Let the Right One In

Let the Right One In

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This week’s film takes us to the chilly reaches of Sweden, where a 12 year-boy meets a young vampire and they form a touching relationship. Many fans herald this as the best vampire tale of all time, so of course we had to give it a watch.

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Let the Right One In (2008)

Episode 23, 2 Guys and a Chainsaw

Todd:  Welcome to another episode of 2 Guys and a Chainsaw. I’m Todd.

Craig: I’m Craig.

Todd: And today, we decided to go look foreign with the 2008 Swedish film, Let the Right One In. Now this has actually been remade in the US, to let me in, I think is what it’s called. And I’ve actually seen that one before this. I had not seen this film before, and you hadn’t either. Right? I wanted to see the original first before I saw the American remake, but circumstances, I don’t remember.   I just ended up seeing it, and I fell in love with that movie. I was like, man, if this is what the remake is like, the original’s gotta be awesome. And, I certainly felt the same way about the Swedish film that I did about the remake. I don’t know. What what how did you feel about that? 

Craig:  Gosh. I don’t know. I I was really interested to see what you had to say because I haven’t seen either. I too kind of felt like I should see the original before seeing the remake even though I had heard good things about both. So, I mean, I guess, the question that I have for you is how similar or different are they? 

Todd:  You know, they’re not that different, but they’re different in and and it’s been a while, so I can’t really tell you precisely. But I can tell you the American one is a little more Americanized. The horror elements are a little more horror, but not to the extent that most horror films are. I think the director of that film really respected the original material and tried to keep it as true to the Swedish original as possible. And so what you get with that film is very much what you get with this film, a very melancholy, sad, and sweet in the same in the same kind of way. Very European style film, really. It’s it’s a great remake, and the actors in the original in in the remake are fantastic as well. And there so many of the same elements are kept that it’s almost the same film, but with a twist Uh-huh.   That makes it, I don’t mean, like, there’s, like, a twist in the plot or anything, but I guess just with enough of a different style that I think it’s worth seeing both. I think if you’ve seen 1, you can totally see the other and appreciate them both and enjoy them both. 

Craig:  Yeah. I I wanna see the remake now, but not tomorrow. I mean, this this is, it’s an interesting film because I know that it got really, really positive reception, and I’m actually a little bit surprised. I’m I’m a little bit surprised that it resonated especially with an American audience of horror fans because it’s really different. I mean, it’s it’s not your typical horror movie. There’s gosh. Honestly, with a 2 hour running time, the, like, literal horror elements like, going in, basically, all I knew about this movie was that it was a vampire movie and that the 2 main characters, 1 was human, 1 was vampire, and that’s it. That’s all I knew.   And, you know, if you take out the vampire scenes that, you know, directly show any vampire action or vampire violence, that would maybe be, what, like, 10 minutes? Right? I mean, maybe I’m maybe I’m exaggerating, 

Todd:  but Maybe 10 minutes of vampire violence is 

Craig:  what 

Todd:  you’re saying. Yeah. There’s very little of it in this. 

Craig:  Yeah. It’s it’s it’s so much more seems to be you know, I would even almost characterize it more as a drama. A character driven drama certainly as opposed to your average horror film and and your average vampire film even. 

Todd:  Like a drama that happens to be about vampires 

Craig:  Right. Essentially. Right. Exactly. And I kept thinking that, you know, kinda it’s a it’s a pretty simple setup. We’ve got a main character, Oscar, a young boy, young blonde boy about he’s 12 years old, lives in what appears be kinda like tenement apartments Yeah. 

Todd:  Kind of? Probably not. Well, I don’t know. I mean, I guess if they were American apartments, you’d almost think of it as kinda like the projects. Yeah. 

Craig:  Yeah. I mean, it seemed, you know, low socioeconomic status. And he’s kind of troubled and that he’s kind of different and weird, and he’s being bullied at school and whatnot. And then, all of a sudden, at the very beginning of the movie, these 2 new residents move in right next door, a middle aged gentleman and what appears to be a young girl, and then they kind of, established this friendship. And you can tell very early on that there’s something different about her. I mean, the 1st time that they meet, she appears off camera, but she appears silently, and she’s, like, standing on top of this jungle gym out in front of the apartment. And she’s talking to him, and when she jumps down, I mean, there’s a slowness in her fall that’s not natural. So you know what you’re getting into.   And then, really, the whole movie is just kind of about their relationship. And there are these little ancillary things going on in the boy’s life, but it’s really just all Yeah. I mean, it’s hard to describe. 

