Let The Right One In, not the wrong one in the form of a remake since was released, a mere two years after this original movie, Hollywood is already cashing in on its coat tails with the remake, Let Me In and so the original has been given a re-release to tie-in, which I’m very glad about as I never got to see this until now.
The story begins with a rather unconventional young blonde lad called Oskar (Kåre Hedebrant, lower pic), who, we learn in his class, likes to read a lot about death. A shifty-looking old man, Håkan (Per Ragnar) and his 12-year-old daughter, Eli (Lina Leandersson, below), move in next door, he boards up the windows and starts behaving in a bizarre manner that seems to fit with the assumptions you’d make about such a man who looks like that. And, at least, the other residents assume she is her daughter, but we twig different given the tagline to the movie about how she’s been 12 for the last 200 years.
In an early scene, Håkan is hanging about in the woods, strikes up a conversation with a man walking through and promptly gases him unconscious with halotane, hangs him upside down from a tree, then drains his blood into a container. However, he gets startled by a couple’s dog coming up to him, so he heads off and has to leave the corpse to be discovered in its gory state.
It’s not long before Oskar meets Eli and in their brief chat, she tells him they can’t be friends. He can sense there’s something up with her because he lends her his Rubik’s Cube which she returns to him solved two days later, after stating that she’s never used one before. Over time, they do strike up a strange kind of bond, and all I’ll say about the rest of the film is that there’s a sub-plot about Oskar being bullied by a lad at his school called Conny (Patrik Rydmark), but it really is best if you discover everything else about it for yourself.
Let The Right One In is a film where every member of the cast gives it their all, especially the two young leads. I did wonder, also, when the film was set as it appears to be around the early ’80s, given the content of one particular radio broadcast within. I later found that the film is set February 1982, with the novel in October/November 1981.
Presented in the original 2.35:1 theatrical ratio and in 1080p high definition, the picture perfectly paints a grim Swedish town in the early 80s, largely devoid of beauty and where everyone lives in apartments that have dated 1950s design. That said, the image is quite stunning to look at. For the record, I’m watching on a Panasonic 37″ Plasma screen via a Samsung BD-P1500 Blu-ray player.
The audio is mostly used for ambience, so there’s nothing to make any great use of the 5.1 DTS HD MA soundtrack, for which I got the 5.1 DTS version, but it does what it needs to with no problems.
The extras are few in number, but are as follows:
- Picture Gallery (3:20):
A selection of images with small amounts of ambience.
- Deleted Scenes (1:25, 1:11, 1:05, 1:45): Four of them, none of which are desperate to be included into the film to make it make sense, but they all add some extra understanding to other scenes that were kept in.
- Trailer (1:24): In anamorphic 2.35:1.
- Audio commentary: From director Tomas Alfredson and screenwriter/author John Ajvide Lindqvist.
The menu is a quiet – bar the occasional atmosphere audio – and almost static affair, and selecting further options brings up a different location, but rather than move smoothly towards it, it always makes the player access the disc whereas usually Blu-rays don’t. Again, and I’ve lost count of the number of studios that do this – there’s a trailer on the disc BEFORE you get to the main menu, as if we’re still in the days of rental video. As such, I’m not going to say what it’s for here. All extras belong in the extras menu. There are subtitles in English and 20 chapters, so it could do with a few more as I work on the basis of one every five minutes, plus opening & closing titles.
Running time: 115 minutes
Cat no: MP879BR
Distributor: Momentum Pictures
Released: October 2010
Picture: 1080p High Definition
Sound: 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH
Widescreen: 2.35:1 (Super 35)
Disc Format: BD50
Director: Tomas Alfredson
Producers: Carl Molinder and John Nordling
Screenplay: John Ajvide Lindqvist
Music: Johan Söderqvist
Eli: Lina Leandersson
Oskar: Kåre Hedebrant
Håkan: Per Ragnar
Erik: Henrik Dahl
Yvonne: Karin Bergquist
Lacke: Peter Carlberg
Virginia: Ika Nord
Jocke: Mikael Rahm
Gösta: Karl-Robert Lindgren
Morgan: Anders T Peedu
Larry: Pale Olofsson
Mr Avila: Cayetano Ruiz
Conny: Patrik Rydmark
Andreas: Johan Sömnes
Martin: Mikael Erhardsson
Jimmy: Rasmus Luthander
Janne: Sören Källstigen
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.