31 Nights of Horror - Night Twenty-One: Let The Right One In (2008)

I love this film.

Let The Right One In is a film about two individuals who don't fit into their societies and end up finding each other as their own salvation from this harsh cold world.  On its surface Let The Right One In is a vampire movie that takes place in a Swedish town called Blackeberg in 1981.  What unfolds is a film with so much depth and substance that it takes you to different places every time you watch it. I seriously lost count how many times I've seen the film.

Oskar is a boy at school who often finds himself on the unfortunate side of a bully attack. One night he notices a young girl moving into the apartment complex next door to him. He sees that she has an old raggedy man with her.

The next night, while playing with his knife and making pretend the bully that constantly picks on him is an old birch tree, he meets the girl that moved in next to him. Her name is Eli and he notices that she is walking around barefoot with no jacket in the cold Swedish snow. She announces that friendship is out of the question. However, she doesn't realize that it's not necessarily up to her. They end up really liking one another...but, unfortunately for Oskar, he doesn't realize that she isn't an ordinary little girl.

The film is so rich in atmosphere and story that it would be criminal to tell you anymore. It's basically a story about a little vampire who meets a boy and forms a strong bond. But, there's so much more. There's the inner yearning for that something greater when you're 11 years old...I remember I wanted to escape into a fantasy movie when I was young. There's the morality of man vs. the mortality of man. Then there's love. What was it like when you first discovered the emotion? Do you remember the innocence of the discovery?

Tomas Alfredson does a brilliant job in the director's chair. He understands the subtlety in storytelling and he has an eye for catching all the lovely aspects in this dark tale. Hoyte Van Hoytema does an exceptional job lensing the film as it is perhaps the most beautiful-looking horror film I've seen in a long time.

While Let The Right One In has its fair share of scary moments, it is mainly the beauty within the film's story that I love. The innocence within the beauty is something special here and it is that beauty that will stay with you for a long time after the credits role. It's kind of a shame that films like this come few and far in between.

There's even a feeling of dread when you take into consideration that Oskar may just be another in a long line of caretakers for Eli. There are also sexual ambiguity elements that I won't go into. It's a film that you can seriously spend hours dissecting. And why not? It's adapted from a novel by the same name from John Ajvide Lindqvist. A novel full of so much more detail that it is a wonder how Lindqvist was able to whittle it all down to this screenplay that still boasts so much depth.

Let The Right One In is a modern day classic that deserves every bit of your attention this Halloween season. It's been given the shiny Hollywood remake by Mr. Matt Reeves of Cloverfield fame...and while that film is a good attempt, it doesn't hold a candle to the original masterpiece.

5 out of 5

Thanks for reading,