Todd:  It is. You know, I found the boy to be highly relatable. I I feel like this boy goes through a lot of what I went through as a kid. You know? I was a little bit more of the silent type for a while, at least I could be. Mhmm. I I think everybody at some level feels when they’re 12, which is how old he is, kind of withdrawn, a little tentative. You’re starting to get to puberty, but maybe you’re not quite there yet, and then his school situation where he’s being bullied. We kinda jump in in the middle of it, really, where we learned that, Oscar is being bullied by this guy named Connie.   Right. It’s one of the first things, and and, actually, maybe the first line of the film is squeal like a pig, squeal like a pig, And it’s a little weird, but we realized that it’s Oscar saying it. At first, you think it’s to somebody else maybe in his room, and he’s playing with a knife. But you later find out that it’s Connie who’s calling him a pig and probably has used that on him. 

Craig:  Like, that’s what they taught him with. And so in kind of in his little revenge fantasies that he’s turning the tables on them. 

Todd:  Yeah. And that’s really what I think it’s almost all about is his revenge fantasy in a way, even when she first appears to him, is when he’s outside with a knife doing the same thing. He’s sticking it in the tree almost as though he’s, defending himself against these bullies that he absolutely is not going to defend himself against. Right. He’s the kind of kid who is just gonna sit there and take it and close his eyes and hope that they go away, and that’s essentially what happens every single time. 

Craig:  Well and you feel for this kid because it’s brutal bullying. I mean, god, we all experience some bullying in our lives for whatever reason, but, you know, this these there’s these 3 kids. It’s it’s Connie and then these his, like, 2 lackeys or whatever that are just ruthless. I mean, it it’s verbal abuse. It’s physical. And and, you know, I I work in a school. I think, my god. Surely, these things don’t go on, and we just don’t know about it.   I I certainly hope not. These teachers didn’t seem to be particularly aware Yeah. Of of all this going on. And so you do I mean, you relate to him. If you don’t relate to him, I think you have to at least feel for the poor kid. It’s it’s sad. And there’s kind of that tone of sadness throughout the whole thing. 

Todd:  There really is. And it’s interesting how it’s a juxtaposition really of the sad loneliness of him in his childhood adolescent self and the loneliness of Ellie, the girl in her vampire self Right. Who they’re very they’re much, two sides of the same coin in a way. 

Craig:  Yeah. And they’re both very isolated, and I think that that’s kind of what draws them together. I mean, initially, she says to him, you know I can’t be your friend. And he says, well, what makes you think I would wanna be your friend? So both of them kind of have their guard up at the beginning, but then they they obviously, you know, see something in one another that they can relate to. And that’s what I was thinking. You know, her thing is vampirism, but you it could’ve been something else. 

Todd:  Yeah. 

Craig:  It it could’ve been race. It could’ve been poverty. 

Todd:  It could’ve been mental illness. Could’ve been an abusive family member. Right. Anything. 

Craig:  Right. Exactly. And and the fact that she you know, her conflict really comes from the fact that she has to have blood. You know? She’s got this caretaker who, I guess, is is kinda trying to help her out. It seemed to me that the arrangement that they had was that maybe he could be more discreet, I guess. Maybe he could 

Todd:  He could be the one to go out during the day. And yeah. It was an interesting thing. The 1st kill we see in the movie is actually him. He does it. And he is standing you see him pack up what’s essentially his kill kit. Right? Yeah. He’s got a gas mask Some kind of ether.   And some kind of ether attached to it, a a bucket and a funnel and a knife, and he just packages. And a little jar of some liquid Mhmm. He packages it all up and stands by the side of the road at night under a street lamp. I mean, pretty well 

Craig:  lit area, but it seems to be like 

Todd:  a public park. Yeah. But clearly, we’re we’re out isolated a bit, but not way out in the country. Because as he’s standing on this road that we haven’t seen any cars passed down, behind him through the woods, which are not full of trees. It’s it’s snowing. It’s a snowy snowy place in Sweden. It’s bright. There are cars in the distance passing by in the highway.   So this guy just walks towards him, and he says, can you tell me the time? And this guy says, no. I don’t have a watch. What is that you’re holding? And he said, oh, this is a halothane or whatever that is. And he says, well, what’s that? Well, you’re gonna be the 1st person to find out, and he basically knocks him out with it, pulls him up, hanging upside down to the tree, slits his throat, just sorta like you bleed cattle. 

Craig:  Right. 

Todd:  And it’s odd because it’s almost out in the open. Yeah. You know? I don’t know. It’s just a It begs 

Craig:  a lot of questions. It begs a lot of questions and things that I was wondering about, you know, at first, I thought, well, maybe he can be more discreet because later on, this attempt is is foiled. Because he’s in a public place, you know, people show up and he just has to abandon it, and he he leaves with nothing. And when he gets back, Ellie is angry, with him and says something like, am I supposed to have am I supposed to take care of myself? You’re you’re supposed to help me. Yeah. Something like that. So it seems like he’s in a position of caregiver maybe because later on, when she does attack somebody, it’s very animal, and it’s supernatural in a sense, and she is observed. Yeah.   She’s seen. Right. So maybe I I guess the theory is that he is is trying to be more discreet or or can be more discreet or something, but he’s not. No. And that’s the thing. Like, he he almost gets caught that time. And then the very next time he goes out to try again, he’s pretty obvious and he gets caught again. It had me questioning, is he maybe ready to be caught? 

