Let the Right One In (UK - BD RB)
With the remake at the cinema, Marcus looks at the re-release of the original...
With Let Me In hitting our big screens this week, a timely re-release of the critically acclaimed Swedish original Låt den rätte komma in(Let the Right One In) hits our shelves with a different cover and not much else.
Telling the tale of twelve year of Oskar (Kåre Hedebrant) as he befriends his strange new neighbour Eli (Lina Leandersson), Let the Right One In took the critics by storm in 2008/2009 and gave vampires their clout back in a world gone emo vamp crazy.
What with the multiple re-watches, my wife falling in love with the original John Ajvide Lindqvist novel and keeping an intrigued eye on the progression of the US remake, Let the Right One In held a constant presence. For a relatively small Swedish movie it somehow managed to hold on in there and has become a great reference point in the current vampire crazy movie watching public.
However, unlike the sparkling, deeply passionate, teenager chasing nonsense that housewives and schoolgirls can’t seem to get enough of Let the Right On In modernises vampires while respecting the gruesome elements of their appeal. Having the tale take place between two children has a real simplistic charm to it that somehow makes the story seem more personal. The coldness of the Swedish snow covered backdrop makes the world it's set in feel more fairy tale like than the 1982 real world setting and countering all that with good old fashion vampire rules and some truly great spins to vampire lore Let the Right One In just works wonders.
At the core of everything we’re as intrigued by Eli as Oskar is (even if we know more about what’s happening than he does). What she does, why she does it and how she does it feels so fresh despite years and years of vampire stories coming before this movie. Her life seems so barren and her relationship with “helper” Håkan (Per Ragnar) seems like that in itself deserves a movie (if you haven’t already, check out Eli’s back story details in the book. Unsurprisingly it’s only really hinted at in the movie itself).
I may not have gone as gaga over Let the Right One In as many other critics (or my wife—honestly she adores this story) and it wasn’t in my top ten of 2009, but the more I see the movie the more I love the fact it pulls out the same feelings from me every time. I love the subtleness of the whole piece (and honestly wish more movies had its restraint), the relationship between Oskar and Eli utterly draws me in, the small vampire moments such as Eli’s reaction to the blood, the “invite me in” rule and those crazy cats are all some of the best vampire depictions in years, and the way it’s all left just makes for such a complete picture of John Ajvide Lindqvist’s idea (despite the understandable avoidance of the finer darker details).
Well I never got the original UK release but judging by the reviews dotted about the internet and Chris’s confirmation this is the same disc as the first release. The 2.35:1 transfer is about as subtle as its story with ever so slight bursts of colour, realistic lighting and a consistent tone that keeps the intended mood.
There’s a fine layer of grain which can get a little heavier in darker scenes but never anything that’s detrimental to the overall look of the movie. The night scenes come off the best with the white snow countering the street lights and night sky well and all looking realistic enough to make future wanders through underpasses include keeping an eye out for falling vampires.
I know I keep saying it but ‘subtle’ seems to be the key to why Let the Right One In works across the board. Essentially the dialogue and basic sound effects live in the front and centre speakers throughout the flick with the odd ambient sound effect popping up in the rears to make the mood creepier or to make you uneasy in a scene. The score also floats well in the rears and plays a big part in tying up the front and rear channels for the “bigger” moments, so all in all it's an adequate track in a movie that plays on subtlety.
The commentary with director Tomas Alfredson and author John Ajvide Lindqvist really is the main reason to buy this disc. If you love the book or the movie these two are catering to you—keeping a consistent pace and giving a whole lot of detail about a project they obviously put a lot of love into.
Other than that we get a trailer for ‘ Traitor’ (showing the age of this re-released disc), a surprisingly quiet ‘Photo Gallery’ (03:20 HD), the UK Trailer (01:24) and four deleted scenes (clocking in at one to two minutes each).
Let the Right One In just seems to get better and better the more I watch it and still has the same effect on me now as it did back in 2009. I’m yet to see the remake and without sounding as if I’m opposed to the idea of seeing it, it seems unlikely it could outshine this original but hey, the source material here is so strong, anything’s possible, right?
With good A/V and a great commentary those of you who don’t own this already should certainly take the plunge but as this release is simply shining a spotlight on what’s already available to an audience that might hop on it after seeing Let Me In, there’s not too much to report that you didn’t already know.
* Note: The above images are taken from the Blu-ray release and resized for the page. Full-resolution captures are available by clicking individual images, but due to .jpg compression they are not necessarily representative of the quality of the transfer.
Review by Marcus Doidge
Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over
Release Date: 25th October 2010
Disc Type: Blu-ray Disc
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 Swedish, Dolby Digital 5.0 Swedish
Extras: Audio Commentary, Delted Scenes, Trailer, Photo Gallery
Easter Egg: No
Director: Tomas Alfredson
Cast: Kåre Hedebrant, Lina Leandersson, Per Ragnar
Genre: Drama and Horror
Length: 115 minutes
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