Sunday, June 7, 2009

Let The Right One In

Or, "Bjorny The Vampire Slayer"... except (a) he's not called Bjorn and (b) he doesn't slay the vampire, he falls in love with her. But hey, why should that get in the way of a bad joke? After all, the film is set in Sweden, in 1982 or thereabouts. (Scandalously no Abba on the soundtrack though.)

All in all this is a very strange film, the sort you find yourself thinking about for days afterwards. In places it's scary; in others touching; and even at times riotously, deadpan funny (witness, for example, cats attacking a vampire). I doubt you'll see a film like this all year. I don't want to give away the plot, other than to say that it involves a young lad who is being bullied at school, and who befriends a (seemingly) young girl who turns out to be a vampire. Drama ensues.

For those of you who are fans of Buffy you will find some interesting parallels - after all, the Buffster fell for Angel, who was a vampire, as well as having a fling with Spike as well. Apparently some people have been a bit baffled by the lore which gives the film its title - a vampire can't come into your house unless specifically invited so to do - but we Buffy fans have known this for ages. Saying that, Buffy never (to my mind) explored the consequences of this as fully or horrifically as this film does.

And for anyone who has ever been bullied: boy, do you ever want to hang about for the penultimate scene in the film. Now that's what I call retribution...!

How's the maths in Stockholm, Lars?
Well, no maths as such in the movie. But there is a bit of stuff in the classroom, and for me it tips the film away from being a five-star job down to four-and-a-half. To explain: at one point we join the boy's class as they are being held rapt by their teacher, who is reading a story to them (The Hobbit, I believe). The story ends. The bell rings. The class all get up to go. And, yes folks, it's at this point that the teacher chooses to attempt to communicate some reminder or other about homework to the departing bodies.

Honestly, I'm getting sodding fed up with this. It happens all the bloody time in the movies - heck, even Indiana Jones does it (in Raiders of the Lost Ark) - and yet no teacher does this. Or, no teacher worth his or her pay packet does. You know what, Mr Scriptwriter? We can tell the bloody time. We're organised. And we know that if we did this, every kid will be in tomorrow claiming not to have heard what we said because they were in the middle of scarpering. They'd have letters from their parents too...

So here's what should happen: the teacher finishes her story, then reminds the class of their homework, after which she invites them to pack up, then the bell rings, then the teacher reminds the class that the bell is a signal for her, not them (we love saying this), and then she lets them leave, in an orderly fashion. Perhaps row by row.

Or is that just me?