Saturday, 10 October 2009
LET THE RIGHT ONE IN
Based on 'Let Me In' - a 2004 novel by John Ajvide Lindqvist - Tomas Alfredson's splendid feature film has been attracting rave reviews all over the world since its release in 2008. With Lindqvist on board for the screenplay, Alfredson creates a troubled winter wonderland where 12-year-old Oskar makes friends with a young girl named Elie who declares "I've been 12 a long time". Suffering bullying at school on an almost daily basis, Oskar eventually confides in his new acquaintance, initially unaware that her nocturnal habits include a dependence on human blood in order to survive.
As her watchman Hakan proves himself not up to the task of supplying her essential nourishment, Elie must fend for herself while Oskar battles against the bullies and his own concerns regarding just who or what Elie really is.
Here, Oskar's pain of growing up in the real world is contrasted by the plight of a vampire child who will never change physically, with both of them forced to survive in harsh, unforgiving terrain.
While LET THE RIGHT ONE IN contains moments of feral savagery, there are many instances of sheer poetry in dialogue and imagery; a gesture here, a sentence there, all propelling this story into a fantastique world where childlike innocence mutates into something altogether different.
This really is an extraordinary work, standing proudly alongside genre greats of recent years. Indeed, for my money, it's up there with Abel Ferrara's THE ADDICTION as one of the most challenging vampire films of the last few decades, though for entirely different reasons.
On Blu-ray, LET THE RIGHT ONE IN benefits from an outstanding transfer. The snow-laden landscape looks of the purest white, while the colour ranges from vibrant to dull reflecting the narrative shifts. As much of the film takes place at night, solid blacks are important and that's just what we get. A worthwhile commentary track is included, together with 4 deleted scenes. While it's likely their addition would not have significantly improved the film, it's good to be able to watch them here.
Here's a trailer to whet the appetite of any of you yet to see this remarkable coming-of-age tale. Please, don't miss it.