"It's a movie devoid of any of the romantic trappings of recent vampire movies"

It's vampire season at the moment. With the success of teenage romantic drama Twilight comes a radically different take on the subject. Let the Right One In is a Swedish horror beautifully shot amidst a snow-swept Scandinavian town in the 1980s that is more akin to a drama than a horror movie. Oskar (Kåre Hedebrant) is a 12 year old boy relentlessly persecuted at school by a bully and largely ignored by his separated parents. One day he meets a girl, Eli, (Lina Leandersson) in his apartment block backyard and strikes up his first real friendship. She advises him to fight back against the bullies and they cultivate a tentative relationship.

The rest of the town is uneasy because there has been a series of murders and it turns out that Oskar's new friend is responsible.The camera almost never moves, giving the feeling of stillness and isolation and this reflects the coldness of the snow-blanketed landscape in which it is shot. This delicate cinematography is mirrored by the performances of Kåre Hedebrant and Lina Leandersson. The film is quiet, contemplative with a minimum of dialogue and this serves to reinforce the overwhelming feeling of loneliness that Oskar experiences and the tenderness of their budding relationship.Being a vampire in this movie isn't glamorous at all, merely an ugly practicality. Eli needs blood to survive and can't go out in sunlight lest she burst into flames.

It's a movie devoid of any of the romantic trappings of recent vampire movies and yet still manages to be poignantly endearing.It's not really a horror movie at all. It's more a drama about the realities of growing up and the painful loneliness that can come with it. In finding each other, Eli and Oskar have found a way to overcome their mutual alienation. It's the people behind the supernatural, not the supernatural itself, which is the focus of the film and it's this humanity that is its strength.The pacing for Let the Right One In recalls the work of famed Swedish director Ingmar Bergman: wonderfully atmospheric but sometimes ploddingly slow. There's a definite sense that we're observing rather than taking part. Characters move slowly, trudging forlornly from one scene to another and it's this lack of pace that can sometimes be a little distracting.

It's a reinvigorating take on the vampire genre which has been looking a little tired of late and so it's one to watch both for its originality and for its beautiful cinematography. Its pacing may not be for everyone but it certainly puts the bite back into vampire cinema.