Friday, July 10, 2009

Let the Right One In

There is no doubt that our culture is vampire obsessed. The average teenage girl (or twenty something year-old, in my case) finished the Twilight series in less than a week and is counting down the days for the second movie to hit theaters. After watching vampires portrayed in movies such as Twilight and the HBO series True Blood, it was refreshing to see a different kind of vampire depicted in Tomas Alfredson’s Let the Right One In. The snowy cold atmosphere of the film creates an unusual, but ideal setting for a vampire film. The serene town covered in a blanket of white snow helps to make child vampire Eli, quite inconspicuous. That is, until she decides to make dinner out of some of her neighbors.

Let the Right One In is unique in that the lead vampire is only twelve years old and appears innocent. I think one of the major reasons why our society is so intrigued by vampires stems from the fact that vampires are portrayed as good looking and youthful people, unlike any other monster we might fear. In films such as Twilight, vampires are sexy and often take on the role as vigilante. Although that is not the case in Let the Right One In, there is still a certain charm in seeing a twelve-year old girl as opposed to an old, overweight monster attack and suck the blood from its innocent victims. It is scandalous and unexpected in the horror film genre. To think that such a ferocious monster is among us, living unseen is utterly terrifying.

In addition to their appearance, Alfredson creates a love story between Eli and Oskar, further humanizing the vampire. It is hard to fully hate Eli for her horrific actions after seeing her tender side with Oskar. Overall, I found Let the Right One In to be a beautiful film and it has only made my thirst for vampire films stronger.

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