Matt's Rating: A-
Why He's Appalled Nicole's Never Seen It: It's not so much that I'm appalled she hasn't seen it, it's more that I really wanted her to see it. Both of us being English majors, we have learned to despise the teenage vampire love genre (they have their own section in the book stores now...really makes you lose some faith in humanity doesn't it?). But having taken a young adult literature course as an undergrad I read the Twilight books, as did she. So whenever Nicole and I would hate on the series as a whole, this inevitably led to Nicole talking about how she dislikes the whole theme of vampire love. At which point I tell her she really needs to see this film to give her faith that even cliche stories can be told correctly. You can see my review of the film from when I used to blog for the Albany Times Union here. To sum it up: the film can drag a bit but it's creepy, moving, startling, and dark. All the things a true vampire "love" story should be (not filled with teenage angst and bad actors). It's a foreign film that I really think movie buffs, like Nicole, will appreciate.
Nicole's Rating: A
Nicole's Review: Just two things I want to say before I give you my opinion - 1) Does paranormal romance actually have its own section now in the bookstore? I'm guessing he means Barnes & Noble - which I don't frequent anymore. Indie Bookstores all the way! And 2) MATT is the reason I picked up that vile book (Twilight) and why - despite knowing better! - I read each and every one. I'm so disgusted with myself.
I don't think I shied away from this strictly because it was a vampire romance. Rather, I didn't want to watch it because I thought it would be scary - and horror and I don't mix very well. But this wasn't. Sure, it was very dark and often pretty creepy, but it was also strangely and (to steal a word from Matt's TU review) disturbingly beautiful. Oskar and Eli are two lonely people - one an awkward child and the other a child vampire who, because of her condition, has no family and very few people she can call friend. Oskar and Eli's love is born out of this loneliness and the need to feel understood and loved, and the implications are shocking and sad - especially when you compare the relationship between Oskar and Eli to that of Eli's previous caretaker, Håkan. Were he and Eli once in love, as Oskar and Eli are now? Will Oskar suffer the same fate - one day growing too old and eventually becoming irrelevant to the young, immortal girl?
Such a lovely, lovely movie.
Have you seen Let the Right One In? What did you think? Share your thoughts in the comments.