Thursday, May 6, 2010

Up For Debate

Believe it or not, I didn't see the movie LET THE RIGHT ONE IN until a few weeks ago.  I've heard the hype and read the ravings reviews for the movie.  So when I saw it on sale for $4 at a Hollywood Video store, I snatched it up.  I had high hopes for this Swedish flick that critics have praised.

I didn't like it.  I admit I don't watch a lot of horror.  I don't like the gratuitous limb-tearing, blood-splashing, gore flicks at all.  But quiet horror sometimes appeals.  The Others comes to mind as a well-written horror movie.  I guess I just didn't get this one.  Oskar as the bullied, tormented schoolkid, worked for me, and his hooking up with the mysterious next door neighbor girl/woman did as well.  The girl who played the vampire really captured the stunted and frustrated wisdom of an older woman stuck in a young child's body.  But I couldn't decide if she was grooming him to take the place of the old man who was feeding her (and why did she need him?) or what.  And I was even laughing (cats attacking the blond chick; hilarious!) and then yawning, and then finally in the last minute there was some real action in the swimming pool.  Sigh...

So tell me what I was missing?  Why did this one get all the rave reviews?  And what do you think about the remake that will star Kick-Ass ingenue Chloe Moretz?  I love the choice for the vampchild/woman, but not sure this one even needed to be revisited on the big screen again.

I'll give away this copy of the movie (it is used; very good condition) to one commenter!

11 comments:

Abby said...

The pacing was way too slow for my taste. But I really do like horror films.

It seemed like an art-horror-film. It worked for Behind the Mask, the rise of Leslie Vernon. It didn't work for this movie.

I'm with ya. What was missing?

BnLProductions said...

Art-horror film is about right.

Personally, I thought the film was brilliant for its intimate look at life as a vampire. There's no epic battles, power struggles, cheezy fantasy, cheap startles...

What you have is a quiet and somewhat tragic love story. Tragic because the girl is clearly not comfortable with her plight and because, despite the ending, the love between the boy and girl can't realistically last.

It's a nuanced take on being a vampire, devoid of sexiness. In fact, it's almost the exact opposite of most vampire films in that it focuses on innocence as opposed to the "fallen from grace"/sin/vice themes.

King is a Fink said...

Oh, wow. I absolutely loved this movie. I'm not a big fan of horror, but I saw this as more of a tragic romance than as a horror flick.

I enjoyed the ambiguity (what does their future hold? is he better off staying with his mom or going with her? is she a girl or a boy? is she just going to eat him like her last caretaker?), the slowness, and the oddness. I'm guessing the American remake might have more of what you're looking for...

Luckily, there's something for everyone. Love your post.

Derek Tatum said...

I think it was the most necessary vampire movie in 20 years. I am not one of those vampire fans with a knee-jerk reaction to romantic vampires 9though one could argue this was...), but it was good to see a well-made movie that appealed more directly to my corner of the genre.

The cat scene WAS wonky. One thing that might make a difference was the subtitles. There was some controversy when this was released on DVD, as the subtitles were not as elegantly written as they were for the theatrical release. What I heard of the dubbing did not do much for me, either. But if the back of the DVD says that the English subtitled were the "Theatrical" subtitles, that would be the one to give another chance to.

Incidentally, the novel is excellent, but very unnerving. It does not shy away from horrific human behavior.

Michele Hauf said...

Yes, usually I preferred faster paced movies, so it do crawl along. But I just didn't feel it presented anything new or interesting to the vampire genre.

BNL productions, I do like the idea that it's opposite of other vamp flicks. So maybe I was expecting the standard vamp flick, and instead got something a little deeper.

Wow, i didn't get the 'is she a girl or a boy' aspect of it! but yes, i did wonder about their future. I suspect he went along with her and is now helping feed her like the old man did.

So the subtitles were not exact, Derek? Interesting, because I thought the dialogue kind of boring, actually. I can't listen to dubbed versions; it freaks me out. And I like hearing the foreign language even as I'm reading the subtitles.

I can say I liked the old man going after the victims, though I was surprised he was able to hang people up in the woods with the highway/road obviously so close by. Someone had to have noticed. And those cats! Ha! Oh, they killed me.

Angie said...

Your review made me feel so much better. I'm usually an avid horror fan, and I love B movies. So when "Let the Right One In" got such great hype and reviews, I rented it with great anticipation... and... could barely finish it. I mean, what a snoozer. However, I really appreciate the comments above for illustrating the quite majesty of the film, as the cinematography and stillness was really quite eerie... but not enough for me, sadly. Maybe if there was a mystery involved or a clear plotline, I would have had more to grab onto.

Glad to hear I wasn't the only one who just isn't that into it.

minamurray said...

It did not work for me, either. OK, bullies should spend rest of their lives with their heads in toilet-seat, where they belong, so vampire liberating victim of abuse... great! But the movie wasted it´s time in all of the excruciating ugliness of suburbs.

Michele Hauf said...

Angie and Mina, that's why i decided to post. Because I figured I can't be the only one. And I always like to compare differing opinions.

Nicole_Hadaway said...

I LOVE vampire flicks and still haven't seen this one yet -- just seems like a character study of people whose lives are filled with depression, which, while I can see that as being arty and well-done, is just not my cup of tea.

Derek Tatum said...

Yeah, look on your copy and see if it says "theatrical subtitles" or something like that. There was an uproar when the DVD came out because the subtitles were simplified. They then put out another edition that had the subtitles that people loved so much in the theatrical release. They obviously won't increase the pace, but it might make things a little more engaging.

A good overview and sample comparison can be found here - http://iconsoffright.com/news/2009/03/let_the_wrong_subtitles_in_to.html

Blodeuedd said...

I was pretty bored by it, and 70's Sweden, have seen enough of that. So i can tell you that it was not better to watch and understand it in its original language.