2008 / d. Tomas Alfredson
Poetic, haunting; a horror film which transcends the (quite often) tired banality of vampire movies, and becomes something greater: a work of fine art. Set against the backdrop of a quiet, Swedish winter, it presents us with the story of a lonely adolescent boy (Oskar) who falls in love with the girl-next-door: Eli the vampire. At the very heart of it, LET THE RIGHT ONE IN is a compelling and tragic romance: two characters functioning independent of morality or ethics, driven only by desires and needs, and made all the more disturbing by their youth. There are no heroes, only people doing terrible things out of the sense of duty which comes from loving another person unconditionally. This, coupled with the stark examination of betrayal, loneliness, and corruption are what truly make this film disturbing and memorable. The title itself serves as a warning to us, the viewer: LET THE RIGHT ONE IN. More than just an admonition against granting vampires permission into our homes, we are also challenged to be careful about who we invite into our lives. Let the right one in. Advice worth heeding.