In anticipation for Let Me In (which will immediately follow this review), I decided to rent on Amazon the Swedish original version of Let The Right One In.

I originally saw this film when it came out in November 2008, and found it to be great then (as I still do now). The film is dominated by the two child actor leads, who give the performances that the film demands: sad, isolated, yearning, and innocent. Both have different reasons for being the way they are: Oskar is lacking both familial support – his parents are divorced, but he has trouble connecting with them – and a friend in school, constantly being bullied and picked on by the same group of kids; Eli, meanwhile, is a forever 12-year-old vampire, so you can imagine the isolation in that.  The two come together on a jungle gym set in the yard of their apartment complex, eventually over a game of Rubik’s Cube – the perfect little single player game – though before then, Eli warns Oskar that they can’t be friends.

So a childhood romance of sorts forms between the two, which helps bring them out of their isolation, though it’s more difficult for Eli.  She’s been 12 for a long time, and will end up being stuck as such.  Oskar will age, much like Eli’s father figure, until he needs to be replaced (it’s a sad existence all around for this kids), but he finds what he wants in Eli, someone to understand him.

That said, the film does feel somewhat disjointed at times, mainly when it comes to the supporting characters and their lives (which do nothing other than to add to Eli’s feeding count).  But this is really about the drama between two lonely people, and the effects their isolation – both created on their own or set through some other means – have on each other.  Effective as both a drama and a vampire movie, and, while somewhat depressing overall, has a sort of hopefulness in finding other people to connect with.

Even if they’re pseudo-12-year-old vampires.