Låt den rätte komma in (Let the Right One In) is a 2008 Swedish film by Tomas Alfredson, adapted from a book by John Ajvide Lindqvist. The film depicts the relationship between Oskar, a 12-year-old who is the victim of bullying at the hands of his classmates, and Eli, a vampire that is responsible for the gruesome murders taking place around their suburb in Stockholm. Although it comes at a time when Twilight et al have engendered the composition of myriad saccharine films and books that concern themselves with vampires, this wonderful creation is a distinct text worthy of far greater recognition.
Oskar and Eli are purposeful and intricate characters. The pair, who develop a seraphic and romantic relationship, are united by their status as outsiders; as a vampire, the only relationship Eli has is banal and borne of expediency, while Oskar is ostracised from his social circle as a result of bullying. The pair also share a haunting affinity for violence. For Eli, murder is a physical necessity, while for Oskar it is a naïve, emotional fascination. Oskar collects newspaper clippings of murders and harbours a love of his knife, but his capacity for action is uncovered at Eli’s encouragement.
The most gruesome scenes of this film are intrinsically cold and still; Alfredson’s style is pleasingly bleak when contrasted to the overwrought excrement that is most of Hollywood. This manner is well suited to the beautiful yet eerie landscape that the story inhabits.
Låt den rätte komma in is powerful and its images are haunting. A Hollywood remake has already been concocted from the fragile form of this film, which is an unfortunate addendum to its profound existence. As an exceptional film, the original is highly recommended, but certainly not for the standard Twilight audience.