nineveh_uk (nineveh_uk) wrote,


Despite April being a poor choice of month for the release of a vampire film set in winter-bound Stockholm, I saw Let the Right One In on Monday evening. The film has had a clutch of very good reviews, and which I am happy to say it thoroughly deserves them, being a good-looking, well-acted, well put together, interesting, intelligent, and moving film. The changes from the book are largely omissions of sub-plot and backstory to produce a two hour film*, which happily involves removing a gross-out scene that I really hoped would go, but the core is very much there. The author of the original novel states that he did not start writing it as a vampire book, but that it became one, and I think this shows in the best possible way. It isn't a horror story, nor a story merely "made with vampires", but simulatneously an essential part of the heart of the work and an illumination of the surrounding themes.

Go and see it before the Hollywood re-make.

One of my favourite elements of it remains that the twelve-year old vampire, Eli, is very much not Anne Rice's Claudia, but more Peter Pan. She has been twelve "for a very long time" but is still a child, not an old mind in a small body. In the novel she remarks that she doesn't understand why this is, and the protagonist, Oskar, has a marvellous response that perhaps this is because she is twelve, and thus has a kid's brain that can't understand this sort of thing (which answer also shows why Under Plum Lake was never a children's book). I really like the vampire mythology of the novel (it isn't explicitly in the film, and doesn't need to be although some of it comes across), which is non-Stokerish and coherent both in its terms and in its interaction with the rest of the world.

*There should be more two hour films. There should be more 90 minute ones.

**Something which the foreign viewer might just say about the 1980s setting in the film, though not the book.

Finally, I don't really understand Dreamwidth - it is the annoying way of things that the very basic explanations happen at a point when you ignore them because they don't seem important yet - and thus I managed to miss all the hand-outs to free accounts. But if anyone has spares going, I'd be grateful.
Tags: film
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