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Potentially traumatizing...be careful with this one.
MartinHafer21 September 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I am not particularly a fan of vampire movies and the only reason I watched "Let the Right One In" was because my oldest daughter was visiting and wanted to see it. Well, considering I am a sucker for a foreign film, I decided to watch along with her.

I know she liked it--mostly because the film was unique and incorporated a lot of folklore about vampires--stuff you often don't see in other movies. As for me, I just appreciated that the film was different--not just a retelling of some old Dracula story or some modern sparkly sort of vampire tale. I could say more about the film and why I thought it was a pretty good film, but I think it's more important I point out that this film is NOT for everyone. It is very, very bloody and vicious--and highly disturbing...seriously disturbing. Not all of this is because of the very vivid killings but because of a deeper part of the story involving genital mutilation and well as a twisted relationship between the two main characters! Yes, this is NOT your granddaddy's vampire movie. So, if you want to see it, just be forewarned...and don't rent it for your kids (unless you WANT to be a horrible parent and traumatize your kids).
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Let the Right One In
Michael_Elliott29 September 2010
Let the Right One In (2008)

*** 1/2 (out of 4)

Swedish horror film about 12-year-old Oskar (Kare Hedebrant), a young man who has no friends and is constantly being picked on by bullies at school. At night when his mother is at work he usually wonders alone outside but one night he meets Eli (Lina Leandersson) and the two quickly become friends. What Oskar doesn't know is that his new friend is a vampire. This film seemed to come out of no where and become an instant classic overnight. Not only did it take the world by storm but it even managed to do respectable business in the United States, which isn't too easy for a foreign film these days. It seems people are split on what the film is actually about. Is it a movie about vampires? Is it a coming of age film? Perhaps it's some strange Gothic tale that Hammer would have made thirty years ago if they had more imagination. I'm going to guess that the film is going to strike each viewing in a different way and that's perhaps why there are so many positive reviews yet none of them are exactly the same. It's clear this film has become a cult favorite over the past couple years since it's release but to me the real key to the film is its atmosphere and visual look. More on that in a bit but you also have to give a lot of credit to the two young actors. I thought both of them were terrific in their roles and they both certainly managed to capture the loneliness of their characters. I think the film works so well because we can feel bad for each of these kids as they're both fighting their own personal demons but we can also connect with them because, as adults, I think it's easy to understand what it's like to be lonely. It's funny but Oskar could probably escape his demons and get on to a normal life yet you have to wonder if he's prefer to stay the way he is just so he could be with the girl he grows to love even though she will never grow old with him and in many ways will always be lonely. The two young actors deserve a lot of credit for their work here. Another major plus is the overall atmosphere, which is downright cold, bleak and dark. I really respect the film for treating its subject matter so serious and not making light of anything that happens. There isn't any comics thrown in and not once are we given anything to smile at. Director Alfredson does a terrific job at building up this atmosphere and I love the way he uses the snow to pretty much make it another character. The film takes place in the cold and you can't help but feel this coldness while watching the film. Another good thing is that the director uses light to his advantage even when most horror films take place in the dead of night. The scenes here happen at night but they're usually all under bright lights that appears to have had spotlights used. Just take a look at the early scene in the woods. No one in their right mind would kill someone under these lights but by doing so the filmmaker really builds up the atmosphere of some sort of weird fantasy. The visuals in this film is what really makes it work so well because it really puts you into the feeling that you're in some weird dream and can't wake up from it. There's very little blood and the violence isn't all that graphic but it's still very effective simply because of this atmosphere and dread that we're thrown into.
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Typically classy Swedish vampire story
Leofwine_draca17 August 2016
Warning: Spoilers
This is one of those little European horror films that seem to come out of nowhere every now and then to blow the world away. LET THE RIGHT ONE IN is a Swedish effort that tackles the overdone vampire genre in a unique, subtle way that falls some way between the two main types of vampire film at the moment: the teen-friendly romances a la TWILIGHT and the ultra-gory thrills a la 30 DAYS OF NIGHT. It's far better than either of those films, a lyrical, touching and often haunting exploration of adolescence that just happens to feature one of the main characters as a vampire. Thankfully, the bloodsucking antics are kept low key, but even so I thought they were sometimes a little over the top (the bit where Eli climbs a tree has some obvious wire work that took me straight out of the film).

The film's at its best when it's a touching portrait of puberty, including all the usual staples: evil bullies at school, unloving parents, the sense of being an outsider, and overwhelming loneliness. The young cast are fine, with Kare Hedebrant particularly good as the beleaguered boy and Lina Leandersson as the put-upon vampire girl. I found the scene in which they innocently shared a bed to be the best in the whole movie. Otherwise, there's romance here and some bloodletting, including a wonderful set-piece climax in a swimming pool of all places that finishes the film superbly. It may not be an effects-filled bonanza or a movie that blows you away, but LET THE RIGHT ONE IN is instead a mature and reflective exploration of some very dark themes.
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fresh vampire movie
SnoopyStyle1 January 2016
Oskar is a 12 year old boy living in a Stockholm project. He's slight and gets bullied. He befriends strange girl Eli who he finds hanging around at night in the courtyard. She never goes out in the day. She has caretaker Håkan who kills and drains the blood for Eli to drink. She is left alone and develops a relationship with Oskar. Oskar wants revenge on his tormentors and Eli needs blood.

