Horror Movie Marathon: ‘Let the Right One’ In and ‘[REC]’

Hey, now I have two new favorite horror movies! This is the best Halloween Horror Movie Marathon ever!!

Let the Right One In
When was the last great vampire movie? Or even the last good one? This Twilight series… well, I’ll just say that I’m not its target audience. Underworld is grand, gothic, soap opera awfulness that seems inexplicably popular enough to have become a franchise. How far back do I have to go? From Dusk Till Dawn is the last great one that I can remember. But it’s nothing like my new favorite vampire movie, Let the Right One In.

And so continues my viewing trend of quiet, slowly building horror. Let the Right One In comes from Sweden and features a compelling, moving love story between two twelve year olds, one of whom happens to be a vampire.

The boy, Oskar, is lonely. He’s estranged from his separated parents and fantasizes about revenge upon the cruel school bullies. He makes friends with Eli, who has moved into the apartment next door. She’s a vampire and, while that might make things difficult, she may be able to help him handle his bully problem.

The movie did not have a strong effect on me immediately but I couldn’t stop thinking about it the next day as I continued absorbing it. It’s a fascinating, hypnotic film.

The kids are fantastic. Their performances are soft yet emotional, occasionally intense but without overacting.  The camera worships them and their eerie beauty.

Much of the violence occurs at an unblinking distance or just off screen or in another room, making it all the more effective. No quick, jarring cuts or jerky handheld camera work. Still, the blood is not shied away from; it is, after all, a vampire movie. But a vampire movie the likes of which I’ve never seen before.

And the set piece in the pool near the end is one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen put to film.

After a long string of slow, methodical horror films, it was good to get onto the wild roller coaster that is [REC].

I had no clue what was in store for me when I started watching this one. All I knew was that most of it took place in a single apartment building where the residents are trapped and crazy stuff happens to them. That there should be all you need to know, really. Oh, and the “what happens” is zombies.

Yes, it makes use of the popular “faux-documentary” style of filmmaking, so be warned. I found the camera work effective; only once or twice early on did the extreme handheld movements get on nerves. I settled into it quickly. There are a couple of shots that seemed like they’d be difficult to pull off, one in particular that makes a fantastic use of a circular stairwell. The sound is also cleverly utilized, at times adding to the chaos of certain scenes.

[REC] scared the crap outta me, something I used to think was no easy feat. But it’s been happening more during the horror films I’ve been watching lately. Maybe the quality is going up these days or maybe I’m getting more sensitive in my old age. Whatever it is, I welcome it because getting scared during a scary movie is fun.

Oh, and that ending. If you find yourself antsy during a couple of early moments, just hold on because the final sequence is riveting and terrifying. By the end of the movie I was tightly gripping my chair and had a huge grin on my face. Horror fans, turn out the lights and give it a go.

(I watched another horror movie before these two that I’ll get to later. I enjoyed these so much I had to get them off my chest.)


One Response to “Horror Movie Marathon: ‘Let the Right One’ In and ‘[REC]’”

  1. Michael K vaughan Says:

    Glad you finaly got to see Let the Right One In. That was a great movie. I have to check out REC.

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