#119 -- Foreign Movie Challenge: Let the Right One In (2008)

Director: Tomas Alfredson
Rating: 4/5

I saw the American version, Let Me In, before I saw this one. I really enjoyed the remake, but for some reason I liked this one better. It is the story of two twelve year-old kids in Sweden. The boy, Oskar, is tormented and bullied by his classmates, leaving him more than a little disturbed. Eli (pronounced kind of like "yelli") is a vampire. Eli lives with an older man who acts as a father figure to her, keeping her safe and acquiring meals for her. But he is starting to slip, which ultimately leads to his death. That leaves Eli with no one else to turn to but Oskar. They develop a friendly relationship, being that each really has no one else in their lives. When Oskar discovers Eli's secret, he is surprised and treats her with a little bit of disdain for a short while. Eventually, though, he comes to terms with his new girlfriend's identity, and they begin helping each other. Eli helps Oskar deal with his bullies, and Oskar helps Eli relocate so that she can continue living. The relationship between them is beautiful, in that "alone together" type of way. They're both outsiders, but they've got their own little secret club, so to say.

I found out while searching the web that this was actually based on a book by a Swedish author named John Ajvide Lindqvist. There are some disturbing things in the movie (murderous children, childhood sexuality, etc.), so I can only imagine how the book must be.

One thing I really liked about this one was Eli. She didn't talk much, and she didn't show feelings with her facial expressions. But there was something about her eyes. Maybe it's just me, but I could feel everything she was feeling by looking into her eyes. The actress portraying her did a wonderful job with that. And I can't deny that the language appealed to me too. I love hearing foreign languages, and it just makes it seem so much more exotic to me. I thought this movie was beautiful. It's interesting because it shows a sensitive vampire who still manages to be vicious and frightening. It's almost like Eli is Oskar's protector, because we know nothing can harm him as long as he is with her. And in a way, he is her protector as well. He protects her from her loneliness.

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