On Friday, the Lone Star International Film Festival jumps on one of the biggest trends of 2008: Vampires. This fall, HBO trotted out the Southern Gothic-tinged True Blood as its next big Sunday night drama. Stephenie Meyers’ book sensation Twilight gets the big-screen treatment beginning next Friday. And lest we forget the inspired Dracula musical at the center of Forgetting Sarah Marshall.
In that context, let’s consider Let the Right One In, which screens Friday at Lone Star. It’s about what one would expect from a vampire movie from Sweden — stretches of quiet, cold contemplation interrupted by spurts of violent bloodsucking. Bergman didn’t direct it, but you can see the fingerprints of Sweden’s greatest filmmaker all over it.
The action revolves around Oskar, a 12-year-old outcast with a Travis Bickle mindset. He fantasizes about sticking it to the school bullies who torment him but mostly spends his time in the snow-covered courtyard of his apartment building.
He doesn’t seem to be too bothered by the fact that kids in his small town are being murdered in gruesome ways, drained of their blood and left to be discovered. But soon he meets Eli, a fellow preteen with whom he bonds over their shared loneliness. And it doesn’t take him long to figure out that his would-be girlfriend has a hand in what’s going down in Snow Town.
If you are looking for Saw-level gore or scream-inducing scares, you won’t find much of that here. But if you want a horror film with a bit of a sweet center, Let the Right One In fits the bill nicely.
Let the Right One In screens Friday at 10:30 p.m. at the AMC Palace 1. In Swedish with English subtitles. If you can’t catch it at Lone Star, it also opens Friday at the Angelika Film Center at Mockingbird Station. For a complete Friday schedule, click here.
ALSO ON FRIDAY: They Came to Play (8 p.m., Modern Art Museum) tracks a group of musicians as they prepare to compete in the Van Cliburn Foundation’s amateur piano competition … Vexille (7:30 p.m., Four Day Weekend Theater) is a favorite of Art&Seek guest blogger Julie Hwang. Read her summation of it here.
Photos: Magnolia Pictures