Låt den rätte komma in

[Screenshot]This film recieved rave reviews both in Sweden and abroad, so of course I’m jumping on the boat late, with the crappily subtitled American release (note: apparently better subtitles have been released since I watched it). There is a lot to like here. The vampire aspects are played admirably straight and not spoonfed, and, surprisingly, take a back seat to interpersonal dynamics. This is more the story of a bullied boy and an isolated girl than of a kid and his pet vampire. Their characters are admirably fleshed-out and believable: Oskar is arguably a pretty horrible guy, but he comes across sympathetically. People used to more straightforward vampire narratives might find the lack of answers to some of the standard “how do vampires work” questions distressing, but from my perspective, the vagueness of the rules made the story feel much more believable, and at times more dramatic, since neither we nor the characters knew exactly how it was supposed to work, e.g. with regard to vampires coming into houses uninvited.

I’ll admit this didn’t absolutely bowl me over, because under it all, it’s still in a horror genre that never much excites me, but I have a great deal of admiration for the intelligence and sensitivity with which it approaches the genre and its conventions, bringing new life to what could have been a tired tale.

See also: IMDB, Wikipedia.

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About Jake
I'm a mathematics professor at the University of Louisville, and a geek.

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