Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Movie Review- Let The Right One In

Let the right one in, let the old dreams die...beautiful lyrics of an amazing song by a favorite band of mine named Morrissey. A very suiting name for the title of a book that's equally as amazing and beautiful. That book (which you can read my review of below) has since been translated into a gem of a movie by the same name, Let The Right One In. Every once in awhile, a book comes along that I love so dearly that its painful for me to watch it be translated to the screen. This was the case for the majority of the Harry Potter movies as well as The Golden Compass. It's a very, very rare for me to ever be satisfied with a film adaption of a book I love. The point being this- the film Let The Right One In is a rare jewel that unfortunately doesn't come around often enough.

If you already read my previous post regarding the novel, you already know what my feeling are towards a certain hethenous woman who is famous for bastardizing the vampire genre in recent pop culture. It's been a painful ride for me to watch this cheeseball effect of new age vampire-mania take way. Okay, vampire stories has always had its trashy side, but its always been hidden away in the back of people's closets. Now this trash has seeped its away into the brains of the most annoying fan base in the world, teenage girls. Marketers saw their opportunity to capitalize and took this vampire garbage and turned it into the next trend- welcome to the new era of sparkling vampires. This whole thing came along almost immediately after the release of what I fear to may be the last great vampire story. The first Twilight movie was released only a few month after Let The Right One In and unfortunately buried it underneath its mania. I remember soon after the announcement of the production Let Me In's in American, I read on some board a girl complaining how "this cheap shit is copying Twilight"......I weep for humanity.

Okay I apologize for all my unnecessary blabbering! That's that last you'll hear of it...I hope. Let's talk about the movie. The synopsis of the film is pretty much the same as the novel. All the things I loved about the film are basically the same things I loved about the book so I'll keep this post short. If you want a more detailed synopsis, you can read my post below. The majority of the film is shot from Oskar's point of view. Oskar is a troubled 12-year old boy who is frequently tormented by bullies at school. The beginning of the film opens with Oskar playing out a murder fantasy in his room when he notices a young girl moving in next door with a older man that appears to be her dad. The small suburban Swedish town Oskar lives in soon becomes plagued with a series of mysterious murders. It's not long until Oskar meets the his new neighbor, named Eli, when she catches him playing out another one of his maiming fantasies outside their apartment complex. The two of them find that they can offer each other something they've never had but needed all along. Oskar helps Eli fill a deep void of loneliness thats always afflicted her, and Eli gives Oskar the strength to stand up against his tormentors. It's not long before Oskar discovers that Eli is actually a blood thirsty vampire and is the one responsible for all the murders happening around town.

This is the first movie I've ever seen my Tomas Alfredson but after watching it, I'll make its not my last! Everything...everything he did in the movie was brilliant! The screenplay was written by none other than John Alvide Lindqvist himself which I'm sure was a big factor in turning the film into such a great adaption. Because JAL helmed the screenplay, it's very similar to the original material. Just about everything in that was in the film took place in the book. The movie did leave out several parts but I'm just happy they go around and change things. The books was chuck full of several characters along with the parts they played throughout these sequence of events. The film decided to focus primarily on the love story between Oskar and Eli. Good move. Alfredson did a wonderful job adapting Lindqivst's haunting tone from the novel. The cinematography was absolutely goooooooorgeous! You could almost feel the frigid snowy landscape of the Swedish suburbs. I don't know what the 80's in Sweden were like, but I have a feeling the film hit that right on the head. Oskar and Eli in the film were almost identical to the images of Oskar and Eli I had in my head when reading the novel. I thought they did a great job making Eli appear grimy looking with her crusty hair and dirty fingernails. Movie Eli did seemed to be a bit colder than book Eli, but it I thought it worked out well for the film.

I've read a couple of reviews where people have complain on how slow the movie is, but I didn't find it to be slow at all. Alfredson doesn't bother being in your face about a lot of things. It's was the small, subtle things that sent chills down my spine throughout the movie. All of Eli's supernatural abilities were shot to appear organic- none of that sparkling nonsense. One of my favorite shots is probably when Eli and Oskar are in a dark room and it appears to be a pitch black screen, but if you look closely you can see a pair of cat-eyes staring at the screen, and when Oskar turns on the lights, Eli, for the briefest moment looks feral. I can go on all day listing the brilliant touches Alfredson threw into his film, but in an attempt not to bore you, I'll put a cap on it. Alfredson really handled the material he was given in a way that kept it faithful to the original source, but allowed him to put his own artistic stamp on it. The climax scene in the book is really left to the imagination of the reader to decide what happened exactly. Alfredson shoots that same scene in a manner where the audience can still use their imagination, but in a different way. It takes a close watch to piece together what happened in that final scene. I'm very curious to see how the American version is going to interpret this part.

I can sometimes be a sucker when watching movies and get all emotional and maybe shed a tear or two. While watching Let The Right One In, I found myself getting choked up quite often and it took me awhile to figure out what was triggering it. The film has a beautiful and almost subliminal score written by Johan Soderqvist. It compliments the alluring, dark cinematography so well, you can barley notice the music, but at the same time you do. My favorite piece has got to be Eli's theme (listen here!). I understand Michael Giacchino (who won the Oscar last year for Up) composed the score for the American version. I think Giacchino is a fantastic composer and I'm looking forward to see what he came up with for Let Me In. Time will soon answer all these itching questions that I have. In the meantime, I'll re-eatch Let The Right One In and weep at the glorious feat Alfredson and Lindqvist have achieved.

Final Score- 10/10

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