Viewed – 31 July 2009 Blu-ray
I had heard about this one a while ago, hyped as being one of the best vampire movies ever made, and with a liking of world cinema, as you can imagine I was desperate to see it. Now that I have I can honestly say it lives up to it’s hype, and is an intelligent, surprisingly moving and effective take on the vampire myth mixed with a very unconventional love story. Oscar you see, is a lonely 12 year old boy, bullied in school and living with his mother in an apartment block in the middle of a Swedish suburb blanketed by snowfall. Not exactly cheery surroundings. Then one night he meets a strange girl called Eli, who seems unable to feel the cold weather, but is also it seems equally as lost and lonely as he is – and so a friendship begins that soon develops into love.
Of course you are probably already two steps ahead of me, and yes, Eli is a vampire, who hides her blood sucking from the towns folk by making her ‘dad’ go out and murder people and drain their bodies of the blood. Yet he’s not exactly the worlds most efficient killer, and before long bodies are turning up and the local police are looking for a serial killer, and poor Eli is going to have to stop that hunger inside her somehow.
What I really loved about this film was that it plays very closely to the vampire movie rules, there is no going out in daylight, and most effectively, and hence the title, a vampire can only enter your home if invited – leading to a particularly stand out moment. And this film is full of stand out moments, with the little girl playing Eli (Lina Leandersson) beautifully heart-breaking and carries the film just as well as the more subtle but no less brilliant little boy (Kare Hedebrant). Director Tomas Alfredson has crafted a unique entry in the vampire genre that works brilliantly as a horror movie whilst also delivering a memorable story of childhood friendship and first time love.
I came away very impressed and see this as a contender for film of the year.
Verdict: 5 /5