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July 14, 2008 | by  | in Film | [ssba]

Let the Right One In (Lat den ratte komma in)

Directed by Tomas Alfredson

Let the Right One In is about the crust of blood on a 12-year-old boy’s lip after kissing his vampire girlfriend, while outside snow blankets a neighbourhood of achingly dull brick housing units. A pack of boys at a Swedish junior high taunt pasty blonde Oskar to squeal like a pig. Then raven-haired sickly vampire Eli moves in next door with boarded up windows; after Oskar and Eli bond over a rubix cube and their shared sociopathy, she teaches him to fight back.

Let the Right One In’s progression is slow, cold and, for the most part, ordinary: filled up with long takes in the tradition of Kubrick and Jarmusch, where the camera lingers on the interiors of boringly designed rooms, only occasionally interrupted by the blood. The film is also unrepentantly amoral. Eli’s condition first appears as an uncomfortable and isolating sickness, then as we eventually watch her very quietly savage a man’s neck, we are neither asked to condemn her nor to encourage her on – she simply kills because she has to, and that is that.


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