Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Let Me In

This will be a wordy pictures because I am having difficulty uploading.

Today I am going to deviate from the plan to write about books...I will instead write about pictures or rather a film that friend Deb and I saw last night.....The screening was courtesy of the BIFF Film Club (formerly World Cinema Club).  We always enjoy these nights so I confess to having sent off the invite without looking too closely at the subject matter and lo and behold before we knew it, we were watching a vampire flick.

Now, the experience was not so very shocking for me as I have to confess I have been a bit "into" vampire stuff of late.  If you had told me last year that I would have willingly watching vampire stuff I would have pooh-poohed you.  But ...well...things change....

I steeled myself to go and see my first horror movie earlier this year by the Spierig brothers - Daybreakers...and I survived.  Nay, I positively enjoyed it !!

I bought Justin Cronin's The Passage because of all the fuss....and because it is 700 pages I'm still reading it.

Then I got sucked into the TV series True Blood which at first glance is possibly gratuitous in terms of the amount of sex but heck....the characters are so funny....I'm almost reminded of my Dynasty days with Joan Collins and how addicted I was to that.  AND the Opening Credits are so compelling, I think they could be worthy of a thesis in their own right.

So....I already knew that if a vampire fastens their fangs around your neck, well you become a vampire...and that vampires have to be invited in to your home....But poor Deb had a lot of catching up to do....and well, this was on the big screen ...not the small screen, so gore has a bit more impact.....

There was that awkward moment about ten minutes in when I thought we might have to walk out it was so bloodthirsty.  But Deb was an absolute trooper and we stayed...though she did moan to me at one stage "And they call this entertainment??????"

Let me say that I'm no authority on the genre of horror so there will be better folk than me to review this flick. Having said that, I enjoyed it and primarily because of the performances of the children.

If I have a criticism of the movie it's that there is way too much score.....the score is good if perhaps predictable/pedestrian.

Back to the good bits....performances by Kodi Smit-McPhee and Chloe Moretz are outstanding.  You'll remember Kodi from The Road and Romulus My Father and a stack of other stuff.  Chloe was that girl in Kick Ass.  This is not a glamour vampire pic by any stretch of the imagination.  There was no humour like there is in True Blood - well maybe a smidgin.... This is not so much hard-core vampire stuff as, well I'm a bit lost for words here - maybe doc-horror - bleak rather than a blood-bath.

What is clever about this movie is that it is a mix of genres I think....It is a coming-of-age story combined with a horror story combined with tragedy (there are references to Romeo and Juliet - only Abby doesn't die, she's already dead if you know what I mean).  Being pubescent is a horror story in its own right.  This movie just adds a whole new dimension.  Imagine if you were a 12 year old boy, had incredibly good skin, were bullied mercilessly at school AND were going steady with a vampire.  It sounds incredulous but these kids make it believable. 

The cinematography also makes the movie.  It was shot by the incredibly talented Greig Fraser who also shot Bright Star, The Last Ride and The Boys are Back.

This film is actually a re-make of a Swedish film "Let the Right One In" made in 2088 by John Ajvide Lindqvist.  Unfortunately I haven't seen the Swedish version so I can't compare the two.  Why do people feel compelled to re-make things?  I daresay it's because teenagers may not be bothered to read sub-titles. 

I think this will go down well with teenagers - older teenagers that is at is rated MA 15+.  It deals with all the issues they face and all the dreams they have - how do I get out of this town?  how do I survive being a teenager?  will I ever go steady? how do I escape? am I normal?

Having said that, I think old fogies like me and Deb should venture out of our comfort zones a bit more.  Horror movies probably have a bad name for themselves.  Like much in life, for sheer convenience, we tend to stereotype them.  Perhaps this is the function of horror movies, but this one brought home to me that everything is not necessarily as it seems...Young men who stand in their bedrooms at night wearing horrible masks, wielding a knife in front of the mirror saying "Are you scared little girl?" are not what they seem. ...and vampires can be victims in a strange sort of way....

Let me In opens 14 October at Dendy - if you dare!

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