Monday, March 16, 2009

Mooney Does Movies: "Let the Right One In"

I've been reading in my favorite horror magazines about this movie. About how it takes the usual vampire tale into a whole new realm. Well, to be honest, I'm very leery about being told how "unique" and "different" something is, because about half the time I disagree.

Lemme tell you - this movie takes vampires into a whole new realm!

Based on the book by John Ajvide Lindqvist (and screenwritten by the author), LTROI takes place in Sweden. The DVD released in the U.S. is dubbed, although the deleted scenes are in Swedish with English subtitles.

The story is a basic, sweet little love story with a horrific twist. Twelve year old Oskar meets twelve-ish year old Eli when she and her "poppa" move into the apartment next door. The attraction is instantaneous, but Oskar is hesitant in only a boy-with-a-crush can be. He has every right to be, especially after he discovers that Eli is a vampire, cursed to be forever locked in a preadolescent body.

In addition, Oskar is the target of a group of boys who take special delight in tormenting and bullying him. Oskar bears their brutality as best he can, until Eli takes notice and tries to convince him to fight back.

The movie sets a very pervasive tone with the harshness of the winter weather. Seeing Oskar bundled up, nose running from the intense cold, and seeing Eli sitting in her sleeveless shirt and barefoot on top of a mountain of snow, makes their differences all the more striking.

Of the whole movie, two scenes stand out in my mind (no spoilers here) - when Eli tells Oskar she has to be invited into his house (since, according to legend, vampires cannot cross thresholds of homes inhabited by the living unless asked), and the final scene between the bullies and Oskar at the swimming pool. What happens in those two instances will forever remain with me.

Rating: a full moon

I will be getting this movie for my Keepers Collection.

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