Friday, 14 August 2009


My wife and I are having a kind of vampire-film cultural exchange: Twilight from her, Let The Right One In from me. Ladies first obviously and let's keep this brief. This film really wasn't made with me in mind. I'm not a teenager (and I'm certainly not a teenage girl), I don't fancy Robert Pattinson (although I understand many do), I haven't read the books by Stephenie Meyer, I'm not very impressed by constant floating, rotating and tracking camera shots, I hate Linkin Park and if I'm watching a film with vampires in it I expect it to be at least a little bit scary.

That said, there's a certain amount to enjoy. Some of it intentional like he other-wordly performance from leading man Pattinson (who was apparently the last actor to audition for the role and caused a collective thank-god-you're-here moment when he walked into the room), or the rare pleasure of watching a film with faces entirely new to you. Some of it not so intentional like the heightened importance of teenage emotion (generally shown by lots of huffing and inability to make eye contact) and the stand-out obviousness of the vampires and their pale and pasty make-up in the school scenes. The fact that there isn't a fang in sight nor any real fear along the way is a bit of a disappointment but then if you want your film to be seen by its intended audience you need to get the right rating ("Rated PG-13 for some violence and a scene of sensuality." - thats a 12 in the UK).

Films that involve fanatastical elements like vampirism or lycanism are really only interesting if the fantastical element is there to highlight something real, what the film is really about. Here I guess, it's all about wanting someone you can't have, which is terribly important when it comes to prom time at high school presumably but not given much greater relevance than that. Now, a film that took vampirism and subverted just about every stereotype about it and used it to explore themes like bullying, friendship and the darker side of humanity. . . that would be interesting.


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