Director – Tomas Alfredson
Cast – Kare Hedebrant, Lina Leandersson, Per Ragnar
Release Year – 2008
Reviewed by John of the Dead
This is a brilliant Swedish film adapted from the novel of the same name by John Ajvide Lindqvist. This film centers around a 12 year old constantly bullied boy named Oskar, who finds love and learns strength as well as revenge from a young girl named Eli, who also happens to be a vampire. Basically, this film is “Twilight” done right. This film is beautifully directed, written, acted, and developed into a film that will truly show you the boundaries of love, and how much love can forgive. This film is much more than a vampire film. As a matter of fact, I will go as far to say that this film is really not a vampire film, it is a love story…that has to do with vampires. How far will Oskar’s love go in order to handle what society sees as murder, and what Eli sees as a need to survive? Love conquers all. Correct? Watch this film and find out…
As I mentioned, this film is beautifully put together. The atmosphere in each scene is amazing. If you enjoy the cinematography in Danny Boyle(he is not the director of this film) films, then you will enjoy the visuals you see in this flick. The narration is this film is amazing as well. I was very impressed with the acting and composure of these two young kids. It is just a sad shame this film was released a little too late for this past year’s “Oscar season“. Hopefully it will not be forgotten about when next year’s awards are handed out.
Story wise…I really loved how our lead character, Oskar, is lead away from his problems in life by a very unorthodox type of girl. A vampire. We are shown how a boy with no self esteem, no friends, and an alcoholic father who puts the booze before his own son, can have a complete turnaround in life with the addition of only one other person. All that one person had to do in order to impact Oskar’s life was very simple, they simply had to care about him. We then see Oskar transform from someone who has never known love…to someone who encompasses all that love offers: unselfishness, compassion, understanding, and never ending companionship. Also, if you pay close attention to Eli’s frontal nudity scene, you should be able to comprehend a major plot development that only solidifies Oskar’s unselfishness towards Eli.
I mentioned earlier that this is not really a “vampire” film, and I meant that. However, we do see Eli kill several people, as well as other people being killed for her so that she will have “food on the table”. Hehe. So all of you vampire fans should still check out this flick, it still shows you a good amount of vampire scenes. I just felt that the love story itself outweighed the vampire aspect of the film, although the love story would be nothing without the vampire aspect adding the conflict.
We also see some pretty sweet special effects in this film, adding to the already outstanding cinematography and atmosphere. These special effects are mainly used with Eli imploring her vampire abilities, which she is quite good at for such a small girl. The ending scene at the swimming pool will prove my point about the special effects AND her killing abilities.
If I have any complaints, aside from a few continuity issues, I would have loved to have seen what really happened during the swimming pool scene. But, I guess the way the scene was put together was in the end more interesting, and leaves us to use our own imagination.
Now the ending…wow! The ending of this film is great in that is it beautiful, and yet if you think about it…has quite the potential to be quite horrifying. You choose.
Overall, watch this film. Quite possibly the best film I have seen all year. They did more, with less than any other film we saw at the Oscars this past year.
– I ranked this film #2 in my Top 50 Horror Movies of the Decade(1-10) post.
– I ranked this film #1 in my Top 10 Horror Movies of 2008 post.