Fans of downmarket torture-porn gore films, I mean. Okay, you can be a clever educated film buff and like this stuff (I respect Eli Roth‘s chops in some respects), but the blood, screams and disembowelment genre is primarily aimed at the animals out here. C’mon, we all know this. The point is that they go these films to have their souls frozen solid with fear and to be grossed out by arterial gushings, mutilated bodies and severed heads. And in a way that not’s predictable…right?
Most horror fans will be going to Saw 5 this weekend, and I realize they can’t be stopped from doing so. They should know, however, that Let The Right One In, the other horror film opening on Friday, will do it to them in a way they’ve never seen before. Here‘s David Ansen‘s review in the current Newsweek:
Let the Right One In is both a coming-of-age tale and a love story. The pale, lonely, 12-year-old protagonist, Oskar (Kare Hedebrant), is a serious, solitary boy constantly picked on by his schoolmates. He retreats into fantasies of revenge, collecting newspaper clippings of violent crimes.
“Then, in the snow-banked courtyard of his apartment complex in the suburbs of Stockholm (circa 1982), he meets Eli (Lina Leandersson), a strange, unkempt, raven-haired girl who walks barefoot in the snow and doesn’t feel the cold. ‘I’m not a girl,’ she warns him, skittish of starting a friendship. Indeed she’s not — she’s a vampire, eternally frozen at age 12, and dependent on an older man who’s not a vampire (perhaps her father, perhaps not) who kills for her, and brings her the blood of his victims to sustain her eternal life.
“Before he realizes what she is, young Oskar falls in love. He asks her to go steady. Wanting to seal his love, he cuts his hand to share his blood with hers — and we freeze in anticipation of how she’ll react to the sight of his bleeding hand. It’s a breathtaking scene but, like everything in this haunting film, it tilts genre expectations on their sides. By the time Oskar figures out Eli’s true nature, it’s too late to turn off his feelings. She’s transformed his life — she teaches him to defend himself, she’s pierced his solitude and there’s no turning back.
“Grave, melancholy, romantic, with bursts of off-beat comedy, Let the Right One In unfolds with quiet, masterly assurance. It’s based on a bestselling Swedish novel by John Ajvide Lindqvist, who also wrote the screenplay. He and his talented director don’t deny us the genre’s grisly thrills (strikingly but always obliquely staged), but it’s their psychological acuity that draws the deepest blood: this is a prepubescent love story for the ages.”