Reed Alexander's Horror Review of 'Let the Right One In' (2008)
Let them right into my cold black heart...
My God, this movie was both heart warming and terrifying at the same time. Look, if you lack the maturity or IQ to realize that Twilight is garbage, watch this movie and it might help you understand why. And by the way, liking Twilight does count as a mental deficiency in my book, fuck what you think...
But holy shit, this movie presented a beautiful little romance between a boy and his creepy friend. It's more than just gush worthy, it's pretty fucking violent! It doesn't pull any punches either. The boy's creepy little friend leaves a wake of dead bodies worthy of any horror movie. The whole time the two are sparking this little romance that is so sweet an innocent. The dichotomy of dating a monster, and being sweet and innocent is really what makes this movie.
The best part? There's no wangsty teen drama, there's no offensively outdated 'predator/prey' male and female rolls, the power in the relationship isn't disturbingly one sided, and NO ONE FUCKING SPARKLES... The two support each other in healthy ways that you don't even see in some adult relationship in movies. Quite frankly, I was just impressed.
The acting was also marvelous, the atmosphere just stunning, even overpoweringly dark at times, the plot simple and beautiful, and while some of the FX were a little off, most of it was pretty good.
I highly recommend this to all adult audiences, and it should likely be used to reprogram Twilight fans. Seriously, if you're a fan of Twilight, you need to examine your life. Honestly, this is good enough where even the kinds of horror heads that crave blood will still likely appreciate it.
You can probably tell from the description that the little boy 'Oskar's' new friend 'Eli' is a vampire. The reason I saved this for the spoilers is because it might not be blatantly obvious, but I also feel like they were reaching for something even deeper with her character. Eli, the vampire, keeps saying she's not a girl. For the most part, you think she means that she's a vampire, hence not a person, hence not a girl. Perhaps it's just that she no longer perceives herself as a girl even though she clearly identifies as one. Then, almost like Sleepaway Camp, but with respect for the concept, you find out that she's been fully castrated. Meaning, whatever century she hails from, likely for the church, or other reasons, her boy genitals were completely removed before she was crossed over. While at one point, having been gendered male, she has chosen to identify as a girl in her life as a vampire. When she starts her romance with Oskar, she wanted him to know she wasn't born female. What's important about this, it's long before Oskar finds out she's a vampire—and by circumstances, she didn't want Oskar to know she was a vampire—Eli wanted Oskar to know she was trans.
Somewhere in here is a story about being trans, having the world treat you like a monster, almost like being trans is an infection, and just trying to survive, and trying to be loved. I have to admit, I'm not in the correct place to be making judgments on the value of it's message, and I could be WAY the fuck off base, but it was an excellent story all the same.
Outside of the hidden messages, the plot in the foreground is twisted and marvelously violent. It's just a lot of fun to watch a little girl run around and eat people, especially as most of the people she kills really have it fucking coming. The last scene is particularly marvelous as they had a lot of fun with the general presentation. While some of the violence is only hinted at, it's just ruthlessly brutal as you know in your head what's going on.
I'm not joking, you absolutely must watch this movie.