Todd:  Yeah. I was just gonna say that. I I got that feeling like he’s at the end of his rope, and he doesn’t have much to say to her when he gets back. He’s kinda quiet about it all, and I do get the sense that maybe you’re right. Like, this has been going on for so long that he’s tired and he’s ready to be caught, and so he’s getting sloppy in a sense. 

Craig:  Well and now see. And it just makes me wonder about the nature of his relationship with her. She you know, Ellie asks or excuse me. Oscar asks her how old she is, and she’s evasive. He asks her twice, and she says about 12 the first time. And then she says later when he asks again when he finds out that she’s a vampire, she says, twelve. I’ve just been 12 a long time. So this guy, I presume, has been with her for a while.   I found myself wondering if he had at one point been a young boy that she had befriended and had enlisted to be her caretaker because there also seems to be some jealousy on his part. When when she starts forming a relationship with Oscar, he doesn’t seem to like it, and he doesn’t want her to be around. And it seems like he really has affection for her and and a desire to to protect her. So maybe it’s a jealousy thing, and maybe when he sees that somebody new is in the picture, maybe that’s a way out. I don’t know. 

Todd:  It’s very possible. I feel like that’s pretty strong, and that’s part of what makes this movie so sad, I think, is that you’re watching this relationship develop well, and and remember, at that one it’s before he goes out for his last kill, before he’s completely caught Mhmm. He’s packing up his kit, and we’re getting to see a little closer that jar of some liquid that he has for the 1st time. It almost looks like pickle juice. 

Craig:  It’s Yeah. 

Todd:  Who knows what it is. He turns to her, and she looks at him. And I believe that’s about the time when he maybe says, I don’t want you looking at her. Go I don’t want you getting together with that boy again. She just looks at him, and she tenderly touches his cheek. 

Craig:  Mhmm. But she doesn’t say 

Todd:  she won’t. Exactly. And you almost see the writing on the wall at that point, and especially I feel like by the end of the movie, oh my gosh. It’s like, here they’ve developed this relationship and they’ve they’ve, but this has probably happened before. This is what happened with her and this guy. This guy sees it happening because it’s him, and that’s why his last kill doesn’t really go out. He’s he’s really phoning it in by that point. You know? True.   He goes by the school where the kids are swimming. 

Craig:  Well, and he’s very I that’s so weird. Like, when he’s watching them play basketball or something, he’s the window. Right. Standing right in full Craig. I mean, could that be any more suspicious? As some middle aged guy standing outside watching young boys play basketball, I think that would raise some eyebrows. 

Todd:  It it would. And and he strings this kid up in the in there, and his friends are still outside smoking. I mean, there’s almost no effort. And when the friends do catch him, he just goes into the other room and pours what we’ll now learn as acid all over his face Todd I thought he was gonna drink it or totally kill himself. 

Craig:  I did too. 

Todd:  I guess he was just disfiguring his face. 

Craig:  So that he couldn’t be recognized because hounds people had seen them together and because his first murder was botched, and so they know there’s a murderer out there, then somebody local, somebody that they see regularly, witnessed her kill somebody. Didn’t get a good look, but he thinks that people will put 2 and 2 together, so he disfigures himself. But, really, it only seems to be, well, a, okay. Fine. So people won’t put 2 and 2 together. But, b, when she comes to when she hears on the radio that this mysterious man has been arrested, she goes to the hospital, and she visits him, and we get to see you know, she goes in and asks the nurse where he is, and she says, well, 7th floor, but it’s restricted. And after she runs out, the nurse runs after her, I guess, and we kinda see her scaling up the side of the window. So we get this you know, she’s she’s full vampire.   She’s got all the vampire stuff. But when, when, she goes to visit the guy and we’re not just being negligent and not saying his name. I don’t think he was ever given a name, was 

Todd:  he? Absolutely not. 

Craig:  Mm-mm. She opens the window. He’s disfigured, so he can’t invite her in, but he leans out. And it seemed Todd be it seemed an offering, a sacrifice. He sacrificed himself to her. So I almost think that he intentionally didn’t kill himself, that he wanted to be for her. 

Todd:  Kind of her her last meal. Yes. The kids’ last meal 

Craig:  for him. Right. Exactly. 

