Thursday, July 2, 2009

Let the Right One In

For as long as I can remember, I have loved movies. I think it's safe to say that many of us feel the same way. Movies transport us to wherever it may be that we want to go (or don't want to go). They're our passport to adventure and the only one that guarantees a safe trip back. They are our fantasies, our fears and our gateways to the unimaginable. And lately, they've become so cliched and predictable that the fun seems to be lacking. At least that was what I thought before I saw the film, "Let the Right One In."
Let me give you the premise: boy is getting picked on at school, boy meets new girl, boy notices new girl never comes out during the daytime, people start disappearing in town, boy and girl fall in love, more people disappear from town... A vampire movie? you say, I've seen those before. Not like this you haven't.
Rather than dwell on gore like most American vampire films would do, (Let the Right One In is Swedish, by the way) the film chooses to focus on the strange love story that develops between the two main characters, Oskar and Eli. The film sticks mainly to the vampire rules we all know-vampires must drink blood to live; vampires must stay out of the sun; vampires cannot enter a room to kill someone unless they are invited in. Where the film strays from the norm is in it's form. At first, I thought there was a problem with my speakers, but then I realized that a large part of the dialogue is muted. What this does is to focus your attention on other things. The smallest sounds that the director chooses to give the audience are amplified. It creates a movie watching experience unlike anything I've ever seen. The end result is a vampire film that is less reminiscent of more recent films like "30 Days of Night" and more reminiscent of the early silent vampire films like the original "Nosferatu." The film exudes a creepiness throughout that far surpasses the cheap scares that have become expected from most newer horror films. So give "Let the Right One In" a chance. It's a film that is both haunting and beautiful, and one that will stick with you far longer than most films you will ever see.

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