"Emotion Overcomes Conscience"
LET THE RIGHT ONE IN is a Swedish vampire movie that plays like an arthouse mystery thriller with film noir overtones.
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.
(RoRoRo, LL, VVV, S, NNN, AA, D, MMM) Extreme Romantic worldview where emotion and personal desires overcome moral conscience; 12 obscenities (including two “f” words) and four strong profanities; brief extreme violence with some blood and gory images includes older man drugs younger man or teenager and starts to drain his blood before being interrupted, man tries to do the same with another teenager, vampire girl attacks two men and kills them, vampire girl attacks woman but fails to kill her, teenager tries to drown 12-year-old boy in pool, decapitated head and severed arm fall into pool with camera later showing dead bodies above pool, vampire girl starts to bleed from pores because her human friend wanted to know what happens if he doesn’t invite her into his house, man pours acid on his face to fool police, woman explodes into flames, and boy uses hard pole to whack bullying boy in the ear; some erotic tensions between 12-year-old boy and vampire in a 12-year-old girl’s body includes vampire climbs into bed with him one night and touches his shoulder or arm; bizarre shot of young female vampire’s private parts, upper male nudity of boy, shots of boy in his underwear, and children in bathing suits at school pool; brief alcohol use and drunkenness; smoking and killer knocks out a victim with a gas; and, bullying, revenge, adults are either slobs or ineffectual, young protagonist’s parents are divorced, and young protagonist’s journey is one where he loses any moral conscience he may have had.
LET THE RIGHT ONE IN is a Swedish vampire movie that plays like an arthouse mystery thriller. Oskar, a 12-year-old boy whose parents are divorced, is being bullied at school. One winter night outside his mother’s apartment building, he imagines sticking the head bully with his knife. Eli, a 12-year-old girl, sees Oskar and starts talking with him. She is unaffected by the cold. Another night, Eli lures a man under a bridge and attacks him, feeding on his neck. Oskar figures out that Eli is a vampire. She encourages Oskar to stand up against the school bullies, but Oskar’s violent act of 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. 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.