LET THE RIGHT ONE IN (2008) – Review

LET THE RIGHT ONE IN, photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures

Eli is 12 years old.  She’s been 12 for over 200 years, and she just moved in next door.

Let the Right One In (Låt den rätte komma in)- I have seen many vampire films.  None of them come close to Let the right one in (2008).  This is a non-traditional take on the centuries old tales of vampires lurking dark alleys, vampire men fulfilling unrequited passions with lustful women they pursue to include the sex and religious mayhem that seems to come with.  This vampire tale is very different.

This film was adapted from the novel written by John Ajvide Lindqvist. Where the vampire character is female–centuries old in mind but has the physical appearance of a child. Oskar (Kare Hedebrant) is a 12 year old boy that lives with his mother in a small apartment in Stockholm. Oskar attends school and if often bullied by three boys. He obsesses about being bullied and even think of ways to get back at his tormentors. He saves murder clippings from the local newspaper and hide the collage of articles from his mother. One evening, he goes outside to ‘vent’ his frustrations on a tree–this is where he meets Eli (Lina Leandersson). When you first see her, you are first thought may be ‘oh my she is outside in the cold and snow without warm clothes!’ Oskar thinks the very same thing.

I do not know if she was eyeing Oskar as prey–but after he spoke with her, she liked him. Oskar is a lonely kid and does not have any friends–he becomes immediately attached to Eli. Oskar is unaware of whom or what Eli is–he accepts her as she accepts him.  No matter what the circumstances of their meeting–this relationship proves to go deeper into the intimate bond between a vampire and their suitors.  This is what I liked about this film.  It gave me better insight on how a vampire may acquire there companions–in a more logical sense versus the Reinfield characters you see or read about in most vampire novels and movies.

Their friendship is challenged when people in Stockholm began noticing missing persons–and bodies being discovered around Oskar’s neighborhood.  To add to the intensity of this film, Eli was seen by one of Oskar’s neighbors when she lured a male passerby under an overpass–the brutal scene and the strength of such a small  attacker was a complete shocker!  I thought that the victim could get away–and he did not get away.  Eli had a companion towards the beginning of the film–but he bumbled so many attacks in an effort to drain blood to feed Eli that he had to destroy himself to protect Eli from being discovered by authorities.

The bonding between Oskar and Eli in this film is the pinnacle of this film’s success as there are strenuous events surrounding them both.  The cinematography of this film is beautifully mastered as well as the story and relationships of the characters involved in the film.  Let the right one in (2008) is a definite must see.

Lindqvist, J. A. (2008). ‘lat den ratte komma in‘ Let the right one in. A novel. St. Martin’s Griffin Publishers.Let The Right One In: New York: Thomas Dunne Books.

  • Editor Rating

  • Rated 4 stars
  • Excellent

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  • Last modified: 2016-06-03

Review Summary:

Lonely, 12-year-old Oskar is regularly bullied by his stronger classmates. A new friendship develops when Eli, a pale, serious young girl who only comes out at night moves in next door.

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