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Let the Right One In
(Låt den rätte komma in)

Tomas Alfredson

Every now and then, a film arrives fully-formed, like a bolt from the blue (or in this case, from the dark) and reaffirms your faith in cinema with its startling originality, and Tomas Alfredson’s 2009 film Let the Right One In is one of these. Based on the novel by John Ajvide Lindqvist, it quickly spawned an American remake and a celebrated stage show (which originated at Dundee Rep), but this 2009 film is for many, the version that we first fell in love with.

 "Reaffirms your faith in cinema with its startling originality..."

The film tells the story of two lost souls, adrift in a world of inky black nights and feathery snow. Fair-haired Oskar (Kåre Hedebrant) is the yin; quiet, sensitive and bullied, shimmering with repressed anger and hurt. His dark-haired new neighbour Eli (Lina Leandersson) is his yang, also quiet, but worldlier, unknowable and strange. He is vulnerable and exposed, horribly so; she is guarded, something holding her at a distance, much like the cardboard which covers the windows of her apartment. The friendship that strikes up between them is transcendent and painful, and the performances from the two young actors are nothing short of astonishing.

It might be tempting to compare Let the Right One In to the work of Guillermo del Toro, that other esteemed purveyor of coming-of-age horror, but this film is something entirely different; less steeped in classicism, it is simultaneously more raw, more dangerous and more delicate, like a trapped nerve.

It is a perfect snowstorm of a film; assured yet daring, baldly violent yet subtle and intimate, it is a beautiful and beguiling work, and it is a masterpiece.