It's a great idea of these two lonely kids forming a friendship. It's a vampire movie and a coming-of-age movie. It is a bit slow with a good moodiness. Eli is haunting. There are a couple of visually compelling scenes. The burning body is terrific and the swimming pool is memorable. The Scandinavian landscape gives a nice icy feel. This is a fresh new vampire movie.
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Quite Shocking
Hitchcoc11 June 2010
I had not heard of this film. It looked intriguing. I didn't know what to expect. What I saw was an atmospheric along the same lines, for me, as Don't Look Now. It is a film of incredible grimness and sadness. The characters don't seem to have a chance and must carry out their unfortunate roles. Now that could be said of Dracula as well, but there is so much more here. We have the fact that there is a tug of humanity, but ultimately the primal instincts of the "species" comes to the fore. The relationship is doomed for both parties and anyone who is victimized. There is an element of love, but it is a hopeless love. I was greatly impressed by the matter-of-fact nature of this film. It has the coldest sense about it. It is a completely humorless film which wears a bit, but, then, I don't know if it would have been possible.
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Stylish and One of the Best Vampire Movies Ever
claudio_carvalho1 January 2010
In the suburb of Blackeberg in Stockholm, the twelve year-old Oskar (Kåre Hedebrant) is a lonely and outcast boy bullied in school by Conny (Patrik Rydmark) and two other classroom mates; at home, Oskar dreams on revenging the trio of bullies. He befriends his twelve year-old next door neighbor Eli (Lina Leandersson) that only appears during the night in the playground of their building. Meanwhile, Eli's father is a wanted serial-killer that drains the blood of his victims to supply Eli, who is actually an ancient vampire. Eli advises Oskar to react to Conny fighting back; however, soon he discovers that she is a vampire and he feels fear and love for the girl.

"Låt den Rätte Komma in" a.k.a. "Let the Right One In" is a stylish vampire movie, developed in a slow pace like most European movies. The original story is very well constructed, and the crew is very careful in the details. For example, when Oskar is hit on his face, the wound is gradually healed every day. The performances are top-notch and the soundtrack is classy and adequate for this feature. I believe this is the first Swedish vampire movie that I have seen and I consider it one of the best vampire movie ever. My vote is nine.

Title (Brazil): Not Available

Note: On 11 June 2011, I saw this mesmerizing film again to compare it with the American remake.

On 03 October 2012, I saw this film again
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Just don't expect too much horror
kosmasp11 October 2008
I'd actually put it in the drama corner. Of course it has it's horror moments and maybe some readers here will give me a "not useful" after the first line, but that's how I felt about the movie. It has a fairy tale feel to it, which of course elevates certain aspects of the movie (like relationships, between the characters etc. etc.) and help you overlook some of the mistakes.

Some might not even bother, but a movie with a theme like this should be careful about the rules it sets ... and once they're set, they should be followed as good as possible. The "invitation rule" for example get's ripped apart just to give us a flashy exciting scene. It's a shame, but that actually does bother me while I watch a movie. There are small things all over the movie and they're the reason why I only gave this movie an 7 (which is still pretty good). Great (child) performances and an atmosphere to "die for" (no pun intended), make a beautiful looking movie
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"To flee is life, to linger death."
classicsoncall20 February 2018
Warning: Spoilers
The DVD cover states that it's 'the best vampire movie ever'. Reviewers on this board call it the best vampire movie ever. Even vampires the world over call it the best vampire movie ever.

For this viewer, something got lost in translation along the way. Maybe my problem, if I have one, is that I'm way beyond the average age this picture most likely appeals to, which I presume to be a primarily teenage and young adult crowd. Even though the story isn't really hard to follow, abrupt scene changes in the picture manage to disrupt continuity, thereby presenting a choppy narrative. There are the prerequisite nods to previous vampire lore which I was thankful for, like Virginia (Ika Nord) turning into a vampire after being bitten by Eli (Lina Leandersson), and then bursting into flames in the presence of sunlight. But then there was the whole thing with the cats going all feral at one point in the presence of an infected person. What's the deal there? Never heard of that before.

If you want to go head to head with the best vampire movie ever, you'll have to reach all the way back to 1922 and the original - Max Schreck's "Nosferatu". That's the one I judge all vampire flicks against and very few even come close, though Bela Lugosi's turn as "Dracula" in 1931 is pretty respectable. I know those classics don't hold the same fascination for the blood and gore fans of present day, but sometimes more scares are achieved by suggestion than seeing it splattered all over the place. That's my take at least, and I'm sticking with it.
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Although Only Two Years Old, Already Recognized As Classic
gavin694230 December 2010
Oscar, an overlooked, pale, puny and bullied boy, finds love and revenge through Eli, a beautiful but peculiar girl who turns out to be a vampire.

No other horror film in the last twenty years has had praises thrown on it like this one. All the critics love it, it sits firmly in the Top 250 on IMDb, and it was pushed through as an American remake in no time... a decent remake, at that (unlike what they did to "Rec").

The film takes place in the Soviet era in Sweden, possibly the early 1980s. Trying to pinpoint an exact year is a bit tough, but it does add an element to the film that would be missing today. By placing it then, you do not have to deal with cell phones and other technology and can present a world where children were more innocent. In this way, they succeeded.

