Now, there is no way I'm going to give a synopsis since the film has to be seen and not described. Suffice it to say that 12 year old Oskar (Kåre Hedebrant) is a quiet boy bullied at school who has a strange fascination with knives and a series of bloody murders in the newspapers. (The film takes place back in 1982 semi-Soviet Sweden). While out in the snow-covered play-yard of his apartment block, Oskar meets 12 year old Eli (Lina Leandersson) who immediately tells him they cannot be friends. The entire film basically concerns the relationship between these two kids: both of whom are very odd and one of whom just happens to be a little vampire. As most of you know, I am NOT a fan of child actors as a rule. But Hedebrant and (more particularly) Leandersson are both superb with the young girl turning in an absolutely magnificent performance. I can safely state right now that, should I produce a top ten list of favourite cinematic vampires, little Lina Leandersson would certainly be on it! Director Tomas Alfredson crafts a very quiet, subdued film which periodically erupts without warning into violent and disturbing incidents. There are also nicely done special effects which, shockingly, are done with a great deal of subtlety; they do not knock you over the head and at first cause you to think "Did I really see that" and then "Oh yeah, I really saw that". Here is a film which (sorry know-nothing tots) requires an attention span; you cannot text message, tweet or myspace while watching it -- actually you should never do that while watching ANY movie, you philistines -- you should WATCH a movie when you're watching a movie! But I digress). This type of subtle, intelligent storytelling will never get you a job in Hollywood, Mr. Alfredson. There you have to pummel us over the head repeatedly with a hammer. How dare you not underestimate the intelligence of your audience! Nothing is ever blatantly explained however one never feels lost and everything becomes clear almost subconsciously first -- and THEN it registers on the conscious mind. The only word that came to mind as the end credits rolled was "remarkable". This is a truly TRULY remarkable film and no feeble attempts by me to describe it can possibly do it justice. You really need to seek out this one!
Monday, November 23, 2009
IN A WEEK WHEN THAT NEW TWILIGHT MOVIE BECAME THE HIGHEST GROSSING OPENING DAY IN HISTORY (shame on us), I draw your attention to an actual superb vampire movie: Låt den rätte komma in (aka LET THE RIGHT ONE IN). If you haven't seen it, you need to. All the talk is justified. It's been called the best vampire film ever. Weaverman has called it the best vampire film since NOSFERATU (in 1922!!!). It is without a doubt one of the greatest movies of the decade. Period. Just when you thought there was nowhere new you could take a vampire movie, along comes this one. TWILIGHT is not the apex of vampire movies (opinions of 12 year old schoolgirls to the contrary). Hopefully, LET THE RIGHT ONE IN will be.