LET THE RIGHT ONE IN
Emotion Overcomes Conscience
Release Date: October 24, 2008
Audience: Older teenagers to adults
Runtime: 114 minutes
Distributor: Magnet Releasing/Magnolia Pictures
Director: Tomas Alfredson
Executive Producer: None
Producer: John Nordling and Carl Molinder
Writer: John Ajvide Lindqvist
Address Comments To:Bill Banowski, CEO, Magnolia Pictures
1614 West 5th St.
Austin, TX 78703
Eamon Bowles, President, Magnolia Pictures
43 West 27th St., 7th Floor
New York, NY 10001
Phone: (212) 924-6701; Fax: (212) 924-6742
The movie opens on Oskar, a lonely 12-year-old boy watching one of his two new neighbors, a middle-aged man, move into the apartment next door. Shortly after this, the man tries to drain the blood of an unconscious young victim in the woods. A dog interrupts the man, and he has to flee before the two women with the dog show up and see him commit this crime.
One winter night, Oskar, who’s being bullied at school by three boys, sees a 12-year-old girl outside his apartment complex. He strikes up a conversation with the girl, who doesn’t seem to be bothered by the cold weather. The girl is rather aloof, but she tells Oskar her name is Eli.
Another night, Eli lures a local man under a bridge and attacks him, feeding on his neck. The old man, who appears to be Eli’s father, goes out and hides the body in a nearby lake, which eventually freezes up.
Oskar soon figures out that Eli is a vampire, but she’s the only friend he’s got, so he doesn’t expose her. Eli tells Oskar that he should stand up against the three boys who bully him.
Meanwhile, Eli’s father botches another attempt to get blood for her, which leads to further complications. And, Oskar finally stands up against the bullies. He hits the leader on the ear with a hard wooden stick. This act of violent revenge has consequences that will change his life.
The pace of this eerie movie is slow, measured and lyrical. It’s too slow, however, which undercuts the urgency of Oskar’s jeopardy with the bullies, which is the story’s main conflict.
Morally, the movie is abhorrent. Oskar’s emotional attachment to Eli conquers any sense of morality he may have. Instead of just stopping the bullies, he and Eli take violent action against them. This leads to a gruesome, ironic ending when the bullies try to take their own revenge.
This Swedish horror movie also contains strong foul language and an extreme, but bizarre, partial nude shot of Eli. There are also gratuitous shots of Oskar in his underwear and with no shirt.
The pace of this eerie movie is slow, measured and lyrical. It’s too slow, however, which undercuts the urgency of Oskar’s jeopardy with the bullies. Morally, the movie is abhorrent. Oskar’s love for Eli conquers any sense of morality he may have. Instead of just stopping the bullies, he and Eli take violent action against them, which leads to a gruesome, ironic ending. This Swedish horrorshow also contains strong foul language and an extreme, but bizarre, shot of underage nudity.