Todd:  Yeah. The film just goes on like this, but it mostly focuses on the relationship between the boy and the girl, and I feel like it develops very naturally. He writes up Morse code at school so that they can communicate through the wall because their apartments are right next to each other. He shows her the Rubik’s cube, and she doesn’t know what a Rubik’s cube is, which is also another weird clue. Right? And and she solves it, and he’s interested in her. There’s this. It’s bordering on romantic. Mhmm.   But it’s about as far romantic as 12 years old can get, which is part of what’s so sweet about it. It is. It’s like they don’t know what to do or at least he doesn’t know what to do. And she, because she’s not really human in a or she says she’s not a girl. I really like this moment in the movie where they’re at a it’s a point where she comes back from when she kills, yeah, the man, I think. 

Craig:  Yeah. She she she killed this local guy who everybody likes. His name is Jock, and and it it seems that she deteriorates if she doesn’t eat. And at some point, she just has Todd, and that’s the guy that, somebody witnessed it. Right. He asks her 

Todd:  oh, yeah. And then they go to a fair. Right? A carnival of some kind or at least there’s some food outside and they’re around the door, and he hands her some food and says, here, have 1. And she looks at him and says, no. And she looks at him for a while and he looks at her, and then finally she says, well, maybe I can just try 1. She takes it, and then the next scene is of her retching. Mhmm. She can’t eat anything but blood.   I guess is that vampire lore too? 

Craig:  Or I I think it depends. Is in this movie. Mhmm. 

Todd:  But it’s a touching moment where she obviously doesn’t wanna disappoint him, so she’s going to do something that is going to hurt her, and and she does this multiple times through the film. He goes over at the back and he consoles her and he hugs her, and you get sort of that first tender moment. Yeah. She doesn’t really know what to do. Her arms are by your side, and he said she asked him, do you like me? And he says, yes. I really really do like you. And she asked, would you like me if I weren’t a girl? And he’s yeah. He’s what he says.   Mhmm. Absolutely. It doesn’t even matter to 

Craig:  Todd him. Right. There’s another part, another very tender sweet part where she, I I think, again, it’s after a kill. I’m not sure. 

Todd:  She kills her caretaker, I believe. 

Craig:  Right. She comes to him to his window, which is on the 2nd or 3rd floor, but he’s kind of sleepy and, well, he’s sleeping, but she knocks on the window and asks to be invited in, and he invites her in. And she says to for him to close his eyes, which he does, and she disrobes and gets into bed with him. And I there was a part of me that thought, this could border on kind of weird. They’re very young, but it didn’t. I mean, it was just kind of innocent and sweet. The fact that she just robed was just kind of secondary. I I I don’t even know what the point was really. 

Todd:  Yeah. 

Craig:  But, again, he asked if if they can go steady, and she initially says no. And, he protests, I guess, and she says, I’m not a girl. And he says, well, are we gonna go steady or aren’t we? And it’s a cute kind of back and forth. You know, it’s that kind of thing probably. I had this experience where it’s like, do you wanna go out with me? Oh, I don’t know. You know? It’s it’s very 12 years old, and it’s kinda sweet. I was reading online. Now this is very ambiguous in the movie, and I don’t know how they handled it in the American version, but I was reading online that in the novel, the source material novel, Ellie is actually an androgynous boy who was castrated at the same time that he was turned into a vampire.   Oh, wow. That’s all I know. I don’t know why. I don’t know the context. In the movie, there’s a scene where she takes a shower at his house, and then he gives her a a dress of his mother’s to wear. And we get a quick glimpse of her genital area, which just seems scarred. I didn’t really know what to make of it. But apparently, you know, they they don’t really go out of their way to address it in the film, but they leave it ambiguous enough, and there’s enough suggestion that she maybe really is or was a boy.   And and I agree with you that the fact that it wasn’t an issue for him was sweet and something that you don’t really see very often. And and maybe it’s because he’s a child and, you know, he doesn’t really have a developed sense of what romance and that kind of thing is. 

Todd:  Well, that’s true. And children, people are their sexuality is flipping and flopping a lot, you know, when you’re a kid up until, you know, you kind of solidify things as an adult. So it’s really kind of true to life in a sense. Yeah. And the fact that this kid is so lonely, He you know, his his mother just seems to she’s there, and they seem to have a nice little relationship between moments between them. She’s not really there. And her dad, you know, we have a scene later with with his dad and, you know, he’s drinking, and there’s a clear distance between them. 

Craig:  Right. I mean, if the 1st scene between him, he goes and visits his dad on the weekends, and the 1st scene is very nice. He seems to have a really nice time. They go, like, snowboarding or or, like, what are those, snowmobiles. They go snowmobiling. And it seems like they have a really nice time. The 2nd time around, a friend comes over to visit the dad, and they start drinking. And you can tell that, obviously, there’s some underlying issue there.   But, again creepy and weird about it, actually. But it’s so secondary to the plot. It’s almost just kind of establishing his world. Yes. And and even though he does seem to really have a fondness for his dad, there’s clearly problems too. 

