LET THE RIGHT ONE IN: This is one vampire movie as raw and frightening as it is tender
Discriminating horror-movie fans rejoice: Tomas Alfredson's Låt den rätte komma in, with a script from his novel by John Ajvide Lindqvist, is a remarkable vampire film, as raw and frightening as it is tender and intelligent.
It's deep winter in a blue-collar suburb of Stockholm, and 12-year-old Oskar (Kåre Hedebrant) suffers from both his parents' divorce and the merciless bullying at school. This quiet and lonely lad needs to "let the right one in," and that's the dark-haired, Gypsy-like waif who moves in next door. The two fall for each other, but Eli (Lina Leandersson) is often sad and distracted. She has an awful secret: when it's her feeding time, their poignant puppy love must be interrupted and scorched in blood.
The episodes of violence, when Eli pounces, are expertly achieved, and ghoulish and scary. But these are balanced by Alfredson's gently poetic vision of pubescent romance. Who would have predicted that the finest horror picture in years, reminiscent of Val Lewton classics of 1940s Hollywood, would come from Sweden?
Swedish | 114 minutes | Kendall Square