I’m not going to tell you anything about Let The Right One In as I think if you’re going to see it you should let the story unfold for you blind as much as you can, don’t even watch the trailer. All you need to know is that it’s a supernatural movie with kids set in the suburbs of Stockholm. I hesitate to brand it horror because these days that means something radically different than it used to mean in the 1970s, the decade this movie so obviously belongs in. It belongs in the same family tree as the bastard child of The Wicker Man and The Exorcist, the half-brother of The Omen.
Give yourself up to it and you’ll find many of the rarest of qualities in the genre – subtlety, incredible almost painting-like imagery, warmth, humanity, reality, intelligence and two or three really haunting performances (pun intended). Fair play to director Tomas Alfredson because he manages to create unease and genuine atmosphere by almost divorcing the film from reality in most places – the parts of Stockholm he uses are quiet, snowy and almost rural and you see almost no traffic, roads, shops or large groups of people outside of the school part of the film is set in. This, of course, means that when the actual huge moments of horror do reveal themselves they’re all the more shocking in the silent surrounds he has bedded them in.
I was just chatting to a mate in work who said that he saw it and some of the multiplex audience around him were laughing in inappropriate places and seemed unhappy with it in general. It says a lot about how our standards have so been lowered as it’s probably the first real “WOW!” film I’ve seen this year.
For once, with Let The Right One In, the hype is very much justified.