miss_s_b: (Fangirling: Judge Death)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
We watched this last night, having had it sat on the side for a week or so. I rented it because lots of people told me it was excellent, but then left it sat there, telling myself I needed to be in the right mood to watch a foriegn language film, that I could only watch it when able to concentrate, etc... Foriegn language films have a bigger mountain to climb with me than Anglophone ones.

It was a bit slow to start, but I think that was necessary to get you used to the characters. Even though it has some truly graphically horrible moments (the spontaneous combustion scene, for instance, or the reveal of the acid-burned face), it doesn't feel like a horror film. It's an old-fashioned, slow-burning romance, with moments of bald comedy, and a sweet happy ending, for a given definition of sweet, and, indeed, happy. It doesn't pass the Bechdel test, although there are meaningful female characters in it; Oskar's mother is beautifully played, for example, but she only ever really interacts with Oskar. But I can forgive it that because the star of the film is undoubtedly the girl who plays Eli. Beautifully haunted, affecting and understated, she is the heart of this tale in every sense. She exudes oldness and sadness, and you can feel on a visceral level why Oskar is fascinated by her. The scene where she enters the house univited to show Oskar the consequences of doing so is so brilliantly played it brought a tear to my eye.

The minor characters in the film are very realistic: a bunch of drunks at the local bar; a kindly but ineffective couple of school teachers; Oskar's father and his gay lover; even the nurse of reception at the hospital. All of them feel like actual people. The nurse, for instance, is only in the film for maybe thirty seconds, yet she doesn't feel like a stock character or an afterthought. The bullies are well-drawn, especially the one blonde boy who is clearly joining in the bullying because he is more scared of the consequences if he doesn't than because he actually wants to. One of the lessons that I take from this film is that Sweden is chock full of talented child actors.

The climactic scene at the end, where Oskar's bullies have hit the crescendo of their torment and Eli comes back for him, is beautifully shot; the moment where the arm holding Oksar below the water descends disembodied before his eyes made me laugh aloud with delight. And that's what this film does: it takes the usual conventions of good and bad, tips them on their head, and makes you root for a (literally) cold-blooded killer against all the normal people.

I'd fully recommend giving this film a viewing, if you can stomach the unflinching style of the gory bits. I'd give it 8/10. You can watch the trailer here.



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Date: Friday, July 16th, 2010 09:10 pm (UTC)
andrewducker: (Default)
From: [personal profile] andrewducker
It's a terribly bitter-sweet ending though, because Oskar is going to end up being the old man who dies for his Vampire mistress in 50 years time, when the cycle repeats.

Date: Saturday, July 17th, 2010 08:23 am (UTC)
moviegrrl: (Default)
From: [personal profile] moviegrrl
So glad you loved this. I'm not at all excited about the US remake, even though it stars the wonderful Chloe Moretz...

Date: Saturday, July 17th, 2010 09:21 am (UTC)
londonkds: (Default)
From: [personal profile] londonkds
I really liked this film, although scenes with people threatened or injured with corrosive things are the only thing that really count as triggering for me, for reasons that I find totally incomprehensible since I have never had any personal experience of it or even seen it happen to someone else in real life.

The element of the original novel that was left out of the film that you might find interesting is that Eli is not actually a girl but a castrated boy, the implication being that this is either a by-product of being a vampire or something that her vampiric creator did to her. There is a shot of her crotch in the film, but if it was intended to reveal the same thing it doesn't.

Date: Saturday, July 17th, 2010 12:21 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I think I may have raved about the film enough at the time of its cinema release, so I'll try to restrain myself a bit now. ;-)
But quite basically, I think that "Let the right one" in is one of the very best vampire films of the last decade. There have certainly not been many recent films that moved me as deeply as this one.

Be careful if you try to give the book a chance, though. It is a fair bit grimmer.

Date: Saturday, July 17th, 2010 12:23 pm (UTC)
von_geisterhand: (Default)
From: [personal profile] von_geisterhand
I have no idea why DW logged me out while composing this. :-S

Date: Saturday, July 17th, 2010 06:40 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] jamie77
Certainly one of my favourites of the last few years.

I certainly would certainly suggest if you come across a copy at the library or can borrow a copy, checking out John Ajvide Lindqvist's original novel and indeed his take on the zombie genre, 'Handling the Undead'. Though as others have already said, they are not terribly jolly affairs. The english translation of another of his novels, 'Harbour' is something I am looking forward to reading this autumn.

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