I find the film's exploration of underage sexuality fascinating, including but not limited to the kids naked in bed. You must be careful not to tread too closely to child pornography, but at the same time there is such a thing as child sexuality, and to not explore it when it is relevant is a detriment. Here the envelope is pushed, maybe a bit too much, maybe just right... but it brings in an adult aspect to a childhood romance that is more innocent than disturbing.

There are decent gore effects, such as the man without a face. For a film that revolves around a blood-drinking child, there is not an overabundance of blood. Now, that is not to say there is not enough -- in fact, I feel they did a good job keeping it to a minimum, and when it does show, it has a grisly and dark appearance that makes the picture seem darker than your average vampire film.

One really interesting subplot is Eli's assertion that she is "not a girl". She hints at this repeatedly, but what does she mean? Are vampires not people? Because she is much older than she appears, is she a woman and not a girl? The book covers this more than the film, but it is an interesting part of the story that really throws off the whole dynamic.

A must-see film! Sure, you might not like subtitles. But if that is the only thing keeping you away, please suck it up and give this one a chance. One of the best horror films I have ever seen, and unfortunately underrated by too many... this is not just a horror film, but a romance.
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Sweden's vampires
lee_eisenberg31 December 2009
The recent vampire-mania seems to have gotten created by "Twilight" (which I'd never heard of until the movie came out). But a really impressive vampire-themed film is the Swedish "Lat den ratte komma in" ("Let the Right One In" in English). It tells the story of Oskar, a bullied boy in 1982 Stockholm who befriends vampire girl Eli. The film reminds me of Lasse Hallstrom's "My Life as a Dog", the way that the boy is pretty much rejected by everyone around him until he finds his way.

This isn't really a horror movie. It's sort of a coming-of-age story that just happens to have vampires. Eli is a most thought-provoking vampire. Far from Bela Lugosi's campy Dracula or the maniacal bloodsuckers seen in some movies, Eli is merely seeking her place in the world, while having to drink blood in the process. An almost ethereal character.

All in all, I definitely recommend this movie.
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Let the Right One In
jboothmillard16 June 2011
Warning: Spoilers
This Swedish film was focused a little in Film 2008 with Jonathan Ross, and obviously it was following the big trend of vampire based films and TV shows, like Twilight and True Blood, I heard it was really popular so I was interested in it eventually. Basically set in the suburbs of Blackeberg, Stockholm, Oskar (Kåre Hedebrant) is a lonely twelve year old living with his single mother Yvonne (Karin Bergquist) who constantly gets bullied at school by Conny (Patrik Rydmark) and two other classmates. He dreams of getting revenge against the three bullies who have made his life a misery for a long while, and one snowy night he befriends a mysterious young girl, his twelve year old neighbour Eli (Lina Leandersson). At first she is not comfortable with a friendship, but after discovering the Rubik's cube and getting to know each other better she is happy to be his friend. Meanwhile her father Håkan (Per Ragnar) is a serial killer draining blood from his victims and having the blood poor into tubs, but one night he is almost caught and is forced to hide the body in the nearby lake. It soon become apparent that Eli is not all that she seems, and this blood being collected serves a purpose, she is a vampire, and collected blood stops her from killing. Unaware for the moment of her secret, Oskar gets advised by her to stand up to his bullies, and one day he takes this advice and hits bully Conny before he can, and it seems to work. Håkan her father one night has a bad car accident, and to stop people identifying him he pours hydrochloric acid on his own face, and he allows Eli to suck his neck before he throws himself out of the hospital window and dies instantly. After seeing her reaction to the sight of blood, Oskar of course discovers her dark secret, and there is also a point when we see the horrific consequences of not inviting her into the room like vampires need to be. The police start investigating the spree of bodies turning up, and after Eli did not finish a draining causing a woman to become a vampire herself and burn to death with the ray of sunlight, it looks like she may in danger of being caught. After killing another victim that will blow her cover, Eli knows it is no longer to stay and tells Oskar she will have to go away, and he is devastated. In the end however she returns after saving his life from the returning bullies trying to drown him, she kills them all and the final scenes are of Oskar travelling somewhere by train, and he has a trunk that Eli is inside as protection from sunlight, communicating by Morse code. Also starring Henrik Dahl as Erik, Peter Carlberg as Lacke, Ika Nord as Virginia, Mikael Rahm as Jocke, Karl-Robert Lindgren as Gösta and Anders T. Peedu as Morgan. Hedebrant is really good as the young outcast boy who needs friendship, and of course Leandersson is marvellous as the mysterious girl with the deadly secret and a sensitive side, it is a film with some good shocks, and also an appealing story, a most watchable horror. It was nominated the BAFTA for Best Film Not in the English Language. Very good!
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Injects fresh blood and startling emotion into the vampire horror genre
Woodyanders20 September 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Bullied misfit teenager Oskar (a fine and affecting performance by Karle Hedebrant) befriends new neighbor Eli (a haunting and deeply moving portrayal by Lina Leandersson), who's a pallid and enigmatic young lass who only comes out at night. Could Eli be responsible for a spate of disappearances in the area? Director Tomas Alfredson, working from a thoughtful and original script by John Ajvide Lindqvist, relates the engrossing story at a deliberate pace, ably crafts a potently unsettling gloom-doom atmosphere, makes excellent use of the bleak wintry landscape, and grounds the fantastic premise in a plausibly drab mundane reality. Moreover, Alfredson warrants additional praise for keeping the graphic gore to a refreshing minimum and eschewing cheap jump scares in favor of creating and sustaining a quietly discomfiting melancholy tone instead. Better still, the touching friendship between the two oddball main characters gives this picture a surprisingly substantial amount of poignancy and resonance complete with a strong central message on the basic human need for companionship and the bitter lonely price one must pay for immortality. Kudos are also for both Johan Soderquist's spare moody score and Hoyte Van Hoytema's striking widescreen cinematography. An absolute corker.
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A beautiful film about a young vampire and her friend
Tweekums6 August 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I'd heard lots of good things about about this film so ordered the DVD as soon as it was listed, when it arrived I was not disappointed. "Let the Right One In" is different to any other vampire film I've seen; instead of the vampire appearing to be superhuman she appears to be a vulnerable young girl, there are no "transformation scenes" where her fangs grow, in fact we never see her looking anything other than like a young girl.

