Let the Right One In (2008)

Dir. Tomas Alfredson

This currently has the tenth highest score in metacritic at 82 (a high score) and it’s now playing at Kahala. I’ve heard some good reviews about this film in addition to the metacritic rating, so I wanted to see this. I’m going to recommend this to Penny, Mitchell and even Grace and Tony, but I don’t want to say why, as I think it will take away slightly from the film. I’m no sure how much you’ll like this (if I had to guess I’d say somewhere around a 6-8), but at the very least, I think you’ll say it’s worth seeing. I know for sure there are elements that will appeal to Mitchell. You could probably wait until the video, but if you’re looking for a film to see, this won’t be a waste of your time. Kevin and Chris could also like this. There’s a chance that Jill might like this, but I think she could skip it. Larri didn’t care for this, giving it a 3/10.

Before I get into a description of the plot I want to say some things. First, if you don’t know anything about the plot–or the genre, try to avoid it. There’s one detail that will sort of take away from the first twenty minutes of the film–and this detail is revealed in the advertisement. Second, after reading some of the comments from critics, I’m guessing that this is the type of film that one can easily get over-excited about, especially if one knows nothing before going in; in other words, a lot of hype can take away from the film. The film does have elements that justify enthusiasm: it’s not easy to pidgin-hole in that it mixes some genres and even the elements within the conventional genre are not typical. It goes beyond any category used to describe (which I’m intentionally avoiding). The lead characters are ones you want to root for, too. But overall, I don’t think it warrants the high rating, at least in my opinion. However, my personal rating is somewhat based on subjective elements, and I can understand the difference in rating. Still, I don’t think the film is as good as many critics thing–although it is a film you cheer for. It is very much like the decent, but flawed independent/art films that you would see at Restaurant Row.

I think there were two main problems for me with this film. First, I thought the pacing was too slow; the film dragged on at times. I don’t mind deliberate filmmaking–if it creates an interesting effect or serves the film. Personally, I felt scenes and editing could have moved the story along quicker. The story as written may have also had something with the slowness. The other problem has to do with the acting. I liked and rooted for both leads (although I liked the female actor more), but I think acting limitations (I think both had little acting experience–if that’s true the director and actors deserve credit for the performances) or direction may have hindered the connection I had for them. Both of these criticisms are very subjective, so I understand if people really connected with the characters and liked their performances. Finally, I think the plot was pretty predictable and not very original. Still, I can understand the critics’ enthusiasm for this film–I share their enthusiasm for the child actors (well, I was wanting them to succeed); the relief of a horror film that didn’t rely on torture; and mixing of genres. But ultimately, I don’t think the film lives up to the hype. But like other satisfying independent/art house films, this is worth seeing. (I think the predictability in the plot and other limitations, especially the draggy quality, lead to my ultimate score.)

Let the Right One In. I wanted to see this at the Film Festival, but missed it. This was an interesting movie. Touching, but a little bizarre and sad. I am not sure what to make of the ending. It was a little slow in the beginning, but picked up as it went along.

These comments are probably not very “satisfying,” but I did not want to spoil the experience by giving away plot details. Let’s just say I feel they’re both worth seeing…but for those who generally do not like foreign movies may decide to skip Let the Right One In and see it for “free” on Netflix or something. 🙂

This is a Swedish film about a lonely 12-year boy, Oskar, who frequently gets picked on. A new girl moves into the apartment next to him and they begin a friendship. But strange happenings start occurring.

1 Response to “Let the Right One In (2008)”

  1. Reid

    An interesting review of the film.

    Man, thinking back on this film, that 5/10 score seems a little low. Mitchell, Tony, Grace, Chris and Kevin could actually like this a lot more.

You can add images to your comment by clicking here.