Let The Right One In - DVD Review

'this is minimalist horror at it's best. This is horror from the country that gave us Ikea'

Let The Right One In starts with simple white on black credits appearing and disappearing on screen, changing slowly to snowflakes doing almost exactly the same. If you're looking for a clue to the pace and tone of the film, it's right there. This is minimalist horror at it's best. This is horror from the country that gave us Ikea.

In almost every critical reaction to the film, people have talked about how LTROI is more than just a horror film. And in some ways I see the argument. At its deepest point LTROI is about two isolated children trying to move through the world in their own ways. The immediate aftermath to that opening, with angelic loner Oskar stabbing a tree and screaming 'squeal Piggy' has definite echoes of Golding's Lord of The Flies, another poem to the child-like reactions to isolation and loneliness.

But at it's deepest point, all horror, even the supernatural, has some relevance, relation or even grounding in the real world. This is not the film that should be held up as exceptional because it does relate to real life problems, but an exceptional example of the theory.

There are problems that for me, prevented the film from being perfect. The final act spends too much time focusing in on the character who becomes the 'Vampire Hunter', a significantly less interesting character to the two children and who's fate is inevitable. Similarly, in the world of the adults, isolation is represented by a man living alone with his cats. More of an image or metaphor than a character, a representation of what awaits Oskar when he grows up, he simply isn't developed well enough and one of the few moments of CGI in the film centres on him and is so poor it takes you completely out of the film.

However, LTROI comes pretty darn close and many critics and viewers will no doubt have been wooed by the pitch-perfect final scene, following on from beautiful cinematography and direction throughout. It ends up somewhere near to Stand By Me and the aforementioned Lord of The Flies and easily aspires to, and reaches, the heights of both compositions. The best thing to come out of Sweden since well... Ikea furniture.

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