If you are making the choice between Let the Right One In and Let Me In, the former is the right one. This taut and moody vampire tale pushes the boundary for what’s possible in the genre.
Let the Right One in is a new twist on the vampire tale, that asks, what if vampires were pedophiles? It’s about Oskar, a 12 year old Swedish boy that is relentlessly bullied while he deals with his parents separation. In the course of planning to be Sweden’s first school shooter, he meets Eli, the new girl in town that hates shoes and loves having the higher ground. Eli is the stereotypical manic pixie dream girl, who has quirky hobbies like puzzle collecting, communicating through Morse, and violently murdering people by sucking their blood.
Review of Let the Right One In (2008)
Let the Right One In was remade in English as “Let Me In”, but if you haven’t the original, do yourself a favor and watch it in the original language. Not only are the performances a little better overall, most importantly, the tone is vastly better than the remake.
The sparse and brutal mise en scene matches the sparse and brutal storyline. The stark empty courtyards and public parks compliment the empty and stark life of lonely latchkey kids.
At the heart of the story is a coming of age romance between two tragic characters that is very compelling. There is an impending sense of dread for all the main characters. You are rooting for them, but in pretty much every possible outcome there will be tragedy.
This film is an excellent entry into the vampire genre that shows that there are still compelling iterations to explore that don’t rely on the Dracula archetype.