Vampires have terrified me ever since I was a little kid. I think it’s the fact that vampires can hide themselves to an extent. Theoretically, that person you just passed on a dark street could be a vampire! You would never know until they started sucking on your jugular. And Dracula? Still the scariest book I’ve ever read.
However, I have this strange perversion that insists I read and watch as many things I think are scary as possible. For example, ghost stories and horror films with cheap scares and building tension ensure that I will have trouble sleeping for the next few nights. Monsters and gory movies I tend to avoid though, mainly because I think they are either boring or disgusting. (Sometimes. Not always.)
So thanks to this perversion, I checked out the Swedish movie Let the Right One In knowing that it was a vampire movie and knowing that it would give me nightmares. I was pleasantly surprised at how not scary it was.
Oskar is a 12 year boy living with his mother and bullied by classmates at school. One night a young girl moves in next door. Eli is 12 too. Kind of. She lives with her father and over the course of a few nightly meetings, Oskar and Eli become friends. Oskar provides companionship for the lonely Eli and Eli gives Oskar the encouragement to stand up to his bullies. Oskar eventually discovers that Eli is a vampire and it’s interesting to watch how their relationship progresses after that revelation. Because that’s really the point of this movie, the relationship that develops between two lonely, hurting people.
I also loved how traditional some of the vampire characteristics were. Vampires can’t enter homes until they are invited and sunlight is immediately destructive.
Ultimately, this is how vampire relationship movies should be made. (Twi-hards I’m looking at you.) Highly recommended.