Throwback Review: “Let The Right One In”, A Vampire Tale With A Bite Of Winter

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There is something that makes a vampire story set against the backdrop of Swedish winter look particularly unsettling. At certain points, the 2008 Swedish movie Let The Right One In (Låt den rätte komma in) almost breathes cold through the TV screen. The snow-covered Stockholm suburb provides a rich atmosphere for this unusual vampire tale.

Directed by Tomas Alfredson and based on the book by John Ajvide Lindqvist, Let The Right One In is a story of 12-year-old Oscar (Kåre Hedebrant), a lonely boy who is bullied at school. One day, a girl named Eli (Lina Leandersson) moves in next door. Something is slightly off about her, and we soon learn that Eli is a vampire who’s been 12 for a very long time. Oscar and Eli become friends and form a strong bond, as Eli helps Oscar to stand up for himself and deal with the bullying.

Let The Right One In is definitely one of the better vampire movies around, with its unique atmosphere and a strong storyline. The two young leads, Kåre Hedebrant and Lina Leandersson do a truly remarkable job. They are effortlessly believable in portraying the unlikely friendship at the center of the movie. Vampires can be creepy enough, but what can be creepier than a 12-year-old girl who is a vampire? You will be able to decide for yourselves – some scenes are quite dark and bloody. And yet, the focus isn’t so much on the vampires as it is on the relationship between Oscar and Eli. The supernatural element is ever-present, of course, but it is really interesting how the two kids progress during the course of the story.

Johan Söderqvist’s music bears an incredible emotional quality, also highlighting movie’s emphasis on the human emotions, rather than the supernatural element. I found this aspect the most interesting and fresh, for a vampire movie. As I already mentioned, Let The Right One In has a unique, cold atmosphere. Winter and snow prove to be a very suitable setting for this story, beautifully shot and executed. I highly recommend it to all the vampire fans, and I would also recommend watching it with subtitles – Swedish sounds fascinating.

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