At long last, it’s finally here. Halloween Moviefest 2010! Last year was a rip-roaring success, in that Brian and I had a veritable truckload of fun watching all the scary(ish) movies. So much so that it spawned my desire to do the whole ‘Another Day, Another Movie’ thing with other genres. You can read all about it here.
Number one, Let The Right One In.
This one was my favorite film from HMF ’09. The story of lonely young Oskar, who broods over dark thoughts because he is bullied and tormented relentlessly at school. Then he meets Eli, the new girl in his apartment complex who appears as lonely as he is.
The two grow closer over time, connecting in their loneliness, and eventually Oskar learns Eli’s dark secret, she’s a vampire.
The film is small, character-driven, and deeply disturbing. The confined, realistic scale of the film makes the violence, which by today’s standards is never gratuitous, feel that much more palpable and troubling.
Yet, the ability of the film’s director, Tomas Alfredson, to create scenes of genuine sweetness and tenderness in the midst of a story which should make that impossible is a stunning achievement.
That tenderness serves the film’s many juxtapositions and ambiguities. There is never a moment of sweetness which isn’t tainted by the many troubling realities of the story, and yet there isn’t a moment of darkness which isn’t also colored by humanity. Somehow, Let The Right One In never sacrifices one extreme for the other, using the mythology that vampires cannot enter a home without being invited as a metaphor for who we choose to trust in our desire for connection. For Oskar, Eli truly does offer him what he needs in his loneliness, but the cost may be his soul.
This is a darkly beautiful movie in so many ways, but I don’t want to go into more detail than that, for fear of ruining it for those who haven’t seen it. However, I would love to talk to anyone about this movie, literally any time at all.