Oskar is a young boy who is being bullied by a group of boys at school, his life changes when Eli, a girl of about his age, moves in next door. There is something different about Eli, even though there is snow all around she doesn't wear warm clothes and doesn't appear to feel the cold and is only out at night. As the film progresses a friendship develops and Oskar learns that Eli isn't the same as other girls but he doesn't seem to mind. While they are getting closer the local population is understandably starting to get concerned about the increasing number of strange deaths in the area.

Kåre Hedebrant and Lina Leandersson perform brilliantly as Oskar and Eli their make difficult roles seem completely natural and very tender. They really make the viewer care for their characters. The supporting cast are good too, it is nice to see a film that is populated by real people, none of them are the beautiful people one would have expected if this were a Hollywood production. The opening was fairly slow and I feared it might be boring but as the film progressed I realised that the slow start had in fact served to draw me in and care for the characters so when the action increased and they were endangered I cared for them more than I may have done otherwise.

I'd strongly recommend this film to anybody who isn't disturbed by the sight of blood, it is a beautiful and tender story which doesn't rely on excessive CGI and explosions.
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Swedish film dealing with an emotive and frightening story about an outcast , lonely boy and a strange girl
ma-cortes21 July 2012
Good film about an overlooked and bullied boy who finds love and vengeance through Eli , a beautiful but peculiar girl in her early adolescence who results out to be a vampire , it was well directed by Tomas Alfredson and remade by Matt Reeeves (US version , 2010) . The title of the film as well as the novel upon which it was based refers to the fact that, according to myth, vampires must be invited in before they can enter someone's home . Magnificent picture dealing with Oskar (Kare Hedebrant , subsequently adaptation starred by Kodi Smit-McPhee) , a bullied 12-year old who dreams of revenge . Oskar's parents are in the process of a nasty divorce, and he lives with his mummy . He aware a girl about his age and her father moving into the apartment next door to his . Eli only appears during the night in the playground of their building . As he falls in love with Eli (Lina Leandersson , posterior version performed by Chloë Grace Moretz) , a strange girl . Despite being asked twice by Oskar , Eli never reveals her true age. However Eli is 12 years old , she's been 12 for over 200 years and, she just moved in next door. She can't stand the sun or food and to come into a room she needs to be invited . including when he is harassed by his brother in front of his friends . Eli asks Oskar to invite her into his apartment and gives Oskar the strength to hit back but when he realizes that Eli needs to drink other people's blood to live he's faced with a choice. How much can love forgive? .

This is an interesting story about pre-teens , vengeance, and bloodsuckers . Marvelously sad and melancholic tale about loneliness and longing for love and starred by two phenomenal kid actors . The picture details in elegant and deliberate style the bizarre misadventures of a pair of teen star crossed lovers, one of whom is an androgynous vampire . Production value and set design are top-notch , with all technical aspects , lighting , musical score and cinematography , blending in perfect synchronization to produce an exciting tale that somehow brings love and life into what could have been the darkest drama imaginable . It is poetic , enjoyable , artistic , and in many manners a pretty profound film delving the nature of evilness and goodness . The title of the original Swedish novel, and the film based on it, was ¨Let the Right One In¨ by Tomas Alfredson , which was successful around the world . Extraordinary performance of Lina Leandersson , in the scenes where she is barefoot in the snow, Lina really barefoot , during filming the crew had to heat up her feet in between takes so she didn't get too cold . Equally sensational is Kare Hedebrant as a shy kid who is harassed on as usual by three older boys . Very good cinematography by Hoyte Van Hoytema , almost every scene in the movie contains the color red or red/orange, a clear reference to the color of blood , the only food Eli can consume . Splendidly filmed on location in Blackeberg, Stockholm, Bromma,Stockholms läÖrnäset, Luleå, Norrbottens län, Sweden , where is colorfully set the action ; though the film principal photography was shot in Luleå in the north of Sweden, to ensure enough snow and cold weather . Furthermore a thrilling and emotive musical score by Soderqvist .

