Let the Right One In
It is a rare film that comes across as instant horror classic, multilevel preteen wish-fulfillment fantasy and Euro-arty critical darling all at once. In director Tomas Alfredson’s film of John Ajvide Lindqvist’s script of his own novel, a forlorn and morbidly curious 12-year-old (Kåre Hedebrant) passes the suburban Stockholm winter by being bullied and making a special new friend (Lina Leandersson). And by special, I mean she’s a vampire. And by she, I mean … well, just watch. It does seem unfair that Let the Right One In and Twilight should be in theaters at the same time. Not because the latter has the advantage of a ready-made fan base and a PR juggernaut, but because the former has the advantage of absolute superiority. For all its boreal beauty and narrative restraint, there’s no shortage of genre satisfactions, and the performances are extraordinary. Yes, this is the one to see if your faith in movies about vampires, or about people, has been shaken.