used to explore some serious and meaningful subject matter."

And even though there hasn't been a truly engaging vamp film since Bram Stoker's take on things (which I found fairly decent but not great) and "Interview with..." (which I also liked but less than the more classic and complex Bram's bit) ...there nonetheless appears to be hope on the horizon in what seems to be somewhat of a unanimously acclaimed gem of a film (unanimous among reviewers).

It's called, strangely enough, "Let the Right One In"

The title of the movie is actually culled from an old Smith's/Morrissey song entitled, "Let the right one slip in" (you do the research) ... and is quite appropriate to the cinematic content once you understand the context of that lyrical bit (and certain of old lores regarding vampires).

And as movies go ... especially those that attempt to explore some humanist landscapes... (and even though I haven't seen it yet) ... I'm pretty sure I already love it.

I mean, the subject of bullying, though not necessarily central to my own legal efforts and circumstances, is, nonetheless very much akin to the tactic model of gang stalking and/or persecution in general.

So I'm quite interested to see how this quirky little drama about adolescent love, trust, bullying and revenge, and of all things, a 200 year old little girl vampire ... could possibly turn out.


Here's the official trailer:



Fairly interesting and arresting possibilities there, huh?


Anyway ... here's a decent review. There's lots of static online and in the film scene about this so I'd encourage you to do some searching of your own, but this one is decent:


A few choice (well chosen) comments from, Mari Sasano @

"The trope of the lonely, bullied sensitive kid that somehow turns that experience into a wonderful adulthood is a romantic idea. But it's not as simple as that. Being the victim of bullying or violence does not automatically teach someone to be kind. In fact, it's usually the opposite: kids who experience violence usually learn violence.

But there is an escape from this cycle -- the loving guidance of family or friends. The Swedish film, "Let the Right One In," balances on the edge of love and violence, and it's not clear if we always get out safely.

It's in this context that we meet Oskar (Kare Hedebrant), a pale wisp of a 12-year-old boy living largely unsupervised in an ugly lower-middle-class apartment complex. His parents are divorced. At school, he is psychologically and physically bullied. The only time he appears happy is exploring the countryside with his dad, or spending time alone studying forensics.

It seems to be a strange hobby for a kid, but in spite of his passivity, it's obvious that he harbours a great deal of anger. While acting out one of his violent scenarios in the playground, he meets Eli (Lina Leandersson), a strange girl who has just moved into the apartment next door. Even though it's winter, she doesn't wear a coat, or even shoes. She smells odd, and there is something not quite right about her father, Hakan (Per Ragnar). In fact, upon their arrival, there begins a strange series of unexplained murders. We learn soon enough that Eli's father or guardian (the relationship is not clear) has been committing these crimes, apparently at Eli's request. She's a vampire. But even though her life depends on inhuman violence, she is still a girl at heart. The isolation is hard on her, and she feels a deep sadness about missing simple human contact and social pleasures like birthday presents.

In Oskar, she finds a friend, and he welcomes a kindred spirit -- he, too, lives in violence. "You have to hit back. Hard," she counsels him, and she should know. They are two sides of the same coin, even visually: Oskar is blond to the point of being colourless, while Eli is dark-haired with huge blue eyes, and her skin often blood-spattered.

Oskar and Eli need each other, and are loyal and tender with each other in a way that no one else is. They fall into a non-sexual, innocent love, probably for the last time in Oskar's life before he grows up. Unfortunately, it's hinted at that Eli has gone through this dynamic before: was Hakan once Eli's childhood love?

Let the Right One In is a strange movie: a Swedish vampire coming-of-age story. But instead of being sentimental, it asks some tough, adult questions, not just about the circulation of violence, but also about the complexities of children's emotional lives and the difficulty of emerging sexuality. It is sweet, and horrifying."


And, just for kicks. Here's a few more quotes from reputable psych/horror thriller review sources:



Opens in the US on October 28th!!



Can't wait.


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