The motion picture was stunningly directed by Tomas Alfredson and was voted film of the year by Empire magazine , the first time a foreign language film topped their list since 'City of God' . Tomas subsequently had a successful American debut with ¨Tinker , tailor , soldier , spy¨ . Rating : Better than average , essential and indispensable seeing . The film will like to vampire movies fans . Well worth watching .
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A very twisted love story.
BA_Harrison2 April 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Let The Right One In is an impeccably directed coming-of-age vampire tale from Sweden that deals with pre-adolescent angst and young love in a delicate, dreamlike manner—hardly the sort of horror movie I usually opt for, but one that I decided to watch on account of the many rave reviews it has garnered. Fortunately, this ain't Scandinavia's answer to the sappy Twilight series as I feared it might be: it IS a poetic movie that deals sensitively with tender emotional issues, but it's one that also does so in a surprisingly brutal and disturbing way.

12-year-old loner Oskar (Kåre Hedebrant), the movie's central character, harbours violent vengeful thoughts against the thugs who have been tormenting him at school. One evening, while playing in the snowy courtyard outside his mother's apartment, he befriends a girl named Eli (Lina Leandersson), a kindred melancholy spirit who successfully encourages him to fight back against his persecutors.

Misfits Eli and Oskar gradually develop feelings for each other, feelings that continue even when Oskar discovers that, not only is Eli a vampire destined to spend eternity as a 12-year-old, but 'she' isn't a she after all, but rather a boy masquerading as a girl (possibly because he will be perceived as less threatening as a female, although the fact that Eli has castrated himself suggests to me that he was frustrated knowing that he could never become a man and decided to hack off his redundant equipment. Either way, it's pretty f**ked up).

This tragic, touching, and twisted love story proves uncomfortable viewing due to the leads' tender age and the film's freaky gender revelation (an unexpected close-up of Eli's genital scars driving home the point), and the film is made all the more shocking thanks to several sudden explosive acts of violence that belie the film's 15 certificate status: we get a young lad suspended by his feet before having his throat cut; savage vampire attacks that result in a very bloody Eli; a man with his face melted by acid; a female victim bursting into flames in front of her husband; and a gruesome finale in a swimming pool that sees severed body parts turn the water turn bright red. All this and not a sparkly vampire in sight!
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Captivating movie in Sweden, a young boy and his young Vampire friend.
TxMike7 September 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I like this movie, it is different and interesting. I watched it twice, the first time alone, the second time with my wife. But I still can't tell you why it is called (English) "Let the Right One In." I watched it with the English language dubbing.

Kåre Hedebrant is 12-year-old Oskar, very blond and not very muscular. Actually sort of frail looking. He is taunted at school by several bullies his age, they call him "piggy" and tell him to "squeal like a pig."

Lina Leandersson is 12-year-old Eli (English pronunciation is like 'Elly') who moves into the adjacent apartment in a long brick building of apartments in the small town. She observes keenly and knows right away that Oskar is picked on. She says she can be his friend.

It isn't any secret that this is a Vampire movie. Eli is a Vampire but Oskar doesn't realize this for most of the movie. At one early point when they are getting to know each other and Oskar asks Eli how old she is, she says about 12, but she doesn't really know. When Oskar asks when her birthday is she says she doesn't remember. In fact she is probably hundreds of years old but remains looking like a 12-year-old girl. But she also says "I am not a girl."

(I must admit I don't know much about Vampires, how they are born in the first place, why they live so long, why this one remains looking like a child while others grow to look like mature adults, or why a small piece of candy can get them violently ill. But we will accept that Eli will forever remain like a 12-year-old.)

Why did I like the movie? The two main characters are engaging, especially Eli. The boy that plays Oskar doesn't seem to be a very good actor, as an example where the director required silent pauses during dialog his eyes wandered as if he were not fully engaged in the scene. But no matter, the two characters and the people they interacted with were interesting. And it is fun to see how Eli helps Oskar set things right with the bullies.

