BAFICI COVERAGE – Låt den rätte komma in (Alfredson)

for desistfilm: Mónica Delgado

Låt den rätte komma in (Let the Right One in, 2008) is Tomas Alfredson’s third film and the first one I saw of his filmography. It deals with Oksar’s history, a 12 year old kid lost in thought, who cuts murder news out of newspapers and is physically abused by a bunch of kids at school. He suddenly becomes friends with his new neighbor, Eli, a vampire kid of the same age.

The only issue related to cinematographic vampires in this film is that they drink blood. Above all, Eli is an abandoned pubescent kid, without friends or family, who doesn’t feel cold, stinks and has an old man as a helper, a person who gets victims’ blood for her. Eli lacks the glamour of the characters of Ann Rice or the faux stylization of Blade and his cohorts. However, Alfredson seizes the inherent vampirism darkness to immerse us in a small suburb of Stockholm in a mid-eighties cruel winter.

Let the Right One in, based on the transgressive novel by John Ajvide Lindqvist, has no relation at all with the innocuous Twilight saga, for this is a film with traces of pedophilia, prostitution and crimes. The film works best as a tale about how two isolated pubescent kids break personal barriers and approach each other in a hostile climate which becomes increasingly rarefied. The adults, professors, parents or neighbors of the working class live in foul environments with no particular preoccupations, concerned about the series of deaths attributed to a serial killer.

Therefore, Alfredson doesn’t really make a terror film but a psychological drama, in which the subject of vampirism serves to express a kind of alienation and solipsism of solitude and incomprehension. The vampires no longer belong to the elite, lack the nobility titles and are more like homeless people, pariahs or squatters.

It is disturbing how the filmmaker slowly suggests this degraded environment of adults. The scene with Oskar and his father, in his country house, is implacable. The ending is anthological.

Director: Tomas Alfredson
Writers: John Ajvide Lindqvist
Producers: Carl Molinder, John Nordling
Cinematographer: Hoyte Van Hoytema
Starring: Kåre Hedebrant, Lina Leandersson, Per Ragnar, Henrik Dahl
114 mins


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