And given the international community that LJ is, I guess I should say Non-American films.
Got instant netflix through my 360 so I’ve been picking a few up here or there. The latest one was “Let the Right One In” This is a Swedish film. A Swedish Vampire film. Whoa! I think it was pretty good, but yanno, I am kinda strange myself.
It is based on the novel of the same name by John Ajvide Lindqvist, who also wrote the screenplay for the film. It tells the story of a bullied 12-year-old boy who develops a friendship with a vampire child in Blackeberg, a suburb of Stockholm, in the early 1980s. Alfredson, unfamiliar with the horror and vampire genres, decided to tone down many elements of the novel and focus primarily on the relationship between the two main characters.
Oskar, a meek 12-year-old boy, lives with his mother in the western Stockholm suburb of Blackeberg in 1982. His classmates regularly bully him, and he spends his evenings imagining revenge. One night, he meets Eli, who appears to be a pale girl his own age. Eli has recently moved in next door to Oskar with an older man named Håkan. Eli initially informs Oskar that they cannot be friends. However, over time, they begin to share their lonely existence together, playing and exchanging Morse code messages through their apartment wall. Eli eventually discovers that Oskar is being bullied at school, and encourages him to stand up for himself. This inspires Oskar to finally stand up to his tormentors during a field trip. He strikes his main antagonist, Conny, on the side of the head with a pole, injuring him.
Leandersson as the vampire Eli
Meanwhile, Håkan has killed a series of local residents in succession in order to drain and collect their blood to provide sustenance for Eli. However, he repeatedly runs into obstacles. When his last attempt fails, and he is about to be caught, he purposely disfigures himself by pouring acid on his face, preventing the authorities from identifying him and tracing Eli. Eli finds out where Håkan is being held at the local hospital and climbs up to his window sill. Håkan opens the window and offers his neck for Eli to feed on. Afterwards, he falls out the window to his death.
Now alone, Eli agrees to "go steady" with Oskar, who eventually suggests that they form a blood bond. He cuts his hand and asks Eli to do the same. This provokes the blood-thirsting Eli to savagely lap up Oskar's spilt blood from the floor. Eli succeeds in holding back just long enough to beg Oskar to leave, before fleeing. Soon after, Eli attacks Ginia, a local woman. Her boyfriend, Lacke, whose best friend, Jocke, was killed by Eli a few days earlier, turns up just in time to interrupt the attack.
Ginia survives the attack, but soon discovers that she has become painfully sensitive to sunlight. Thirsting for blood, she pays a visit to the eccentric Gösta. As soon as she enters the apartment, Gösta's many cats attack her fiercely. In the hospital, Ginia realizes that she has become a vampire and decides she cannot cope with it. In the morning, she asks an orderly to open the blinds in her room. When the sunlight streams in, she bursts into flames. Lacke, who has lost everything because of Eli, seeks out Håkan and Eli's apartment for vengeance. He finds Eli sleeping in the bathtub and prepares to kill Eli. Unbeknownst to him, Oskar is hiding in the apartment. Just as Lacke is about to strike, Oskar distracts him. Eli is alerted by the noise and kills Lacke. Eli is no longer safe there and tells Oskar about the need to go away. Before Eli leaves, however, they share their first kiss. Oskar returns home to his visibly upset mother and seals himself in his room. He reads a newspaper article querying about the murderer of Jocke, and watches a car, presumably with Eli inside, drive away. The scene ends with a montage of Eli's empty apartment, Oskar staring out the window and leaving an impression of his hand against the cold glass, and a view of the now-quiet playground.
The next morning, Oskar receives a phone call from Conny's friend, Martin, who lures Oskar out to resume an after-school fitness program at the local swimming pool. The bullies, led by Conny and his older brother, Jimmy, start a fire to draw Mr. Ávila, the teacher in charge, outside. This leaves Oskar trapped alone in the pool, where Jimmy forces him to hold his breath underwater for three minutes, threatening to cut Oskar's eye out if he fails. Suddenly, a commotion muffled by the water takes place above the surface. Feet skim across the waterline, and soon, Jimmy's severed head drops into the other end of the pool, followed shortly by his arm, which was holding Oskar down. A hypoxic Oskar is then pulled out of the water by Eli, where he quickly comes to his senses and smiles gratefully. Eli smiles in return. A closing wide shot reveals three dismembered bodies around the pool and Andreas, the reluctant fourth bully, sobbing on a bench. The film concludes with Oskar traveling on a train. A large trunk sits next to him, and inside, an unseen Eli taps the word "kiss" to Oskar in Morse code. Oskar smiles and taps back the same.
This was a strange movie. But every swedish film of films diretced by Swedes has been a little strange anyway...
Of course the ruler of the strange comes to mind, Ingmar Bergman...