MAJOR SPOILERS: In the end Oskar was set up, at the pool of the local bath house, the school bullies and an older bully were going to get Oskar back for fighting back and hitting one bully on the ear with a long stick. He had to stay under water for 3 minutes and he would only receive a flesh wound with the knife, otherwise his eye would be poked out - "an eye for an ear." But while we see Oskar under water, after about 45 seconds we see strange things must be happening above the water, a bloody head falls into the pool, the arm holding Oskar under water floats down, severed from its body. When Oskar surfaces we see Eli reaching for him, and several lifeless bodies strewn about the pool edges. As the movie ends Oskar is on a train with a box next to him, Eli is in it, they communicate by scratching Morse Code. Oskar will become Eli's new caretaker, hunting down candidates to supply blood for Eli.
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You are twelve, forever going on thirteen, baby it's time to drink … blood
Coventry3 May 2009
"Let the Right one in" was one of my most anticipated viewings at the most recent Brussels International Festival of Fantasy Films, mainly due to the incredibly praising reviews all over the internet and the truckload of awards and recognitions this Swedish production already received since it first hit the global festival circuit less than one year ago. I expected a genuine masterpiece and, even though from many viewpoints that is exactly what I received, I can't help feeling a little bit disappointed with the outcome. Don't get me wrong, I was rooting for a slow-paced, emotional and unconventional vampire movie, but honestly didn't expect it to be this slow & melancholic toned. When you're watching this movie it might take a little while before you can make the mental switch in your head; acknowledging the vampire and horror themes represent only a very small part in what is primarily a 'Coming of Age' story and an allegory on how children in their earliest stage of puberty deal with loneliness, rejection, tender friendship and developing hormones. Much more than a captivating story, this is a beautiful and stunningly accomplished production with a unique personality. Tomas Alfredson's direction is balanced and skillful throughout, and he could rely on a highly professional team of crew members like Hoyte from Hoytema (what's in a name) for the superb cinematography and Johan Söderqvist to deliver a marvelously enchanting musical score. The depressing Swedish weather conditions and the spot-on depiction of typical suburban mentality also contribute a great deal in making "Let the Right One in" a truly absorbing and hypnotizing yet nevertheless laborious viewing experience. Twelve year old Oskar righteously feels alone in the world. He's the target of mockery at school and doesn't even find parental shelter at home, since his parents are divorced and neither of them foresees much quality time with him. When Oskar finally finds the courage to approach the newly moved in girl next door, a special and tantalizing friendship slowly unfolds. But the girl – Eli – has even far more troublesome issues than Oskar, as she's a roaming vampire with an indispensable need for human blood and the eternal struggles to obtain it. I won't go into too much detail regarding the plot, as it might raise the wrong expectations. The events as they further occur might sound boring and mundane, but they definitely aren't. "Let the Right One in" is just an indescribable and strangely unsettling film because you can't possibly predict what will happen next at any given point throughout the film. It's compelling and mentally challenging. Those qualities will unquestionably be lost in the already scheduled American remake, so do yourself a favor and catch the Swedish original as soon as you can. It might not turn out to be what you expect or hope to see, but it will nevertheless remain a worthwhile and unforgettable experience.
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If it was a horror movie, then it failed miserably
Gordon-117 January 2010
This film is about the friendship between a young lonely boy and a twelve-year old girl vampire who lives next door.

If it was a horror movie, then it failed miserably. I am usually scared by horror films so easily that I have to quit watching after twenty minutes, but I was not scared by "Let the Right One In" at all. There is no scary atmosphere, no tension or thrill. There is no who-done-it suspense either as we know almost from the beginning that the girl needs blood. There is little in the plot to make viewers crave for more. To me, "Let the Right One In" seems more like a child version of "Twilight", but a bit more gory. I can't believe all the positive reviews for "Let the Right One In". The film is so slow, and just plain boring!
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A very strange relationship.
michaelRokeefe5 August 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Dark and cold atmosphere. A bit slow, but well filmed. Oskar(Kare Hedebrant)is a 12 year-old boy that seems weak, anxious and afraid to face each day. He is daily abused, bullied by the much stronger of his classmates and he can only contemplate how to strike back. Suddenly circumstances start to change when the lonely boy's wish for a friend comes true. A pale girl named Eli(Lina Leandersson)moves into the apartment next door. Very peculiar, overly serious, she only comes out at night and the near freezing weather doesn't effect her. Unexplained disappearances and gruesome murders begin to happen. The introverted Oscar has entered a odd romantic relationship with Eli that has mysteriously given him the power to confront his aggressors. Life becomes more confusing for Oskar as he finally must face the facts about his strange girlfriend. Expect bloody violence and disturbing images; and all that comes with an R rating.
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A Classic Swedish Film
sunwarrior1322 October 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Let the Right One In is a horror film directed by Tomas Alfredson and it is based on the novel of the same title by John Ajvide Lindqvist, who also wrote the screenplay.It features Kåre Hedebrant and Lina Leandersson together with Per Ragnar,Henrik Dahl,Karin Bergquist,Peter Carlberg,Ika Nord and Mikael Rahm. The movie tells the story of a bullied 12-year-old boy who develops a friendship with a vampire child in Blackeberg, a suburb of Stockholm, in the early 1980's. Alfredson, unconcerned with the horror and vampire conventions, decided to tone down many elements of the novel and focus primarily on the relationship between the two main characters.

A 12-year-old boy befriends a mysterious young girl whose appearance in town suspiciously coincides with a horrifying series of murders. Oskar is a young boy who can't seem to shake off the local bullies, but all of that begins to change when a new neighbor moves in next door. After striking up an innocent friendship with his eccentric next-door neighbor, Oskar realizes that she is the vampire responsible for the recent rash of deaths around town. Despite the danger, however, Oskar's friendship with the girl ultimately takes precedence over his fear of her.

Calling to mind the work of Anne Rice and Stephen King, atmospheric adaptation of Swedish author John Ajvide Lindqvist's bestseller is well directed by his countryman Tomas Alfredson as he reinvigorates the seemingly tired vampire genre by effectively mixing scares with intelligent storytelling.Beautifully shot, moving yet unsentimental, restrained in tone and consummately performed, it is a horror film of near universal appeal, and already has the feel of a classic about it.
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tedg30 January 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Vampire (and werewolf) films have always been built on a foundation of sex, some approach to sex. Often the reference is blunt and the sexual issues unsophisticated, as in the "Twilight" franchise. Here we have something rather extraordinary, a well made film with a novel and engaging sexual foundation.

Our vampire in this case is an eternally prepubescent soul, locked not in a spiritual eternity as usual, but through yearning for sex. Rather a sexual role. Our vampire was infected in a way that involved castration and sexlessness. He identifies as a girl. His goal in the film is to transfer his remaining boyness to a prepubescent boy she finds.

