Yesterday, I was all taking a dump on the Halloween spirit and everything because, well, that's just how I am about certain holidays, particularly those where I'm told by society that I *must* party or risk being labeled A SQUARE. Anyone that has read this blog for a while knows I have these issues and that said issues extend to St. Patrick's Day and New Years and just generally make me the sort of person who will probably die alone, having driven away all that love me by telling them that their enjoyment is fucking pathetic, how they're tools of the mass-media, how lame their silly, shiny hat looks, etc.
HOWEVER, yesterday I did actually leave the Doritos and liquor wonderland of my apartment and venture out into the festively black-and-orange world to catch a holiday-appropriate flick. Shocking, I know. Truthfully, I'm considering this a (small) first step down a long road that will... hopefully... eventually lead to my being able to enjoy, say, Valentine's Day without wishing I and everyone else on the planet were dead. Fingers crossed on that one, for my own sake, sure, but mostly for those who love me and wish I weren't such a grouchy stick in the mud all the time.
But yeah, so the movie I went to see was called Let The Right One In and it is from Sweden, about a twelve year old vampire, and it's probably the best genre picture of the year. Can't really think of one better, although Cloverfield comes close (it was released in January of '08, even though it feels like a million billion epochs ago).
Now, I know that most of you were turned off immediately by one of the following two words (if not both): "Sweden" and "Vampires." Let me address them each in turn, because I totally get where you're coming from, but you're also dead wrong and in need of some serious schoolin' upside your head, C-dog style. Fortunately, it just so happens that I'M C-dog and I am licensed and registered in the state of New York to administer pop-culture beat downs via the internet medium (also via Tuvan throat-singing, but that doesn't apply here).
First up... Sweden: Yes, Let The Right One In is a foreign film. Which means it is in a foreign language, which means you're just going to have to man up and read subtitles. "But C-dog, we're weak-minded and lazy and unable to handle reading while watching, even if it ultimately benefits our cultural nourishment." Tough cookies, kiddos. After about a half hour, you'll adjust and you won't even notice the big scary words floating at the bottom of the screen. Seriously, I'll never understand people's aversion to subtitles; it's like being afraid of vegetables because they're green, or toothpaste because it vaguely resembles poo as it exits the tube. Whatever. Just do it.
And...Vampires: Ugh, I know. Other than Buffy and Angel, vampires are pretty fucking hard to deal with. All velvet capes and ill-defined Ukrainian accents running around castles in thunderstorms throwing out sexual metaphors like so much confetti at a Super Bowl parade. Annoying, and what's more, done to death (no pun intended). This movie's different, though. For one thing, the vampire in question, as I said, is twelve years old. And a girl. And not in a Kirsten-Dunst-in-Interview-With-A-Vampire sort of way. She's just this kid that's been alive way too long and behaves, quite honestly, like a junkie with regards to her need for human blood. It's creepy/sad, and it makes her relationship with the movie's main character... another twelve year old, a boy, who's picked on at school and lonely... all the more heartbreaking. In other words, this movie tells the past fifty or sixty years of bad Gothic literature to go fuck itself. Gotta love that.
Now, beyond the touching, unusual story, the actual craft of the film making is just balls-out awesome. I'll admit that the pacing might seems slow to our Saw V horror movie sensibilities, but you kind of just have to roll with it. All the shots are interesting, like they were carved out of blood-soaked chunks of ice, and when shit goes down... brothers and sister, it goes DOWN. There are a couple of scenes in this movie that I'm still playing over and over in my head and I imagine you will too. More than anything, Let The Right One In manages to be both stylized and authentic; two states of being that are usually mutually exclusive and I'll be fucked by hobos if I know how the director pulled it off.
Alright, so enough of my carrying on. Go see this movie. It's weird, wonderful, unpleasantly harsh, deeply moving, and a horror flick unlike any other. Subtitles be damned and vampires are cool beans again! Long live mother Sweden and their wacky ways!!!