The final trailer for the upcoming teen vampire flick Twilight hit the web last night, and I have to say that I’m less than excited. Not only am I suffering from Twilight overload, but the sounds of the screaming masses from Comic-Con are still ringing in my ears. We were shown a few teaser scenes in San Diego that had about as much emotional resonance as an episode of The Price is Right, and the front few rows of the audience shrieked like the Beatles had come back to life and taken the stage.
My main problem with Twilight was that I liked the premise well enough, back when it was called Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The whole Buffy / Angel thing, a romance between a human and a vampire, was beaten to death back when that show covered it. Not that a human falling for a vamp is anything new, since it even happens in Bram Stoker’s Dracula. It’s just that we don’t really need to see it again with sulky teens.
What really makes this film look pale by comparison (that’s a vampire joke, yuk yuk) is the Swedish film I saw in Austin called Let The Right One In. You might have heard of this movie by now. It’s about a 12 year old boy, bouncing between a divorced mother and father, bullied at school, and a bit of a loner. He finally finds a playmate one day, a young girl his age, and they become fast friends. Of course, she turns out to be a vampire.
However, what really makes this film work is how touching it is. This isn’t a CGI-laden, special effects fest of a film that smacks you in the face with tons of gore, hyperspeed bloodsuckers, and emo teens. It’s a real, human (sort of) story that feels so real and believable, despite the fact that the girl happens to be a vampire. If you watch this movie and aren’t moved by Kåre Hedebrant’s performance, then you just have no feelings left inside and you might already be a part of the undead masses.
This film nails the relationship between vampire and human, and it’s made all the more emotional by the fact that the kids are so young. Oskar (Kåre) is so vulnerable and real that you just want to stop the movie, find the kid, pat him on the back and tell him that everything will be okay. And this is even before he meets Eli (Lina Leandersson), the girl who has a very dark secret. There’s even a creepy turn at the end of the film that makes this so sinister and disturbing that you’ll be talking about it for weeks.
So my advice to you, dear theater-goer, is forget about Twilight. Let The Right One In gets it right and is ten times the movie Twilight could ever hope to be. Unless you think white-powdered wannabe teen heartthrobs is the way to go, then save your dough and wait until next year when Let The Right One In comes out either at a theater near you, or dunk it into your Netflix queue. Just do it before the hollywood remake comes out, which is being helmed my Cloverfield’s Matt Reeves. How I wish that was just a joke. Now someone fetch me the garlic and holy water so I can fight off the ravenous Twilight fans who will come for my blood.