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Let the Right One In


Stars: Kare Hedebrant, Lina Leandersson, Per Ragnar

Director: Tomas Alfredson

In a chilly Swedish community where it always seems to be snowing, there's a new girl in town. But there's a drawback. She's a vampire. Oskar (Hedebrant), pale, blond and 12 years old, is a loner bullied at school. But the new girl, Eli (Leandersson), takes a shine to him. She's also 12, she says, although, to her, she seems to have been 12 for a long time...

Meanwhile, Eli's protector (Ragnar) gets to work trussing up local boys and draining their blood. Discovered with his latest victim, he flees, (improbably) leaving the can of blood behind and forcing Eli to forage for herself. Oskar would like her to become his girlfriend. But, she says, she's not a girl...

It gets messy, in more ways than one. Locals start getting chewed up or, if they survive, consumed by blood lust. Oskar, though, sails serenely on. But when he defends himself against a bully by bashing his ear in (on Eli's suggestion) and asks Eli to become his blood sibling, he's in double trouble.

Although slow at times, this is a slightly unusual take on a familiar horror theme, with good performances from the kids, a consistent tone and atmosphere, and a logical ending.

David Quinlan

Sweden/Norway 2008. UK Distributor: Momentum. Fujicolor.
114 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 07 Apr 2009