Todd:  Yeah. 

Craig:  And so, again, it’s just another one of those this poor kid. 

Todd:  Well yeah. And this kid would latch on to anything. You know? This kid would latch on to a cat 

Craig:  if you 

Todd:  showed him attention. You know? So it all makes perfect sense, and it’s played out beautifully, I think, and and slowly in a way that it’s very believable and understandable. 

Craig:  Yeah. I think a lot of that is owed to the performance. I mean, the actors here are great. I mean, I mean, it just seems so natural. The 2 young actors, really have I don’t know if you’d call it a chemistry, but they just it seems like we’re looking into a real scene. It doesn’t feel forced. It doesn’t feel acted. It’s and it’s subtle.   Mhmm. It’s not over the top. It just feels like a real developing relationship. I’m still a little bit conflicted. I can’t decide if she or he, whatever, you know, is it sweet and romantic, or is there a darker side to where she’s kind of seducing this boy and maybe taking advantage of his where he is in his mind? 

Todd:  Well, I think there’s a neediness on both of their ends. It’s almost one of those tragic stories where she is so needy that she is, in a way, I think, seducing him and selfishly. But in the same sense, he’s also extremely needy. The only difference here is that she’s presumably, I don’t know, maybe 100 of years old. Right. Right. And she’s been through this before, and this he is actually 12 and not sophisticated enough. That would tip the scale a little bit in the direction of maybe she’s more the predator here. 

Craig:  And it just may you know, it makes me wonder about the lore and the laws that they’re following here because it varies from vampire story to vampire story. You know? I typically, when I think of young vampires, I think of old souls and young bodies. I mean, there may have been some suggestion here that her maturation was suspended along with her physical growth, so maybe she still has the mind of a 12 year old. I don’t know. I mean, she’s obviously a little bit more worldly than him, and she does help him. You know? She’s the one that tells him, if you’re being bullied, hit back. You know? If you hit back, they’ll stop bothering you. And and she maybe pushes a little too hard.   He may eventually take it a little far, but it works. You know? The bullies in 1 scene, confront him, and he does exactly what she told him. He strikes out with all his force. He actually ends up injuring the Connie, the main bully, pretty seriously, but it gets them off his back for a while. 

Todd:  For a while. Yeah. Until Connie can bring in the bigger muscle, which I guess was his brother, older brother, or somebody was that. Right. Because when from college or something. 

Craig:  Yeah. The only indication that we get is that the the bigger kid kinda gives Kanye a hard time, and Kanye just kinda playing around with them. He says, give me your keys, and Kanye says, why? Because I wanna go home. I’m gonna get home before you. So I assume they’re brothers. 

Todd:  Well, the interesting thing I think about the bully scenes in this film is that, you know, when you mentioned the vampire scenes are about 10 minutes long, also, it seems like the bully scenes are the scariest scenes in the film. Yes. I I was keep getting I keep getting flashbacks to Karate Kid in a way. Mhmm. I don’t know if you’ve seen that in a while. 

Craig:  Yeah. I just watched it yesterday. 

Todd:  Okay. So this is good. This is crazy that you watched it yesterday because I saw it maybe a year or 2 ago for the first time in a long time. Obviously, probably a favorite of yours just as much as it was mine growing up, but watching it now, those scenes of bullying are brutal Yeah. In that film. You you really don’t they they candy coat that nowadays, really, but those guys are relentless on him to a really disturbing degree, and that is how it felt in a different way with this film. Yeah. That film is just relentlessly violent.   I mean, they jump him and they beat him up like Craig. But in this film, it’s extremely foreboding as soon as the bullies come on the screen. I’m thinking in particular about maybe the 2nd scene where he leaves the school and he’s walking. And as he walks by, you see 2 kids kinda blurred out in the background, but slowly coming towards him, but the camera keeps keeps panning with him. So those kids drop out of frame, but you know they’re behind him. And and then as the camera pans over, suddenly the bully comes into view and he stops there, and then the kid stops, and then those kids come behind him. It’s the slow ambush like you’d get in a horror film. Mhmm. 

Craig:  You know? It was really tense and very scary. And then that scene, you know, they they torment him and, like like Todd said before, I mean, at this point, he really just takes it. 1 of them holds him while the others whip him with, like, a a stick switch. And, gosh, these scenes are just so weird, not only in that they’re really scary for him, but even the bullies themselves, like, it’s 

Todd:  They’re not enjoying it. No. 

