Let the Right One In or in its original Swedish title, Låt den rätte komma in, is a film that has stuck with me for 10 years. Let the Right One In is a vampire romance drama based on a 2004 novel of the same title, written by John Ajvide Lindqvist. I was hooked from beginning to end, which says a lot, because I am not the biggest fan of romance movies and I am also picky about my vampire flicks.
This film is set in the early 1980s and focuses on a 12-year-old boy, Oskar, who is bullied constantly by his classmates. He later forms a close relationship to his new neighbor, Eli, who seems to be around the same age as him, but in reality is about 200 years old. The film itself brings some of the major and heavy themes of the novel down, like with the character, Håka, who is the pedophile caretaker of Eli, to subtleties and lets the viewer interpret for themselves certain elements that would have detracted from the relationship between the two children.
The cinematography is gorgeous, the visuals are fresh, and the way they approached the bloody and violent subject matter was so restrained yet beautiful. Even though it is a horror film, it is another film that is also a work of art. It draws the viewer in and keeps you there because of how real every moment is and you end up taking the journey alongside Oskar and Eli while possibly reminiscing about your own past. This is a film that will continue to amaze and inspire me for the decades to come.
Where to watch: Hulu
Starring: Kåre Hedebrant, Lina Leandersson
Directed by: Tomas Alfredson
Won: Founders Award for Best Narrative Feature (Tribeca Film Festival), 3 Best Horror awards, 10 Best Foreign Language Film awards, and a great number of others