Tag Archives: Vampires

Movie Review – Let the Right One In / Låt den rätte komma in (2008)

Film: Let the Right One In / Låt den rätte komma in
Released: 2008
Director: Tomas Alfredson
Stars: Kåre Hedebrant, Lina Leandersson, Per Ragnar

Oskar, a bullied 12-year old, dreams of revenge. He falls in love with Eli, a peculiar girl. She can’t stand the sun or food and to come into a room she needs to be invited. Eli gives Oskar the strength to hit back but when he realizes that Eli needs to drink other people’s blood to live he’s faced with a choice. How much can love forgive? Set in the Stockholm suburb of Blackeberg in 1982.

What I thought of it:
I recently watched the American remake of this film (Let Me In) which was released two years after this, the Swedish original. Other film fans had told me the original was far superior to the remake, so as I had enjoyed the later film, I thought I’d go back and watch this version too.

To be honest, I needn’t have bothered.

It’s not bad. Really, it’s not bad, and if I had seen this first, I might have enjoyed it more, but I think I still would have preferred the remake, which is remarkably unusual for me (the only other recent occurence being The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo).

I honestly cannot see why people rave about this film. Like I said, it’s not bad, but there’s nothing really spectacular about it either. The young leads were alright, but that’s as far as it went for me – the performances of the kids in the remake were a lot better; perhaps not surprising as both have filmographies as long as your arm and have done some sterling work in the past.

There were a few changes in scenes and storyline, but these were minimal and, once more, I thought the remake was tighter than the original and had better flow. Surprisingly, the almost sensual relationship between Eli and her “father” was downplayed even more than in the remake – I really thought it would be a little more overt.

Overall, I was slightly disappointed with this film, partly because of the hype but not entirely so – even if I hadn’t seen the newer film, this one would have been just as much of a let-down. It’s decidedly average fare – only watch it if you’re a total vampire nut and like to see every vampire film going, just to say you have.

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Movie Review – Let Me In (2010)

Film: Let Me In
Released: 201o
Director: Matt Reeves
Stars: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Chloë Grace Moretz, Richard Jenkins, Elias Koteas

Owen is 12 years-old, his parents are no longer together and he has no friends. He’s also being bullied at school and lives a dreary existence. Late one night he meets Abby, also 12, who has moved in next door. She doesn’t say much about herself and doesn’t go to school. Meanwhile, a detective is investigating a series of murders where people have been drained of their blood. Owen and Abby are lonely souls who find comfort in one another and Abby gives him the strength to face his tormentors. Abby has secrets as well that touch directly on the police investigation.

What I thought of it:
With this being a vampire movie and rated a 15 in the UK, I was surprised at how gentle this film was overall. Yes, there is some blood (you’d expect that, wouldn’t you?) and some violence (you’d expect that too), but there’s nothing terribly graphic and the main story focuses on the burgeoning friendship between a twelve-year-old boy and the seemingly similarly aged girl next door. It shows how a strong friendship can give a person the strength to overcome so many things, in this case the main contender is bullying, but there is also a pressing family situation which needs to be dealt with, not just for Owen, but for Abby too.

The two young leads give very subtle and moving performances which show promise of great things to come (they’re certainly both very busy with upcoming movies at the moment!) and their relationship is both touching and tentatively played.

There are some slightly uncomfortable moments – the relationship between Abby and her “father” verges on the sexual with some of the caresses – but there is nothing overt and it is made very clear to the viewer who is in charge in their relationship.

I enjoyed it. The idea of child vampires isn’t new (see 1994’s Interview with the Vampire for one notable example), but it’s played to great effect here and we look directly at how a doomed relationship between a vampire and human has to end – with the human always aging and their vampire friend forever young.

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Stitchy Saturdays – Vampire Designs Coming Soon…

Each Saturday, I will feature either something I’m currently stitching, something I’ve just finished stitching, or something I’ve just designed. I hope you’ll all join me in displaying some of your own work and leaving a link to your post in the comments below.

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As I’ve had the most awful eye infection this week, I’ve been completely unable to do any stitching at all (which is one of the most annoying things about it!). So this week, I’ll give you all a sneak preview of some vampire-themed designs I’ve been working on. They won’t be released until October, and I’m sure there’ll be a few more vampire / Halloween / horror designs forthcoming, but till then, here are just a handful to get your stitching fingers itching!

Teaser Tuesday – Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Just do the following:

1. Grab your current read
2. Open to a random page
3. Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
4. BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
5. Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teasers:

Contrary to his infallibly “honest” image, Abe wasn’t above lying so long as it served a noble purpose. This was a chance he’d ached for those four long years. The chance to test his skills. His tools. The chance to feel the exhilaration of watching a vampire fade away at his feet. Seeing the fear in its eyes.

– page 63, Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith

It had been another simple errand, another name on Henry’s list. But this place was different. Extraordinary. Abe was on his knees, certain he’d stumbled into some kind of vampire hive.

– page 163, Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith

“Gentlemen,” I said at last, “I wish to speak to you this evening about vampires.”

– page 269, Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith

I’ve just finished reading this remarkable alternative biography of Abraham Lincoln, which is a fascinating mix of fact and fiction – or is it perhaps the true story after all? I’m pleased to say I enjoyed every moment of it and can highly recommend it to all fans of alternative histories and mash-ups, as well as those who enjoy vampires in a more down-to-earth kind of setting, or even just those who enjoy a bit of a giggle. It’s very cleverly done and written in such a way that you could almost believe every word of it is true…

Film Review – Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant (2009)

Film: Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assitant
Released: 2009
Starring: John C Reilly; Chris Massoglia; Salma Hayek
Director: Paul Weitz
Rating: Like a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heaven Very good – well worth a look

A young boy named Darren Shan meets a mysterious man at a freak show who turns out to be a Vampire. After a series of events Darren must leave his normal life and go on the road with the Cirque Du Freak and become a Vampire.

I read the book by Darren Shan several years ago, so I can’t really recall specifics, only generalities, and can’t vouch for how close an adaptation this is. However, I suspect it’s no more unfaithful than others have been – basically, it keeps to the spirit of the book but takes liberties with the plot.

That’s not to say this movie isn’t enjoyable – it is. The cast are really rather good (and John C Reilly, as usual, shines – he really is a superb performer and I’ve yet to see him put in a bad appearance, whether or not a film is any good). Chris Massoglia is rather cute and quite natural in his portrayal of Darren Shan, so I expect to see him do well in the future.

It’s as good a time-filler as any and will while away and hour and three quarters very nicely. If you’re a fan of vampire movies, you could do a lot worse than this. If you’re a fan of the books, you might be a little disappointed by this adaptation, but if you just take it for what it is – a good piece of entertainment – you might find you think it’s pretty decent.