These days it takes a very special vampire movie to stand out.
Like Twilight, the Swedish film Let the Right One In is a love story
between a human and a vampire but there the resemblance ends. Let the Right One In is not a romantic fantasy but combines the supernatural
with social realism. Set on a housing estate in the suburbs of Stockholm
in the early 1980s, it's the story of Oskar, a lonely, bullied child,
who makes friends with Eli, the girl in the next apartment. 'Oskar, I'm
not a girl,' she tells him and she's not kidding. They forge a
relationship which is oddly innocent yet disturbing, two outsiders
against the rest of the world. But one of these outsiders is,
effectively, a serial killer. While Let the Right One In is startlingly original, it nevertheless couldn't have
existed without the near century of vampire cinema that preceded it.
Acclaimed film critic and horror novelist Anne Billson looks at how it
has drawn from, and wrung new twists on, such classics as Nosferatu (1922), how vampire cinema has already flirted with social realism in
films like Near Dark (1987) and how vampire mythology
adapts itself to the modern world.
This is a concise but penetrating volume on one of the most influential
Swedish films in some considerable time; the intriguing analysis of
Tomas Alfredson's Let The Right One may be delivered within only a
hundred or so pages, but Billson still produces a remarkable number of
aperçus on this highly influential adaptation of John Ajvide Lindqvist's
remarkable novel. (Crime Time)
Anne Billson offers an accessible, lively but thoughtful take on the '80s-set Swedish vampire belter... a fun, stimulating exploration of a modern masterpiece. (Empire)
...informative and eminently readable, hitting just the right note of intellectual engagement ... any vampire film aficionado will be able to revisit Let the Right One In with new eyes and appreciate so much more after reading [Anne Billson's] assessment of its undoubted merits. (Black Static)