Saturday, September 10, 2016

The Right Stuff

Another arthouse-horror movie: Let the Right One In (2008). This is the Swedish movie remade in America as Let Me In.

It stars Kare Hedebrant as a slight, mild 12-year old boy. At school, a small gang of bullies intimidates him. He broods and keeps a scrapbook of brutal murders. One night after dark, he meets a little girl in the playground, Lina Leandersson. She is dark and mysterious, and, although they get along, she says she cannot be his girlfriend. She has moved in next door, with a mysterious older man. She can't enter a room without being invited. She doesn't feel the cold, and is only seen at night. It is no spoiler to say that she is a vampire.

The feel of the movie is very Scandinavian - cool, austere, restrained. It is set in a mid-sized town in the 1980s or 90s (I think), with the spare, modernistic architecture of the decades just previous. The light of day is cold; it's warmer at night. One of the corpses is even found enclosed in a block of ice.

The blood and violence isn't that extreme. The intimacy of the look at the lives of the children is more disturbing. Hebebrant's relation to his bullies is almost sexualized, and of course he is a beautiful child, as is Leandersson. Although the movie doesn't cross boundaries, it might inch up to them and make adults uncomfortable.

Beautifully made and acted, very creepy. So my question is, do we watch the American remake? Or is this the right one?

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