Let the Right One In: A Much Darker Romance Than Twilight

Vampire amour knows no bounds -- languages, locations, media -- and no universal paradigm.

Edward Cullen of Twilight is a model vampire. One whose face you could proudly put on a poster or pick as a vice presidential running mate. A golden boy who disproves the bad press that the children of the night have endured over the centuries. Daylight's not a problem. A photo of him kissing your baby? Sure. Human bloodshed? Not necessary -- vampires can be "vegetarian." It's no surprise then that his love (and his vamp-mortal romance with Bella) is equally ideal. A thing of radiant passion and noble restraint. A romance that illuminates and defines the Twilight saga.

Eli and Oskar, however, live in a different world. Framed in a wintry Stockholm suburb in the '80s, 12-year-old Oskar's human existence is fraught with fear and hostility. Frequently bullied at school, he has few friends and spends his free time indulging in violent revenge fantasies. Until young vampire Eli and her "father" move into their apartment block. The fragile, pale Eli befriends Oskar, encouraging him to fight his tormentors. If the perspective so far doesn't seem dark and disturbing, take a closer look at the view from the Let the Right One In film trailer. Glimpse Eli's caretaker harvesting blood for her -- from suspended victims. Or gory shots of the thirsty tween Nosferatu draining ambushed strangers. Eli, Oskar and their troubled love story looks to be told in tense, haunting tones of despair and dread. No sparkly meadow scenes (Eli shuns the sunlight) or prom night comedy. And no politically correct dietary alternatives to dining on humans.

Directed by Tomas Alfredson and based on the Swedish bestseller by John Ajvide Lindqvist, the film released in New York and California just last week on October 24, and continues through December in select cities. Reviews so far have been mostly positive. And rumor has it that even before Let the Right One In was released in the States, Cloverfield director Matt Reeves signed on to write and direct an English language remake for Overture Films, due out in 2009. But reportedly Alfredson is not pleased about the potential for a blockbuster redo, saying that "remakes should be made of movies that aren't very good, that gives you the chance to fix whatever has gone wrong."

Hmm ... mainstream movie makeover -- that does sound scary. Vampire love, however, in any shade you paint it -- dim and gruesome, gold and glittery or white and trashy (True Blood, anyone?) -- is still irresistible.

Movie & TV Awards 2018