Let the Right One In (15)

Nov 03, 2010
Cranbrook Film Society

This is not a typical vampire horror movie, although there is blood and murder. It is winter 1982 and the cold and snow permeate the mood of the film; a favourite device of Scandinavian filmmakers. In the background, tensions between Sweden and USSR over submarines remind us that this is the era of the Cold War.

Oskar (Kåre Hedebrant) is a shy, studious twelve-year-old boy, living in a 1950s block of flats in Blackeberg, an anonymous dormitory town outside Stockholm. He is on the threshold of puberty, withdrawn, unhappy at home and bullied at school. One night he meets his new neighbour, a pale girl called Eli (Lina Leandersson), also twelve, “but I’ve been this age for a very long time”. And so begins a relationship between two lonely and desperate children. The title of the film refers to a piece of folklore that prohibits vampires from forcing their way into the lives of others – they have to be invited in. John Ajvide Lindqvist has adapted his own novel for the screenplay.

Director Tomas Alfredson uses winter visually and metaphorically to pervade his film to wonderful effect. The son of actor/director Hasse Alfredson and brother of director Daniel, Tomas Alfredson has worked in Swedish television and film as actor, writer and director all his life, winning many awards in the process. His next project is an adaptation of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy for Working Title.

Cast: Kåre Hedebrant, Henrik Dahl, Karin Bergquist, Lina Leandersson, Per Ragnar, Peter Carlberg

Tomas Alfredson | Sweden | 2009 | 115 minutes | 15


            Weighted vote 59.4%