Let the Right One In (2008)

let the right one in poster 2008 movie
9.5 Overall Score
Acting: 9/10
Story: 10/10
Visuals: 10/10

Beautifully shot, great acting, unusual story



Movie Info

Movie Name: Let the Right One In

Studio: Sandrew Metronome

Genre(s): Horror/Drama

Release Date(s): October 24, 2008

MPAA Rating: R

let the right one in oskar eli kare hedebrant lina leandersonn

Can the undead and the living be friends?

A Swedish boy is bullied in the early 1980s and finds a friend in a new neighbor.  Oskar (Kare Hedebrant) is about to learn that his new friend Eli (Lina Leandersonn) isn’t a normal girl…she might not even be a girl at all.

Directed by Tomas Alfredson, Let the Right One In (Låt den Rätte Komma In) is a Swedish vampire film.  The film is based on the 2004 novel by John Ajvide Lindqvist.  The movie was released to critical acclaim and quickly gained a cult following.  The DVD and Blu-Ray release in the United States featured a different subtitle than the original film which drew complaints and an eventual re-release of both with the original subtitles.

Let the Right One In really was a great change to vampire movies.  When movies like Twilight dominated the market, a strange and scary story with realistic kids really jumped out.  Based on the 2004 novel by John Ajvide Lindqvist, the movie cut out some of the subplots of the novel and made it primarily about the relationship between the two kids.

let the right one in fire vampire death

No smoking in the hospital

The movie also bravely cast non-traditional looking “stars”.  Hedebrant probably would have been bullied in school and Leandersonn has a strange quality to her as well.  Both kids are scary, but a realistic scary.  Oskar could be a kid that would go on a shooting rampage if Eli hadn’t entered his life.  The bullies also seemed very real.  They wouldn’t be intimidating to an adult but their pack mentality would scare someone like Oskar.  The actors are helped by the strong script which is true to how kids (especially bullies) interact.

Let the Right One In also has this strange ethereal feel to it.  Part of that is the beautiful cinematography but also there is just a strangeness to the film that works in its favor.  The interaction between the characters is sometimes as cold as the environment.  Much more is implied (like Oskar’s relationship with his father and what may have ended his parents marriage).  The few moments when his mother connects with Oskar makes the ending all the more sadder.

let the right one in ending swimming pool kare hedebrant

This happens every time I play Marco Polo

It is hard to talk about Let the Right One In without mentioning the final scene which is just incredibly shot.  The whole movie leads up to this final confrontation, and the final moments of the movie are a great payoff.  You don’t really see it coming and once again, it is wonderfully shot.

Let the Right One In surprisingly was a decent success for a foreign film.  By the time it was released in the United States, it had a lot of buzz and was already garnering tons of critical acclaim.  That is why when it was remade in 2010 as Let Me In, there was a lot of backlash (it is too bad, because by itself, Let Me In isn’t awful, but not great compared to this).  Be sure to watch a copy has the theatrical subtitles instead of the standard English subtitles which oversimplified the script.

Related Links:

Let Me In (2010)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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