When we first meet her, she is accompanied by a loyal but slow-witted pedophile. She is definitely in charge and there are signs of prior failed attempts of different sorts to find her/his place. She charms the boy, making him "be me for a little while." He lets that part of her into his soul, with the end of the story we see as the beginning of a romance chosen at the deepest levels.

It is sweet and stark, calculated and desperate, strengths mixed with weaknesses in Sweedish clarity and it touches a yearning we all have.

Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.
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Let the Right One In
Scarecrow-8815 March 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I often read how the horror genre has no hope and that it's practically dead or on life-support, then a movie like LET THE RIGHT ONE IN comes along and dispels such nonsense. It has the traditional vampire traits we're accustomed to, yet is presented in an unconventional, low-key way that's refreshing and spellbinding..partially due to the wintry, depressing setting, while also hypnotic in it's visual presentation. Director Tomas Alfredson deliberately paces this movie, allowing the young leads and their stories to captivate and grip you. The blossoming romance of lonely scrawny Oskar(Kåre Hedebrant), a quiet, reserved boy whose bullied by a mean little turd named Conny(Patrik Rydmark), who, of course, runs with a couple of droogs allowing him to gang up on the kid, just mistreating him for giggles. Oskar, brimming with calm anger, imitates, with his knife, Conny in a victim's position, longing to pay him back for his aggravating antics day in and day out. Oskar befriends a new neighbor, a vampire "girl" named Eli(Lina Leandersson, whose face will become an iconic image in horror for years to come)who uses an older gentleman to get her a blood supply..hunting humans around the surrounding area of the small city, the man uses an anesthetic to drop victims, stringing them upside, slitting their throat as the blood drains in a funnel into a jug. But Eli's serial killing supplier has become sloppy(..he fails in one attempt to gather blood in an isolated forest due to a dog which got away from it's owner, and unfortunately selects a basketball playing student whose awaiting friends in a gym room)and is soon caught right before slicing a victim's throat, pouring acid over his face in a suicide attempt. As the film continues, Eli will forge a bond with Oskar while her predatory instincts leads to a series of events which will put her in danger. As far as Oskar's situation with Conny, he agrees to fight back thanks in part to a pact with Eli..if his situation becomes difficult due to a strength in numbers scenario, she has promised to help him.

I was thoroughly impressed with the central performances of Hedebrant and Leandersson who are the featured characters all the way through. What might frustrate some more impatient horror fans is the way the film is methodically paced paying special attention to Oskar and Eli, and their developing relationship and how these two become indebted to one another. While the film is off-beat in it's approach to vampirism, Eli is shown feeding on locals, her hunger causing great agony(..we actually hear a guttural growl when Eli is needing blood, and her face becomes discolored and drained of life)as well as her amazing abilities to climb, not needing the same kind of winter wardrobe Oskar does(..it's rather amusing how she often walks barefoot with short-sleeve shirts, even moving around at times with no pants). The film pays careful attention to Oskar's reactions to his new friend and her unusual nature..and their conversations are warm without being sugary, which is a difficult feat accomplished with skill. A very fluid camera, director Alfredson often shoots characters from afar, letting the events transpire from a distance, allowing the atmosphere and mood of the setting to make as much impact as the story itself. The entire environment, the characters and their home, achieves the same tone throughout..bewitching but sad. At it's core, I felt the power of friendship is what makes this movie as appealing and alarming in equal measure..appealing because of two lonely hearts finding a love for one another, but alarming in that their friendship is forged through blood and death. The ending, as Oskar's life is threatened, is a powerful yet horrifying scene because we in fact see what Eli meant by having the ability to help him if he could not defend himself. Kudos to the filmmakers for allowing this story a chance to work it's spell over us, but without the beautiful performances from the two young leads, it could only work to a certain extent, if at all.
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Boring and silly coming of age story...with vampires!
preppy-329 November 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Terrible Scandanavian film. 12 year old Oskar (Kare Hedebrant) is bullied at school. 12 year old Eli (Lina Leandersson) moves next door to him. She tells Oskar that they can't be friends...or lovers. It turns out she's a vampire. Naturally they DO fall in love and some ridiculous complications ensure.

This seems to have a lot of admirers but I can't figure out why. The movie moves at a snails pace (I considered leaving a few times), is incredibly boring (I was fighting to stay awake) and the two young actors are pretty dreadful. The movie does a few things right--you never SEE the killings but hear them (making them even more disturbing) and there is a nice music score. But this movie is just plain dull. I saw every single plot point coming from a mile away. The only somewhat original bit was what happens when Oskar DOESN'T invite Eli into his house. It fails as a horror film and a coming of age film--it adds nothing new to either genre! Slow movies CAN work but not in this case. I saw this at an art cinema where most films are applauded when they end. This was met with dead silence. Boring and pointless. A 1 all the way.
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Another so-called classic I just didn't like.
poolandrews30 June 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Let the Right One In is set in a suburb of Blackenberg in Stockholm in Sweeden where twelve year old boy Oskar (Kåre Hedebrant) lives in an apartment block with his mother, one night two people move into the apartment next door. A young girl named Eli (Lina Leandersson) & a man named Håkan (Per Ragnar), soon after a dead body is found nearby & it turns out that Håkan kills for Eli who is actually a Vampire & needs fresh human blood to survive. Oskar & Eli form a close a friendship & Eli helps Oskar cope with school bullies while Oskar learns to accept Eli for who & what she is...

