| Tomas Alfredson directs this Swedish art house cult alternative to “Twilight.” They have in common love stories that involve a human and a vampire.
Oskar, a 12-year-old boy with long blonde hair, lives in an apartment in a high-rise public housing structure with his mother. He is a loner who is persistently bullied at school by three of his classmates and lacks the guts to strike back.
His life changes when Eli, a peculiar and mysterious girl, moves in next door. She only comes out at night and seems unaffected by the freezing temperatures. Disastrous consequences occur if Eli enters a room without first being invited.
Amid a haunting atmosphere, these two young lost souls develop a tenuous friendship that blossoms into love. She instills in him the confidence to take revenge.
The Stockholm suburb of Blackeberg in 1982 is the setting for this dramatic thriller. The movie develops slowly. The movie’s strengths are the cinematography and musical score.
The two young actors are convincing and pull off the tragedy within this prepubescent romance. There is no shortage of gory bloodsucking scenes in this atypical horror flick.
The title of the film and the novel upon which it was based refers to the Morrissey song “Let the Right One Slip In.”
The strange original screenplay uses a Rubik’s Cube as a key prop that initially establishes a bond between the two youngsters. Morse code is cleverly used as a way for Oskar and Eli to communicate between the thin walls of their adjoining apartments. In the last scene, they tap out the letters for “small kiss.”
This film festival favorite has won audience awards at seven different venues. It was originally released for Halloween in New York City. It has been named Best Foreign Language Film by 12 critics groups including Kansas City, Chicago, Boston, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco, Toronto and Washington, D.C. It is gradually working its way around the country.
An American remake is in the planning stages. Swedish with English subtitles. Now playing exclusively at the Tivoli in Westport.
Keith Cohen, "The Movie Guy"