(Tomas Alfredson's wonderful "Let the Right One In" begins its limited release tomorrow, so here's our Tribeca review from last April.)
By Scott Weinberg
The vampire movie has been pretty much done to "death" by this point, right? Even the good vampire flicks are sort of treading over familiar ground, yes? Longtime fans of the undead bloodsuckers have more or less accepted that the sub-genre has become a fairly anemic wasteland, true? Normally I'd have to reluctantly agree with those assertions, but fortunately I caught a really excellent Swedish film this morning called Let the Right One In. Not only does this fantastic little import add a lot of new color to the "vampire flick," but it also turns out to be one of the strangest, stickiest, and (yes) sweetest horror movies I've seen in ten years.
Oskar is a lonely 12-year-old Swedish kid who gets picked on by bullies at school, but when a strange new girl moves in to the apartment next door, the pre-teens strike up a warm little friendship. Ah, there's one big problem though: Newcomer Eli (pronounced Ellie) only looks like a 12-year-old girl, when in fact she's a vampire of indeterminate age. Eli lives with what horror fans know as a "familiar," a guy who will go out and get his charge some plasma when it's needed -- which of course is pretty often. Eli does all she can to keep her vampirism a secret from her new boyfriend, but the closer they get -- the stickier things become. (And while there's just a bit more to the plot, I'm ending my synopsis right there. Wouldn't want to chance spoiling anything.)