Reviewed by Uncle Creepy
Starring Kåre Hedebrant, Lina Leandersson, Per Ragnar, Henrik Dahl
Directed by Tomas Alfredson
Distributed by Magnolia Home Entertainment
All film is technically art, but there’s a vast difference between a finger painting and the Mona Lisa. Tomas Alfredson’s vampire film Let the Right One In is a masterpiece of horror that has few rivals. In fact, it could be one of the most perfect films ever made.
We meet twelve-year-old Oskar (Hedebrant) at a very difficult time in his life. He’s got problems at home, he’s getting to be that age when your body goes all haywire, and to make matters worse he’s the unfortunate victim of abuse at school via the usual bullies. The poor kid feels awkward, lonely, and completely out-of-place. Then one night he happens to meet someone who seems equally as tortured, the new tenant in his building, a pale-skinned little girl named Eli (Leandersson). Their shared loneliness serves as an instant magnet and immediately a friendship begins to develop, but Eli apparently has a few more issues than Oskar. For one thing she only comes out at night and feeds on the living.
Coinciding with the little girl’s arrival in his life, people in Oskar’s town start disappearing, and it’s not long before everyone is alerted that there’s a vicious killer on the loose. Little by little our hero starts putting together the pieces about Eli and her vampiric plight, but by the time that happens too many feelings between the two have become deep seated. They cannot forsake each other no matter what.
On the surface that may sound like some kind of soap opera, but I can assure you Let the Right One In is every bit the horror film. It’s riddled with insane scenes that really need to be seen to be believed. The performances are nothing short of beautiful as is Alfredson’s amazing direction and camera work. Out of all the new directors to come down the pike, we really need to keep our eyes on this guy. Even though it can be a bit of a slow burn to get there, the film’s final moments are riddled with enough tension and fright to rattle even the most seasoned of horror fans.
It should be noted that both the DVD edition and the Blu-ray share identical special features. The main difference between the two is picture and sound quality. Though the DVD holds its own, if you have the tech, Blu-ray is most certainly the way to go. The film looks and sounds as amazing as you could hope. Stunning even.
The only disappointing parts of this entire package are the special features, which are just too skimpy for a film of this magnitude. In fact I’d hazard to say they’re pretty pitiful. All we get are two image galleries, four deleted scenes that clock in at around six minutes combined, and your standard seven-minute long behind-the-scenes featurette. Really? Come on, guys! Surely we can do better than that!
For those of you not into reading subtitles (this is a Swedish film after all) there’s an English dubbed audio track, but do yourself a favor — deal with the text. The actors doing the voices never even come close to displaying the range and emotion that this movie is rife with.
Let the Right One In should be at the top of your “what do I wanna watch?” queue. Be warned though — Those looking for mindless fun need not even bother . This is a thinking person’s horror film and one that hits home in the most thought-provoking of ways. A must see!
5 out of 5
2 1/2 out of 5
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