Låt den rätte komma in (2008)
In my opinion, the vampire sub-genre has long been one of the least interesting and most static in the film medium. Apart from Dracula, most films discussing vampires have been overdone, over-stylized and insignificant. The connection to humanity and reality which once made the vampire myth scary has gradually disappeared.
This is why Låt den rätte komma in is such a breath of fresh, exhilarating air. Based on a popular 2004 novel by John Ajvide Lindqvist, this is a film which combines the most tangible and recognizable problems (represented by Oskar) with far more incomprehensible and potentially deceiving issues (represented by Eli). The two 12-year-olds meet outside their apartment house in a Stockholm suburb in 1982 and learn to understand each other's problems as they realize that they might help each other bear their arduous existences.
For anyone growing up or having grown up, the understanding of Lindqvist and the wisdom of director Alfredsson make Låt den rätte komma in a powerful and deeply moving coming-of-age story. The director, who is son of filmmaker Hans Alfredsson (Den enfaldiga mördaren), has a delicate knack of making simple situations beautiful and resonant, and he portrays growing up perceptibly from the children's point of view.
Mix this quality with the most delightful genre blending since Robert Rodriguez' From Dusk Till Dawn and you have one of the most innovative and auspicious films of 2008. The key to the success is Alfredsson's ability to translate and utilize the stark actuality surrounding our two protagonists with swift and well-proportioned whiffs of unpleasant and chilling, but fundamentally romantic horror. Låt den rätte komma in is a socialist realistic horror tale for all ages.