13. Let the Right One In
Poor timing; I just wrote about how much I loved this movie as I reviewed its American remake, “Let Me In.” But here it is on the list, just short of the top 10 of the decade. From my original review:
If Ingmar Bergman were to make a vampire film, “Let the Right One In” would be that film. And not just because it’s Swedish: the whole thing feels strangely “Bergmanian”, from the snowscapes to the themes of loneliness and violence to the sparse and often darkly humorous dialogue. Crazy things happen — the kind of crazy things that are supposed to happen in a vampire movie– but they happen in such a sleepy atmosphere that you may not realize just what’s going on.
“Let the Right One In” is about a 12 year old vampire, but don’t confuse it with “Twilight” — those vampires, and vampire-lovers, are much more beautiful, sex-obsessed, and impossible to identify with than these. ”Right One” is equal parts about being 12 – lonely, confused, and awkward, slowly becoming aware just how strange and sad the world is — and about being a vampire – blood-obsessed, violent, creepy, odd, and horrifying. It’s miraculous that director Tomas Alfredson manages to keep both of these themes in balance, and yet there is never a moment in the film that feels forced, never a change in tone that feels sudden or jolting.