Sweden, 2007, 106 min
Direction: Tomas Alfredson
Cast: Kare Hedebrant, Lina Leandersson, Per Ragnar, Henrik Dahl, Karin Bargquist, Peter Carlberg, Ika Nord, Mikael Rahm
Awards: Nordic Film Prize for best movie, Nordic Vision Award for best costume - Gothenburg Film Festival; the winning movie of TRIBEC Festival - The Founders Award for Best Narrative Feature
Selection: Exit Point
The winning movie of TRIBEC Film Festival called Let the Right One In, directed by Sweden director Tomas Alfredson is going to be shown in Exit Point Selection. This master piece of Sweden cinematography was created on the basis of a piece of literature with the same name, written by Johna Ajvide Lindqvista.
Novel Let the Right One In was published in Sweden in 2004. The book is a result of an unusual colourful fusion made of horror elements, romantic story, psychological profile of a depressing small-town mentality of a small suburb on far north, and emotional growing of a twelve-year-old boy. Not long after being published, the novel becomes a bestseller on all top-lists in Sweden, and then, the number of copies sold begins to rise in the rest of Europe. The movie director, Tomas Alfredson, absolutely delighted after reading the novel, decides to materialize the written word through the vision of the film, with the help of the novel author as the screenplay writer.
The suburb of cold and dark Sweden in 1982, with its climatic and social conditions submitted to life passiveness is a place of growing up of a twelve-year-old boy. An introvert boy, withdrawn, quiet, with no friends, quite often gets bullied in school. Gentle and sensitive, Oscar never manages to fight back, but in the time of loneliness, he wishes a true friend. With the arrival of new neighbours, his wish becomes true- he meets a twelve-year-old girl, Eli, who moves in with her farter in the near vicinity of his flat.
In spite of her strange uniqueness, Eli and Oscar become good friends. Unusual, serious, and quiet young lady with pale complexion draws his attention from the start. The boy notices that Eli always goes out at night, and that extremely low temperatures of the northern climate do not bother her at all. A coincidence or something else, but Oscar notices the fact that since her arrival, bloody crimes and unusual disappearances of people begin to happen in the small suburb. A man was found hung on a tree, another one frozen in the lake, a woman bitten in the neck… Mysteries and unexplained circumstances, which have always interested Oscar, now turn his inquiring gaze to the young new neighbour.
Not long after, Oscar realizes a terrible secret, that his friend is actually a vampire. Scared by the tragic truth and her supernatural dimension, Oscar still does not want to leave Eli who helped him to gain so much wanted self-confidence to oppose even the school bullies.
However, her faith is sealed. Eli is an eternal wanderer in search for new bloody springs of life, trapped in a body of a twelve-year-old with confusing emotions of an adolescent. But when Oscar faces his darkest hours, she returns to defend him in the only way she knows…
Despite depressive pictures of cold and gray Sweden, hard social conditions, and bloody violence, the film director thinks that Let the Right One In is a love story with a happy ending, with similar dynamics that emerges from a time rift of dark past and light future, like in the Charles Dickens’s stories or in the works of classic horror writers. Besides, Let the Right One In is an exquisite testimony about growing up and emancipation; how love and trust build a healthy foundation for maturing of a personality, and its emotional release.