This Sweedish production was directed by Tomas Alfredson & was based upon a book called Let the Right One In first published in 2004 by Sweedish author John Ajvide Lindqvist who also wrote the screenplay for this adaptation, Let the Right One In has a glowing reputation as some sort of masterpiece but contrary to popular opinion I didn't like it that much at all. At one hour & fifty four minutes long it felt like Let the Right One In went on for days, I found the whole thing very tedious & I just couldn't get into it at all. The central theme of the film is more about friendship rather than Gothic Vampirie horror, from the setting to the tender & close friendship that forms & develops throughout the film to an ending where the two main character's have forged a strong bond Let the Right One In is more of a sentimental drama than a horror film. It's never even made clear whether Eli's actions were manipulative to get Oskar to be her new helper or whether it was just the result of two lonely children's friendship for each other, the script goes to great lengths to show the tenderness & bond between Eli & Oskar & maybe because it's so heartfelt that's why many like it but that type of film just isn't my cup of tea. I am sure many will use the intellectual argument here & say it's an intelligent film rather than a shallow Hollywood horror but so what? If I don't like the thing & find myself bored who cares that manages to convey a somewhat tragic relationship? Dialogue is minimal & a fair amount of the film is ambiguous & left to the viewer to decide, some may like it that way while other's won't.

Let the Right One In is nicely shot, director Alfredson lingers on shots for ages, it's a very quiet film with little music or noise although he does try to inject a few shock moments into it like the ending, a woman burning up & a man being hung upside down & bled. Shot mainly at night in a snow covered town the whole film feels drab & ordinary which I am sure was intentional, I am sure the makers wanted a very average & realistic feel to the film. The film uses various classic Vampire clichés like a Vampire having to be invited in, flying Vampires, neck biting & burning when exposed to sunlight. There's a bit of gore, there's some blood splatter, a guy has a melted face & there's a severed arm. Stylishly shot & even maybe a little artsy at times Let the Right One In needs to be seen in widescreen, Alfredson deliberately frames a lot of his shots with distinct images & objects at the far edges of the frame & usually there is something to look at or take note of.

With an estimated budget roughly amounting to about $4,000,000 this is very well made with nice clean, simple yet clever & effective photography but if the pace was any slower Let the Right One In would go backwards. The acting is good, the subtitles are alright although one can never quite be sure if they are exact translations.

Let the Right One In is a film I keep hearing people cream themselves over & I just can't see why. The two leads were dull, the story slightly depressing & off-putting & the pace is as slow as they come. I can respect it for what it is but Let the Right One In definitely didn't float my boat. The American remake Let Me In (2010) is in the can & will be released shortly.
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LET THE RIGHT ONE IN (Tomas Alfredson, 2008) ***1/2
Bunuel197615 March 2010
I was instantly intrigued by this modern vampire 'classic', so I opted to check it out when the first opportunity arose; however, I made the mistake of reading about the film beforehand, so that many of its remarkable scenes did not surprise me – though I could still appreciate their visceral impact. Lina Leandersson makes for one of the most memorable screen bloodsuckers, all the more effective for being a mere 13 year-old! Still, I would venture to say that that the film's greatest quality is not for any radical re-imagining of the vampire myth but rather because it has one of the most tender love stories ever depicted at its core! In this respect, the performances of the two leads are extremely appealing – with the sexual tension at work (also relating to the vampire's real gender!) recalling the similar, albeit period-set, VALERIE AND HER WEEK OF WONDERS (1970). Being a Scandinavian production, the look and approach is typically austere (complete with moody underscoring) – which may not please hardcore genre buffs, but there are certainly any number of classic horror sequences along the way: a middle-aged man siphoning the blood of a young male victim he has hung upside down in the woods; later, caught at the same task, he destroys his own face by acid; however, when the vampire girl visits him in hospital, he gives his neck willingly to her, after which she nonchalantly drops him out the window; a man is attacked in a tunnel; a passing woman falls victim to the silent predator underneath a bridge; having survived, the former is subsequently assaulted by a bunch of cats (made to look more ferocious by discreet use of CGI); rejecting her newly-acquired vampire legacy, she perishes in a spontaneous daytime combustion; when the boy innocently proposes a blood pact with the girl, she feverishly licks the drops of blood off the floor!; when a man who has lost two close acquaintances to the vampire attempts to get even, the boy saves her skin; she returns the favor by eliminating the kids who had bullied him all through the picture in a subtle but brilliantly-conceived (and crowd-pleasing) climax, after which he becomes her protector. Even so, confusion is not avoided throughout: in a couple of instances, the girl visibly ages (for which no explanation is given); towards the end, the boy takes in the girl (or he goes to live with her, it is not clear) but we are never told where his parents had gone to in the interim; then, after the girl's brush with death, the mother suddenly re-appears and she chastises the boy for something or other (the scene is presented M.O.S. from outside the window). While the film amply demonstrates that there is life in the horror genre yet, the same enthusiasm cannot be addressed towards its inevitable upcoming Americanization (even if it is to be helmed by the ground-breaking CLOVERFIELD [2008]'s Matt Reeves)
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