Geeky Cinephile Musings…
I don't pontificate, I blather.

“Let the Right One In…” to your IKEA decorated living room

Oskar sends Morse code

Oskar sends Morse code

Just watched this Swedish take on a familiar genre–vampire films.  Wow.  All I can say is wow.  There are so many things I loved about this film.  It has a fantastic, bleak tone, well set amongst an austere winter landscape in 1982, when Sweden was still partially behind the iron curtain.  Y’all know I’m a total tone gal, and this film totally serves it up, nice and cold, with a side of fantastic, white-blond, more-than-slightly-creepy-yet-still-oddly-beautiful, albino-lookin’ children and minimalist, concrete block flats, reminiscent of the sadder neighborhoods of Glasgow that I’ve seen.

Another thing that struck me about this film–it is soooo well shot.  Each frame is lovingly and painstakingly created by director Tomas Alfredson (who has done mostly TV series, surprisingly enough).  I will be keeping an eye on this man and will report back when I can.  At the moment, according to IMDB, nothing is in pre-production for him.  Neither the frames nor the story are the usual.  People’s heads are often cut off, showing only their torso (and at a distance, not a close up showing something particular), which struck me initially as odd, but later as poetic.  (Yeah, yeah, I know, I hate it when people read too much into things, but this type of shot is just gorgeous to me.)  There are so many little touches with the scenes that just create this eerie world.  I cannot describe it. 

Also, there are random scenes that do not truly further the plot, but just…work.  One part in particular really made me smile–the young boy is seen brushing his teeth.  He’s crossing in and out of frame, and keeps missing his mother, also passing in and out of frame, further away, also brushing her teeth.  Finally they catch sight of each other, pause, and continue brushing while smiling at each other.  Cut to next scene.  That’s it! 🙂 Lovely.  It’s not often you see something like this in film, as scenes like this are often cut in favor of scenes that help the plot progress more.  But when they are left in, sometimes it just makes all the difference.

I won’t bother with the vampire aspect, as it’s really not as much about vampires as it is about an unlikely friendship and the effects that bullying can have on an otherwise well-adjusted, sweet child.  One quickly realizes how close young Oskar is to becoming the next serial killer.  The one thing “Let the Right One In” does differently, and much to my immense delight, was answer the question “so what DOES happen when a vampire enters someone’s home without invitation?”

…cos you KNOW that’s just something we all sit around pondering…no, seriously.  I’ve totally wondered that.

The answer is shocking, gruesome, and AWESOME! Well done! No secrets will be given away here, because that’s a great part. 

But don’t let me mislead you into thinking this was not a suspenseful film.  It absolutely was, and the genre was well dealt with.  There are great, realistic, not overblown special effects and a couple of hair-crawling moments.  I just feel that the suspense and horror took second place to the tone and the composition. 

Bottom line: queue this one up.  You won’t be sorry.

2 Responses to ““Let the Right One In…” to your IKEA decorated living room”

  1. That picture is creepy in a beautiful way. Very bizarre how it draws you in with all the bright colors and then to notice the black eyes of the child is very creepy. I’m excited to see it, Miss Geeky Cinephiles.

  2. I’m excited to see YOU, miss dragonbreathcafe!! haha!

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