Saturday, 3 December 2011

Review - Let the Right One In (2008 - Dir. Tomas Alfredson)

I'd been saving this for ages and finally the rainy day came when I decided to give it my undivided attention. Multiple awards, over the top reviews and an acclaimed original novel all indicated that this Swedish, low budget vampire tale, was something a bit special. Things are rarely as they seem and obscurendure provides a slightly different perspective...

It was a huge disappointment for me. Apparently Alfredson toned down the more excessive horror elements of the novel and instead focused on the relationship issues between the two main characters instead. The film resembles one of the weaker episodes of a Swedish version of Waterloo Road with a 'vampire' element bolted on to pep things up a bit. The acting is generally unconvincing with the adults looking suspiciously like they are only in the film because they are the director's friends. Essentially it gets caught somewhere between being too lightweight for horror fans and too simplistic for human drama buffs.

Low budget films don't always have to look cheap, but the setting and overall feel of things convey none of the expected bleakness or isolation of a Swedish winter. It all looks a bit like the Scandinavian equivalent of the Brookside Close set. With all of Sweden to pick from I'm sure they could have found somewhere more inspirational. And what does the title mean anyway? His options for 'letting in' were limited to one option as far as I could see. Could he have let the wrong one in? Could he let the right one out? At the end of the day we don't really care.

The only bright spot is the appearance of some really bad CGI animals. Bad computer generated animal spotters are in for a real treat in the 'cat' scene! They're up there with the bluebird in KPAX and the deer in The Ring 2. Well maybe not as bad as the deer, thinking about it. (Is that a CG poodle in this shot? It's pretty good if it is. - evlkeith)

I realise every critic in the world loved the film, but I'm sorry it's just not very good. Incidentally, I watched Kick Ass on the same day as this and it's hardly an obscurendure film, but it's way, way better than this. If you're tempted to watch Let the Right One In, my advice is watch Kick Ass instead. You won't be disappointed.

(I've seen this too and read the book. Now, being a bit of a horror boy, you might be expecting a more generous rating from me. But, I completely agree with the Doc's verdict. A major let down. The book was okay at best and the film even neshed it on some of the more goresome scenes, removing the parts I was actually looking forward to. If I want to watch pasty faced children in the snow chewing the necks off homeless people, I'll go to Rotherham in January. I think I'll watch Kick Ass instead. - evlkeith)

If you like this you could also try:
Pan's Labyrinth, The Orphanage, The Devil's Backbone, Nightwatch (1994 original).

1 comment:

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