On children IV

film 3 of 4

Let the Right One In

Film Review by Dean Duncan Jul 10, 2015

I felt blown away the first time I saw this. A repeat viewing causes it to diminish a bit. It’s pretty good on early adolescence and being an outsider—casting!—pretty by-the-numbers about bullying. (That doesn’t mean that that one ear-whack, or the modest little resolution at the big swimming pool aren’t still really stunning.) In other words, though there are ideas and even themes operating here, Let the Right One In is mostly an instructive primer on the methods of the European art/exploitation. We have languor, interspersed with brief interludes of operatic blood-and-thunder. Pretty effective! There’s lots of very capable, even athletic focus pulling, and in the design department the colour is very effectively delimitated. Further, winter is evoked quite superbly. Something more than winter-chilling happens at the very end of this picture, after all of the set pieces and plot resolutions. It’s terribly immoral. I think the film knows it, though it understates it a very great deal. You’re very unlikely to be harmed or tempted by it. It’ll make you think though, and feel troubled. That doesn’t happen all that often in the commercial cinema. Maybe I’m still a bit blown away, even after that repeat viewing.