Sunday, February 15, 2009
Day Three: Let the Right One In (2008) - Rank 4/5
The premise of "Let the Right One in" can be summed up simply: it's the story that "Twilight" tried to be, but failed. Granted, that might be a cruel generalization towards "Twilight" having not seen it in its entirety. But the comparison between the two inevitably comes up between others and myself when discussing the films because they have great similarities. Both start off with a new individual moving to town , both feature two adolescent leads and both feature the human lead being saved by the vampire, thus sparking off a relationship. However, it is the realm beyond this series of similarities where "Let the Right One In" excels. *(see below)
The story is centered around a twelve-year old, shrimpy kid named Oskar, who is perpetually bullied by a group of students at school. He finds friendship in his conversations with a girl named Eli who moves into his tenement building. The two bond, because they are essentially alone in the world; Oskar living with a disinterested mother and Eli completely alone after her caretaker is arrested (and subsequently gives his life for Eli). She helps give Oskar the courage to fight back against the bullies and Oskar aids in protecting Eli from potential attacks by those who know what she is.
In short, the film is about finding friendship through a common bond: loneliness. In that sense, the tone of the film reminded me of Sophia Coppola's "Lost in Translation." Both films also have mild sexual undertones, but never do the leads become romantically entangled. It's a brand of maturity in writing rarely seen today.
I caught "Let The Right One In" directly after "Peur(s) du Noir." The two made a great double feature on a cold, wintry night. While "Peur(s) du Noir" was a tough act to follow, "Let the Right One In" did not disappoint (though it didn't top "Peur(s) du Noir" either).
Watch the Trailer
* (And did I see "Twilight?" No. In that regard, I suppose talking down about it is unwarranted. However, I saw a large portion of it while it was at Baxter and the basic gist I got of the plot was this:
Girl: "Hey, I think you're cute."
Boy Vampire: "But I'm a vampire, babe."
Girl: "I still think you're cute."
Boy Vampire: "Then run away with me!"
When I present this generalized idea of the story's dialog to hardcore "Twilight" fans, even they shrug, smile and say, "That's, sadly, pretty accurate." So don't judge me too harshly.)