Let the Right One In is a vampire movie done right. It’s not full of flashy special effects, it’s not a sappy love story, and there’s no violence = sex metaphor in it. It’s a film where the feeling of isolation is thick in the air.
The film’s restraint made every scene all the more suspenseful. I wouldn’t put it in the horror genre, but there were parts where I felt uncomfortable enough to have to duck behind my hands to shield me from what was coming next. The fact that the film starts off looking like a normal coming-of-age story and then goes into something darker made me unsure of what to expect.
I wish that I hadn’t known that Let the Right One In was a vampire movie beforehand. It’s not a major spoiler, but I would have viewed the film differently with a fresh pair of eyes. I left the theater wondering a lot of things, which means I should read the book. I hear that it has a lot of back-story on the various characters and explains a bit about what the film only briefly alluded to.
It makes saddens me to read that there will be an American remake of this. An American director will probably kill the alienation message, make the kids older, sex it up, add some blatant CGI, put in some emo bands for the sound track, and pretty much ruin the movie. That’s not me being a snob. That’s me saying that this movie is perfect as it is and doesn’t need a remake. If people can’t appreciate it the way it is, that’s their loss.