Saturday, January 17, 2009

Let the Right One In

Some films belong to certain seasons of the year. Let the Right One In is a film that should be watched in the winter. Summer viewing would just feel so wrong. It helps hammer home its seasonal appropriateness that the weather in Tulsa has been frigidly cold the past few weeks with temperatures residing in the teens and the wind chill far below that. When the on screen weather matches the outside theatre weather--you've found yourself a seasonal connection.

Let the Right One In is one of my favorites from 2008. It's set in Sweden and based around a twelve year old boy named Oskar. He has no friends, suffers mental and physical abuse by a trio of bullies, is isolated from divorced Mom and Dad, spends his time daydreaming and keeping a secret journal of newspaper cutouts of ghastly deeds. Oskar's world changes when a new neighbor shows up in the same apartment building.

Eli is twelve too, sort of. Eli is a girl, sort of. And she's a vampire. Oskar and Eli form a bond--the only bond of Oskar's life. He is drawn to Eli in ways he can't comprehend. Eli doesn't care about Oskar's social problems he tries to hide--she's a vampire after all. Secrets, abnormal thoughts and the struggle for communication of what she is won't frighten her off from a dysfunctional twelve year old boy. The pair find an unquestioning kind of love for one another that is both tender and touching.

Let the Right One In is drowning in a wonderful atmospheric starkness that reflects its Swedish setting. There's very little to see outside snow, ice and darkness. When director Tomas Alfredson rarely exposes the characters (and us viewers) to the Swedish sunlight, it is so piercing and bright that it reaches deep enough to hurt the eye or make bones brittle. That seasonal winter match again.

This is a great film. Terrifically thought out and constructed. Let the Right One In is pure winter viewing and one of my favorites from 2008.


Rumblefish said...

It's my favorite, too. I've seen it four times.

Replicant said...

I wish I'd watched it a second time but I only saw it once a few months ago and I can't stop thinking about it.

Rumblefish said...

Well, the Blu Ray is out next month! I even got the Circle to give me one of their posters :)