Sunday, December 7, 2008

My Two-Cents on 'Let the Right One In'

I was finally able to catch Let the Right One In, and I'm glad I did since it's only at one theater at a time here in Portland, which is kinda sad since you can spit and hit a showing of Twilight. Now, I can't objectively say anything about Twilight because I haven't read the book, and probably will never watch the movie, but I cannot understand why someone would pick that movie over the superior Let the Right One In. Well, if you're a tween who cannot name a quality movie, then you'd might prefer Twilight, but I digress.

To label Let the Right One In as just a vampire movie is a huge disservice. This film is ultimately a bittersweet, coming of age, love story that has some vampirism thrown in for good measure. The movie is set in a stark, yet oddly beautiful Swedish landscape that really becomes a character unto itself, and it revolves around the budding friendship and romance between two twelve year olds, Oskar and Eli. Throughout the film, you feel the pain and isolation that sometimes comes along with growing up. You get to know these characters, and you feel for them, even though you know the deck is stacked against them. The relationship between the youths is organic and real, which makes you forget that you're watching a movie about a vampire.

The vampire components were almost secondary to me. Sure, there was some creepiness, violence, and gore throughout the film, but it all took a backseat to the bond that was developing between Oskar & Eli. Once you wipe away all of the blood, you get to see the heart that is the foundation of the movie.

I mentioned earlier that the landscape becomes its own character because you really experience the frigidness that the characters must be feeling, but the way it is shot is magnificent. The setting is cold, white, bleak, but beautiful at the same time. The cinematography in this film was phenomenal and probably the best I've seen in a long time.

The acting was good, but nothing too outstanding with the exception of Lina Leandersson who played the vampire Eli. She was able to create a character that was creepy while still being endearing, which is not an easy task.

Overall, Let the Right One In is probably one of the best movies (not just the best vampire movie) that I've seen in the last couple of years; definitely one of the best of the year. If you want to see a good vampire love story, PLEASE seek out this movie over Twilight.

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