Craig:  I mean, it’s almost like some gosh. I don’t even know how to describe it. There’s 1 bully in particular who takes the switch and and starts hitting him, but then, like, really gets into it and is, like, almost crying or weeping as he does it. It’s really it’s kind of strange. I mean, I think it’s meant to suggest that Connie really kind of has power over these. He’s really more the brains, and he lets other people kinda do the real dirty work. But even just that dynamic is is grim and and dark. 

Todd:  It is. And and it’s also I think what part of what makes this film so beautiful is it’s so real. The bad guys, just like we were talking about with last week’s film, how the good and evil isn’t clear cut. This is another perfect example of that movie. Obviously, the girl, it’s she has to kill in order to live, and that’s the vampire thing anyway. And so that is already a ambiguous, evil in a sense. The same way with these bullies, except for Connie, who seems to be the most Jerk. Yeah.   Biggest jerk. His friends even don’t they don’t seem to wanna go along 

Craig:  with it. It seems like they’re ambivalent at at least. 

Todd:  And even by the end, Connie himself, can be pushed too far. Right. 

Craig:  Right. As well. Yeah. Gosh. I I don’t know. I mean, there’s also I mean, we’re kinda neglecting. There’s this other little side story where the locals are kind of getting up in arms, and, they’re angry about, you know, Jacques who had been very popular with all of them, and and they’re getting suspicious. And I don’t know how much there is to really say about that except for that they are kind of investigating in it. 

Todd:  In a very lame way. 

Craig:  Yeah. And, one of them there’s only 1 woman in the group, Jennia. Her boyfriend, Lackey, is really, really upset at at Jock’s death. And he knows a kid did it, and he wants to find this kid. And he says he wants he’d if he found the kid, he’d 

Todd:  tear him apart. It’s because they’ve talked to this guy, Ghosta, I believe Yeah. Who was this crazy cat man. 

Craig:  He and he’s the one who saw it happen. 

Todd:  Saw it happen. Yeah. But he doesn’t wanna go to the police. He’s pretty frightened by it all. 

Craig:  And so he’s 

Todd:  the one who clued them in, to what’s going on. 

Craig:  Well, Lackey and and Jenny kind of get into a spat, and, you know, it’s it’s kinda silly. It’s not really important. They get into a spat, and she goes off alone. And he goes taking off after her. Oh gosh. I failed to mention the context for this scene. Ellie is hungry because, Oscar has taken her to kind of a special secret spot, where the bigger kids go. You know? It seems like kind of a make out place or something.   But he’s only 12. 

Todd:  Right. He’s only 12. 

Craig:  He’s kinda you know, he’s doing kind of the big kid thing now that they’re going steady. 

Todd:  But he doesn’t even understand himself what the big kid thing is, does he? 

Craig:  No. Surely not. 

Todd:  To him, the big kid thing is this Blood Brothers type pact. 

Craig:  Yeah. Uh-huh. You know, unwittingly, you know, he he wants to do a Blood Brothers thing, so he cuts himself. And then the blood is dripping, and she’s freaking out. And eventually, she can’t control herself. She gets down on the floor and laps up the blood, and then she runs away and runs up a tree. And that is Jenny. She walks underneath the tree and, is attacked, but Lackey is right behind her and is able to shoo Ellie away.   Eventually, what happens is Jennie turns to a vampire, and we kind of see, you know, that that’s a difficult transformation, and she doesn’t want to be a vampire. And, eventually, there’s an amazing scene where she has you know, she’s been hospitalized. She’s told Lackey she doesn’t wanna live. She knows she’s infected, but, of course, he won’t do anything, to help her. But the next morning, an orderly or a nurse or something comes in, and is going to take off her restraints and whatnot, and she asks him to to raise the blinds. And he does, and she just erupts in flames. A really cool shot. Yeah.   And right, you know, right before she erupts in in into flames, the camera I mean, it’s it’s not a a zoom out, but it cuts back Todd far back in the room. So the whole room is just framed, you know, in the center of this wide shot, and you just see these flames just erupt and then spread across the ceiling. A really cool, effect, but I kind of have a feeling it was just a way for them to show us what happens. 

Todd:  You know what I mean? Mhmm. 

Craig:  Didn’t really seem, all that important. 

Todd:  Yeah. You could have taken that subplot out of there entirely, really, except for I don’t know. Does Lackey put 2 and 2 together at that point that they’re we’re dealing with vampirism? 

