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The Vault: Let the Right One In (2008)

Oskar is a lonely child, in his spare time he finds himself playing with knives and clipping stories of homicides, arson and other calamities out of papers and pasting them in his notebook. At school he is frequently harassed by others, but he can't find it within himself to fight back. One evening Oskar attacks a tree imagining it to be one of his tormentors, Eli appears and the two, while remaining cautious strike up a friendship.

Håkan is Eli's handler and a serial killer. In order for him to feed Eli he must drain victims in the new town they find themselves strangers in. Lately, he is not able to complete his task and finds himself being pushed out of Eli's life by Oskar. When Håkan is unable to escape after trying to bleed out a teenage boy, he burns himself unrecognizably, is arrested and taken to a hospital where he has Eli feed on him. After she has her fill he falls to his death from the seventh floor window. Violence escalates for both Eli and Oskar as Eli has to hunt for herself with Håkan gone and Oskar, after retaliating against his bully and severely injuring him, faces a bigger challenge from those who could kill him.

For such young actors the chemistry between Oskar (Kåre Hedebrant) and Eli (Lina Leandersson) is understandably cold and makes the lingering questions about their differences somewhat less palatable. Oskar's character in particular seems like someone who has just been pushed too far, but the film portrays the boy as a semi-psychopath.

A secondary character in the film, Sweden is picturesque and Let the Right One In greatly benefits from its bleak landscape where danger is never lurking too far away.

The prospect of a remake of the film isn't too popular, but the casting of Let Me In looks solid with Chloe Mortitz, Richard Jenkins and Kodi Smit-McPhee. In fact when Håkan first pops up onscreen I immediately thought of Richard Jenkins, hopefully he will be given a meaty role to work with.

Only two problems nagged at me when I was contemplating the film afterward. First, why wouldn't anyone go to the police if the catman had seen Eli attack one of the neighbors? Secondly, why would Lacke take it upon himself to take on a vampire entirely unarmed?

Even with those thoughts Let the Right One In is still a capable thriller that provides an excellent sub-story about adolescence that despite the addition of vampires is all too familiar to us all.

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