I hate scary movies. Always have; pro'lly always will.
So today's film is just about as scary as I can tolerate. (Interestingly, it's very much a film that relies on a mood and vibe of dread, rather than on jump scenes or loud, terrifying moments. That being said, it's terrifying and made me jump, but more through its topics and emotions and its horrifying restraint than through any sort of "simple scares.")
It's called Let the Right One In, it's available on AMAZON PRIME, and it's a Swedish film about vampires; vampires as you've rarely (if ever) seen them. Even watching the trailer again is creeping me out. So scary, but surprisingly insightful, as well, I think. (Yes, it sparked one of the most unexpected and theological conversation about vampires and the Eucharist that I've ever had. And yes, I'm still really, really scared to try and watch it again.)
As befitting its Nordic origin, Tomas Alfredson’s film about the beguiling friendship between two 12-year-olds — one of whom happens to be a vampire — is resolutely chilly. That applies to the snowy setting, sure, but also to the mood of the film, which trades traditional horror scares for a permeating unease and unnerving quiet.
It fits the story, which is as much about the vulnerability and uncertainty of childhood as it is bloodsucking creatures of the night, but it also makes Let the Right One In an appealingly different sort of scary movie — and vampire movie, for that matter — for those weary of the genre’s well-worn tropes.
In fact, this film is the only reason I, the Chronically-And-Almost-Comically-Scary-Film-Averse, is actually considering watching A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night, which is streaming on NETFLIX INSTANT and sounds similar in any number of ways. (Of course, my reaction to Let the Right One In is about the only reason I can't really bring myself to watch A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night, even though it was about as critical a smash as you can get. Quite the little conundrum. But since I'm more a coward than a cinephile, I'm pretty sure I know how this particular personal story will end.)
Beautifully shot and acted. And keep an eye out for the color red, which is almost everywhere. Oh, and one more time, just in case I haven't been clear: This one's not for kids. It's scary, and definitely reaches full-on terrifying at times. Plus, lots of unsettling images that will probably stick with you for a while. Just not quite in the way you might expect.
When Oskar, a sensitive, bullied 12-year-old boy living with his mother in suburban Sweden, meets his new neighbor, the mysterious and moody Eli, they strike up a friendship. Initially reserved with each other, Oskar and Eli slowly form a close bond, but it soon becomes apparent that she is no ordinary young girl. Eventually, Eli shares her dark, macabre secret with Oskar, revealing her connection to a string of bloody local murders.