“Let The Right One In”

Since it was my first visit to Living Room Theaters, I’m tempted to review the theater, rather than the movie. Large, comfy seats, foot rests, an upscale bar/dining room attached, in-theater service, premium sound and crisp all-digital projection, and only a small premium over the “regular” theaters (my matinée was $9)… nice. Only downside was a distracting reflection on the screen, but it wasn’t enough to bug the management about.

Still, as my first movie of 2009, the film itself deserves some mention. It’s about a lonely kid who meets a strange kid in the woods one night. The strange one doesn’t mind the cold, is smart enough to solve a Rubik’s cube at first sight, and one night, attacks and kills a grown man, drinking his blood.

Yeah, she’s a vampire.

Yes, I said “she”. This ain’t “Twilight”. It’s “Låt den rätte komma in” (“Let The Right One In”), a Swedish import. It’s creepy and sweet and sometimes hilarious (apparently cats, in Sweden, hate vampires to an extent I didn’t think possible)… but mostly creepy.

Eli, the vampire girl, played by Lina Leandersson, has that other-worldly affect and world-weariness that seems far beyond her years. Truthfully, so does Oskar (Kåre Hedebrant), due to his preternatural, almost albino, blondeness.

Oskar doesn’t seem to know what he’s getting in to by befriending, and more, a vampire. Or care, which sends a chill down my spine. Hey, she convinces him to fight back against the bully who torments him at school. It all seems to end up all right – or does it? The fate of Eli’s dad at the end of the second act hints at a darker ending in store for Oskar.