Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Invite Me In

Let the Right One In... good vampire flick... head to your local indy theater to see it. I give it a B+

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My friend Dana's place is right by the Century theater on Clark so after we ordered some thai we walked over to see see Let the Right One In with a packed house. I really liked it. There were some things that I don't think I picked up on right away until after I thought about the movie a bit and the scenes are still sticking with me. My only critique would be that the dialogue was a bit slow in parts, but that might be a Swedish thing?

I have been a big vamp fan for a long time, really liking the Anne Rice Vampire Chronicles, and enjoying Buffy (the movie before the show even came out- so much so that I watched from the very first episode to see the full glory of the show from the beginning) and then Angel. I also like True Blood this season on HBO. Since I haven't read the Charlaine Harris The Southern Vampire series (or frankly any of the other romance/urban vamp fantasy) I can accept the sussing out of the other charachters in the show. I would get tired of all Sookie Stackhouse/all the time. I did read the Twilight series purely for the pop culture value. In comparison, I would say that both Let the Right One In and the Twilight movies do what they set out to do.

Angsty Thirteen and excellent Lords of Dogtown director (not to mention a woman who was a production designer on a favorite movie of mine- Tank Girl), Catherine Hardwicke does the teen angst thing well for Twilight. But I think the staring longingly into one another's eyes but racing through the action sequences, along with some suspect dialogue, just left the movie falling flat. I felt like there was a lot of build-up for the movie and am hopeful they stick with her as a director and let her explore the next book, New Moon's sharper angles. I should note that it seems like Melissa Rosenberg has done nothing but good things, so maybe Hardwicke needs to pull back on letting Stewart and Pattinson make up any of their lines?

But Let the Right One In, does something totally different for me. It made the characters raw and real for me, in a way that I don't think any other vamp movie has been able to do. We have winter here in Chicago (and did in Pennsylvania where I grew up) but the landscape for the scenes gave a preternatural feel in and of itself outside of the vamp story. The slow dialogue lent itself (whether intentionally or not) to the preternatural, stark feel of the film as well.

I am more than a little concerned that the Cloverfield director Matt Reeves already is working on the Americanization of the book. (Not a remake per se, but a reinterpretation of the book's story.) It could be decent or disastrous. We shall see.

Also, see an interview with the author on Aint It Cool News.

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