Home

A Chilling Coming of Age

image by Veronica V. Jones

Let the Right One In, If You Dare

Eli's bloody hand in

The classic vampire film relies on a few well-worn tropes: a seductive, powerful villain, a noble, principled  hero, and a clear sense of right and wrong. These roles are occasionally reversed, and the undead hero struggles with brutish humans.

Neither of these situations adequately define the chance collision of violently introverted Oskar and mysteriously vulnerable Eli in the Tomas Alfredson cinematic adaption of John Ajvide Lindqvist’s novel Let the Right One In.

Set in a small Sweedish town in the 1980’s, we follow Oskar’s small, quiet life as a bullied student and single child of a failing marriage. When he meets a strange, standoffish girl named Eli outside his apartment, a halting, awkward friendship blossoms. As several grisly murders set the community on edge, the two childrens’ relationship becomes stronger, and more complex.

It would be easy for the unknowing to dismiss Let the Right One In as a somber European preteen Twilight, and while the premise is not entirely dissimilar, these cinematic still waters run far more deep than teen angst and escapism. It is an intimate, almost claustrophobic tale of the innocence and brutality of youth, and the forces that drive lost souls together in times of mutual need.

This dark, stark tale slowly builds like a midwinter snow drift, and casts a slightly disinterested eye at one young man’s coming of age, and his encounters with an oddly vulnerable, eternally innocent monster. Is it love, or something less? Only time will tell.

Written by in May of 2009. Last edited September 2014.

Related Features

Scientists Choose Top SF Movies

Mirana Reveier

A tattooed vampire lazily sips blood from a cup. A pale, slender armored woman. A long-haired man hanging on to a large sea creature for dear life.

The Mysterious Zombie Movie Mutation

Word War Z - zombies as the flu. Cockneys Vs. Zombies - zombies as the generation gap. Warm Bodies - Zombies as teen angst.

The Incredible Hulk’s Heroic Transformation

The Incredible Hulk Edward Norton as Bruce Banner. Liv Tyler as Betty Ross.

Stardust Twinkles with Mashup Magic

Claire Danes and Charlie Cox as Yvaine and Tristan, seated. Robert De Niro, Claire Danes and Charlie Cox as Captain Shakespeare, Yvaine and Tristan Michelle Pfeiffer as Lamia, the Witch Queen. Claire Danes and Charlie Cox as Yvaine and Tristan, running. Ricky Gervais and Robert De Niro as Ferdy the Fence and Captain Shakespeare

Comments

Be the first to comment!