17. Let The Right One In (2008, Tomas Alfredson)
Even though I have yet to view the remake, I imagine that changing everything in this film to suit American styles and sensibilities makes it different in style and tone than this original film from Sweden, which is a romantic horror film that deals with natural vampire elements: blood, sex, violence and the odd bonds that form between people and creatures of the night. In this case young Oskar notices a strange girl has moved into his neighborhood, and from that point on weird and creepy things begin to occur. The movie even in daylight has this harsh, flat tone that gives subtitle hints to the bleak world hiding underneath-a world where awful murders happen, ones where the victims are drained of blood. There is a scene that illustrates how you should never trust anyone, even say, a supposedly young girl, which is freaky and disturbing. Alfredson’s movie has a raw power that grasps you, and even if this is not the best vampire movie ever made (not even close-sorry folks) it is at least one of the most stylistically original and fascinating takes on the genre.
Does love blossom among Oskar and the mysterious Eli, or is it more of a less than equal partnership? A tender moment is shared by the pair, yet in the end Eli is too dangerous for Oskar to ever truly get close. Oskar’s situation at school only further complicates things, resulting in a confrontation that goes beyond the pale and is shocking in how bullying goes from mere teasing to extremely harmful actions. I felt that the movie did not go far enough in properly sketching out its characters, although perhaps implying certain aspects of Eli works more than either fully depicting or explaining them. There is also an amazingly tragic and shocking moment that happens as a result of Eli’s actions, thus reflecting on the way of the vampire having rather stark and sad consequences. Maybe my opinion of this movie will go up if I view it again, however that final shot is haunting and left me pondering the movie long after the end credits rolled.
PS: I would like to note that I’m sticking to a two paragraph format due to lack of writing skill, plus this being more of a formal exercise than true essay writing. Some of these movies I have written about before, and others deserve longer write ups. It all depends on how interesting thematically the movie truly was. Also I’m trying to avoid spoilers.