It’s Valentine’s Day and love is in the air. What better way is there to celebrate that annoyingly necessary emotion than by watching a 12 year old boy “go steady” with a vampire trapped in a child’s body? LET THE RIGHT ONE IN is a Swedish romantic horror film from acclaimed director Tomas Alfredson. The movie beautifully defies genre conventions and delivers a poignant dark love story.
Oskar (Kare Hedebrant), our 12 year old boy, is a lonely kid who is regularly bullied, but never strikes back. Instead, he channels his feelings into a gruesome fascination with death and violence; his innocent hobbies range from collecting news articles of murders to plotting revenge. His fantasies come true in Eli (Lina Leandersson), also 12, but unlike Oskar she has been 12 for a long time. A budding friendship, and then romance, flourishes between them. When Oskar notices the string of murders that followed Eli into town, he begins to learn more of her eternally sad existence.
The superb actors have a melancholic chemistry that reveal a talent beyond their years and keeps you glued to the screen. The violence is brutal and horrific, but not over used. We are left with time to reflect on it instead of getting bombarded by gore and becoming desensitized like in so many other movies. The explorations of good and evil are so poetic that it feels more like literature, probably because the screenplay was written by John Ajvide Lindqvist, author of the novel the film was based on.
So grab that special someone or don’t, we don’t discriminate, and just drop by the Coolidge Corner Theater in Brookline. If you are busy on Valentine’s Day, have no worries, there is a second screening the day after.
LET THE RIGHT ONE IN (2008) dir. Tomas Alfredson [115 min]
Coolidge Corner Theater
Friday and Saturday, February 14 and 15 at 11:59pm
$10.25 adult Ticket