Craig:  I yeah. He he must. He must because he eventually goes, to invest he they know where she lives Yeah. Because they all live kind of in the same area, And so he goes there, and this is getting very near to the end of the film. You know? We’re kinda glossing over some things. But, before this guy, Lucky, shows up at her house, Ellie has had a talk with Oscar saying you’ve wanted to kill before, haven’t you? And he kinda is reluctant, and she says, but if you could, you would like it. And it seems that this is the point where she is trying to recruit him into the position of her new caretaker. Yeah.   And so, when Lachie comes to her you know, this this is at night when they have that conversation, and then the next day, eel, excuse me, Oscar goes over to her apartment, and there’s a note. She’s left him several notes throughout the course of the movie, but there’s a note that says, I’m in the bathroom. Please don’t come in. Come back and see me later. Yep. At the same time, Lackey comes in, and, Oscar hides. As Lackey is looking around, the bathroom door is locked, but he jimmies it, and he gets in. And she’s got set up kind of, I guess, the equivalent of a coffin Yeah.   In her bathtub, and she’s kinda buried in lots of layers of blankets and things. But he uncovers her, and then he takes a knife, and it it appears he’s going to kill her. And from behind, we see Oscar coming, and he has his knife drawn and and appears like he’s gonna be ready to do what he has to do to protect his friend. I don’t know if it’s unfortunately. She wakes up and she attacks, and kills Latvah Todd. But that really kind of cements the Todd. Yeah. I 

Todd:  think. She thanks him because he’s he’s yelling, no, is what wakes her up. And did you think he was gonna kill him? 

Craig:  I thought if he had to, he would have tried. Yeah. I didn’t think that he probably could have overpowered. This was a you know, an old old old guy. Even with a knife, I don’t think that he could have overpowered him, but I do think that he would have tried. But, again, attention is drawn because people have heard this scuffle, and they can hear shouts and things coming from other apartments. And she says, I have to leave. I mean, it’s obvious that she’s gonna she can’t stay there.   She there’s a dead body in there. So she’s gonna have to go. She says, I have to leave, and it appears that that’s gonna be it. And then, again, it’s kind of sad because then we kind of follow, Oscar around again, and we see that the bullies have him set up, or or they’re they’re setting him up. And this part, this again, the bully scenes are scarier than the vampire scenes. Yeah. When, you know, Oscar gets a phone call from 1 of the bullies and says, hey. I hope you’re gonna come to swim practice tonight.   What you did and this is one of Connie’s friends. So what you did to Connie was kinda cool. He kinda had it coming, so come on. But then when we see on the other end of the line, that kid is actually surrounded by Connie and the other lackeys and and the big brother. Oh, man. I was scared. I thought they were gonna kill him. 

Todd:  Yeah. It was it’s terrible, and they get really close to it. You know? They the and this the ending of this film and the ending of the American version are pretty much the same. I do remember I think I enjoyed actually the American version better in that in that scene. I just felt like it was shot in a little more interesting way, but it was shot at a very similar way. They created a version outside to get the adults, to get the adult out of the building. They’ve set fire to one of the dumpsters, and, they come in and kick all the kids out of the pool, and it so happens that, Oscar is only the only one in the pool. And I think it’s that one of the kids who sort of ensured that would that that would be the case is standing by.   And, yeah, the big the bigger kid comes in and has a knife and tells him he’s gonna have to stay underwater for 3 minutes. And if he does, he’s only gonna nick him, but if he doesn’t do the whole 3 minutes, he’s gonna stab him in the eye. And kid says it’s that’s impossible. And then he grabs his hair, and he puts him underwater. He’s gonna hold him down there, you know, figuring where he’s gonna drown this kid. And even at that point, Connie himself is looking on, like, I’m not sure this is cool. And the 1 kid with the switch who had earlier obviously not enjoyed it as much as he thought he would, it basically sits down and cries. Mhmm.   But they’re all gonna stand sit there and let it happen. Right. It’s that again, it’s such a kid thing where you’re just not smart enough. Right. 

Craig:  Or or you feel powerless. I mean, you know what’s happening is bad, but what are you gonna do? Yeah. 

Todd:  And, while he’s underwater, and this is what makes this scene so cool. 

Craig:  Oh my gosh. It was such a cool scene. 

Todd:  So you see some a leg go by, and some feet get dragged through behind him. 

Craig:  Right on the surface of the water, and you can hear I mean, you’re it’s you have that underwater sound, that interference of underwater, but you can kind of hear these muffled screams and shouts, from above the surface. And like you said, there’s, my favorite one, I think. Well, first, you kinda see a leg or something go right through right in front of you, in front of the screen, and then you see kind of off behind, Oscar, these legs get dragged all the way down the length of the pool. And then pulled out. And they’re right. And then a head thrown in there. 

Todd:  And then that hand that’s, that arm that’s holding his head falls away. Yeah. And it’s Torn on. Right. He gets pulled up, very tenderly and just looks in the face of this girl, and it’s interesting. It’s an interesting moment for me. I think symbolically, it’s interesting. It’s almost a baptism of a sort Yeah.   You know, where when he comes out of the water now he’s fully ready to join her and leave this horrible life that he has. Right. But also his eyes are closed through this whole thing, and it almost seems like he’s going to give up. Yeah. He doesn’t really struggle. Even when the arm drops away, he’s still there. And even when she pulls him up, he’s not gasping for breath or anything like that. He’s been down for, I don’t know, at least 60 seconds.   Yeah. It’s almost like he he would have been content to die right there. 

