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Foreign Horror Discussion for horror films from non US markets

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Old 08-23-2008, 03:00 AM   #1
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If you're a bullied 12-year-old with pasty skin and an unfortunate haircut, you're probably willing to overlook a lot of flaws in a potential girlfriend. Maybe she has acne, or a mannish jawline or is Australian. Or in young Oskar's case, the girl in question is, well, A FUCKING VAMPIRE.

Still, at least she's not an Aussie, huh?

Oskar is very lonely. His parents have broken up, he has no friends, three of his classmates seem bent on making his life a living hell and then there's that haircut. Even his world is cold; his Swedish neighbourhood seems cloaked in eternal snow, ice and harsh concrete. Like Michael Bay's heart.


"Guys, is it hot in here, or is it just me?"

When a dark-haired, big-eyed girl called Eli moves into the same block of flats accompanied only by an older man she claims is her father, Oskar is pretty stoked. Remembering that the film is set in the 80s, he wins her over through the time-honoured method of showing her his Rubik's Cube. Who needs a fucking Porsche, huh? Opens legs faster than jumping jacks, the ol' Cube does.

So she doesn't ever wear a coat even when it's snowing. She can float down off the three-metre climbing frame with the lightness of one of Madonna's male dancers. And doesn't go out during the day. And claims to have been 12 years old "for a long time". So what?

News begins to circulate of a murderer in the area, leaving people strung up so their blood drips down into storage cannisters. Other unnatural things happen like one man disappearing, not to mention Oskar's unnaturally high shorts that seem to be risking his ability to ever father children.


The other boys seethed with jealousy over Oskar's prize-winning lemon...

Oskar begins to learn the truth about Eli, but is their budding friendship more important than a teensy bit of mass-murder?

Let The Right One In may very well be the best vampire movie since Near Dark. Shit, maybe even including Kathryn Bigelow's finest hour. But it is also a very different beast.

Elegant and lyrical, Let The Right One In unfolds at a measured pace. Although there are many special effects, they happen in sudden bursts and are mostly shot in a very matter-of-fact way. Aside from, you know, the odd lurid close-up of a guy's face after it has been eaten away by acid. So maybe not THAT elegant.


They called it the Emo Crisis: when your boyfriend is more feminine than you

The vampirism is the backdrop, but the main thrust of the story is about the friendship between the two lead children. Kare Hedebrant as Oskar is incredibly subtle; both utterly convincing as a sensitive 12-year-old and yet able to carry the entire film. Lina Leandersson is ostensibly Eli, but part of her power comes from her almost masculine dubbed voice from Elif Ceylan; although the movie is carefully shot as to cover the dubbing - it is a rarity indeed that we see Eli's lips in closeup as she speaks. Nevertheless, the result is a character both feral and oddly vulnerable. Like a wild dog outside a Korean restaurant.

The relationship is carefully drawn, especially when we realise Eli's human aide is her (paedophilic?) lover and not her father. Yet, this is one of several questions that are left to the audience to ascertain - was Eli just grooming in Oskar a replacement for her bumbling assistant? Or does she really have special feelings for him? And will he need exploratory surgery to find his shorts?

And this may be the flaw in the film. No, not the shorts. For all its aching beauty and intricate filming, the overall story arc is surprisingly simple. There are suggestions of depth; of issues around growing up and of finding independence, even the vaguest hint of discovering sexual identity, but the movie does not explore these at all. Instead it is content with scratching the surface and then maybe chucking the odd guy seven stories to splatter on the ground below.


"That's not a knife, THIS is a ...well, actually this is a letter opener."

Without narrative complexity or layers of meaning, we are left with an excellent film, but one that falls short of true greatness. But, shit, it is still stunningly gorgeous and it's hard to criticise a film that manages to squeeze in stitched-up labia, a severed head, spontaneous combustion and the worst CG cats since Catwoman.

A horror film for adults, this is an almost art-movie take on the vampire mythos that rewards the patient viewer. And, hey, didn't you always want to know what happens to a vampire that enters somewhere without an invite?
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Old 09-30-2008, 06:25 AM   #2
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Holy crap, so the dude who made Cloverfield is directing the remake of this? What a random, random choice. They're like polar opposites as films...
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Old 09-30-2008, 10:54 PM   #3
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I'd like to see the original, sounds like great cinema, but from what I understand it's not exactly easy to find, damn.

A remake sounds good, makes it easier for me to see the film.
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Old 09-30-2008, 10:55 PM   #4
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I can't wait to see this...and I already posted my thoughts on the remake in the thread for it.
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Old 09-30-2008, 11:23 PM   #5
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I've just found out that it's playing at the Dublin Horrorthon here in Ireland. I'm itching to it so badly, I'll probably make the trip up for it.
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Old 10-02-2008, 03:11 AM   #6
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Shiny new trailer, oh yes:

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Old 10-02-2008, 10:03 AM   #7
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...so it's actually going to get a US release? Hooray!
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Old 10-02-2008, 10:35 AM   #8
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Let The Right One In is a pretty sweet fucking movie. Aside from a kind of slow start (just kind of), I really didn't have any problems with it. Definitely near the top of my Top 10 for the year. Unless some miracle happens and we get a rush of great films for the rest of the year... which I doubt...
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Old 10-02-2008, 11:07 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karl Hungus View Post
Shiny new trailer, oh yes:

Looks pretty interesting, but the scattered scenes made it difficult to piece together what tone it would have. I hate it when horror movies just focus on the scenes of people finding the bodies, but I guess you have to stick with what works.

A number of people I respect (yeah, I guess that includes Horrorholic ), have said they liked this, so I'm looking forward to seeing it.

I wish the distributors would just release these movies already. Who cares if they're making an adaptation, most of the people won't watch the subtitle anyway. Just give us what we want, or at least tell us when its coming. I guess I'm just irritated I can't buy [REC].
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Old 10-12-2008, 01:17 PM   #10
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I so want to see this movie ... I need to find a copy of it on DVD
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