Let the Right One In

Lots of Fetchland readers already subscribe to services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu Plus, or even Marvel Unlimited.

… Which begs the question: When you have access to an almost limitless plethora of entertainment options, which ones should you pick?

“What’s Free Wednesday” is a weekly Fetchland feature spotlighting something great to read or watch available on one or more entertainment services. “Free” once you’ve paid for it, if you grok 😉

Let The Right One In

Free on:

  • Amazon Prime
  • Netflix

When you try to convince someone they should see some movies the biggest initial hurdle can sometimes be that irksome question – What’s it about? This is especially the case with the Swedish stunner Let the Right One In. Especially given the past few years of Hollywood and primetime TV’s obsession with all things sexy vampire, it works against this spectacular movie that it just happens to have a vampire at the center. Still, this one’s definitely not sexy and the movie’s not even really about vampires either. It’s about loneliness. Don’t you want to see it now? Seriously though, it’s a gorgeous film with brilliant storytelling and true resonance. This one stays with you. The story gets deep into the heart of early adolescence with its marrow crushing isolation and longing for love. It’s not romantic love here, though, and that’s part of what makes the story so special.

The main characters, Oskar and Eli, are the loneliest twelve year olds in the world. Oskar is the preteen king of bad haircuts and Eli lives in the apartment next door, a pale misanthrope of indeterminate gender. They share qualities of outward fragility and resolute inner strength. We see this in Oskar early on when he knives a tree over and over echoing the tauntings of his bullies. Soon after Oskar and Eli meet for the first time and we’re thrust into their puzzle-piece perfect connection.

It’s Sweden, a bleak but beautiful universe of snow, serial killing, and subtitles. The mystery here isn’t about what happened or whodunit, you find all that out right away. But still, this is a movie filled with mystery. One of the main questions arises from knowing who the killers are but wondering about the curious methodology of the human on human murders. In fact, the biggest question arises out of this human element. Why the vampire does what they do is obvious, after all. But what’s up with this weird ass human? He just gets more bizarre as the story unfolds.

Although gorgeous, Let the Right One In can also seem gruesome at many turns. It doesn’t scare, necessarily, because there’s a matter of fact quality to the storytelling. In fact, an omnipresent pre teen realism will certainly arouse audience cringes throughout and there’s a feeling that this is all really happening which manages to somehow disturb and console all at once, perhaps because it’s so utterly engaging. One of the cool details in the movie is the oddness of the adult characters. They talk and behave in a stilted way that brings you right back to the awkward years when adults were aliens saying things like, “Thanks for yet another evening steeped in friendship and merriment,” before hugging goodbye.

If you love a fulfilling ending that reveals mysterious origins like the unwrapping of a glorious gift, this movie satisfies. It has one of those perfect conclusions – inevitable and yet completely unexpected that keep a film in your mind’s eye even after the credits roll. You do have to really watch this one, though. It’s not a good movie for doing laundry or finishing paperwork. There are subtitles and a lot happens in the silence. So when you’re ready for an intense, riveting, and kinda creepy movie experience on Netflix, this one’s for you.

–Katherine Recap