Craig:  Right. Mhmm. Because she was gone. Mhmm. But she’s not. Yeah. And she’s there, and she protected him, and they just kind of share this this meaningful glance. And then it cuts back to some snow, just, you know, a snowy screen. 

Todd:  Which is how it started. Mhmm. 

Craig:  And I thought that was just gonna be the end. And, I thought the credits would start to roll. But then there’s another scene, a very, very brief scene where you see, Oscar sitting on a train, and it’s daylight. And next to him is a cardboard box. And from outside of the cardboard box, you hear the knocking and and scratching that they have been doing their Morse code through the walls. So the implication is that they’re running away together, and this may be the start of a long relationship between the 2. 

Todd:  Yeah. Until he becomes the older guy. Right. You know? And he gets tired of it, and that’s what’s so sad Bittersweet. Tragic about it. But he’s clearly the happiest he’s ever been. And maybe this girl guy, maybe Ellie has this knack for hooking up with people who need her the most Maybe. Because she needs them the most. 

Craig:  It would be nice to think that. I I would hate to think that it was more sinister. I don’t know. I’m I’m a little bit Todd. And I I think that that’s a good thing about this movie is that it is ambiguous. It doesn’t just lay it out there for you. And like you said, there are shades. It’s not good and bad or or good and evil.   It’s it’s it’s really more human. 

Todd:  Yeah. 

Craig:  Ironically, in the vampire that she might be being selfish and trying to be helpful and and sincere at the same time as I’m sure we all have at some point. 

Todd:  Well, I think there’s a case to be made for the fact that she’s mature enough to know exactly what’s going on, and maybe the strongest indication of that is that scene where she kisses him. And we see briefly a flash of an older looking Ellie. 

Craig:  Yes. 

Todd:  And that to me was almost, trying to hammer home the idea that even though she’s a 12 year old girl, she’s not 12 years Todd, mentally. I think you’re right. So I I think there’s a big I think you could make that case about this being a little more sinister. She knows exactly what she’s doing, and and and yet, maybe this is the best place for him. Maybe he would have died anyway. You know? It’s it’s really hard to say. I was reading that the director of this film, Thomas Alfredson, wasn’t interested in doing a vampire movie, so he deliberately toned down aspects of the novel that were maybe more vampire or, you know, whatever and clearly focused more on the relationships. And I think that was an effective choice because it’s what makes this film stand out. 

Craig:  It does. It does make it stand out. And, you know, we’ve talked about really how little there is in terms of vampire action, but what is there is actually pretty good. I mean, the the first attack that Ellie makes, I thought was really effective. You know, she pretends this is when she attacks Jacques. She pretends to be in need of help. You know, she’s kind of under this bridge, and, he very gingerly picks her up. And then in just the blink of an eye, I mean, she just goes completely animal savage on him, like, locks him in a bear hug, and it’s very violent.   You know, he’s still supporting them both on his legs as she’s kind of, you know, eating him, and it it’s you know, it made me jump. It was a scary scene. I thought that it was done really effectively. So, you know, it’s not that that’s not present at all. It’s just not the focus. And so I feel like you should know that going in depending upon what type of experience you’re looking for. 

Todd:  That’s true. Yeah. It still has its moments of brutality. 

Craig:  Mhmm. 

Todd:  And yet even in there, it’s delightfully, emotionally ambiguous because when she’s done with him, it’s almost like she starts crying. Does. And, she looks at him, and she kinda looks around, and she looks back at him and then twists his neck Mhmm. Before she 

Craig:  out of her 

Todd:  out of his misery. Yeah. And there again is a is a point where the most effective villains, I think, in a film, are the villains where you feel some sympathy for. 

Craig:  Right. 

Todd:  And you definitely feel sympathy for this girl in this in this film Agree. To the point where you you almost hesitate to call her a villain in a sense. Mhmm. 

Craig:  Right? Yeah. I totally agree. 

Todd:  I really appreciate that it takes its time with the cinematography. I appreciate that the film puts you in that mood from the beginning, that this is gonna be a slow dramatic film. 

Craig:  Mhmm. 

Todd:  And that makes the horror elements that much more shocking, because it’s surrounded by such calm and serene material. Very melancholy throughout. It is. You don’t really ride a roller coaster of emotions in this film, I think. You almost just have this impending sense of dread through the whole thing. 

Craig:  Well and that you know, that’s good. I mean, that’s that’s difficult to do, I think, and especially to maintain that for 2 hours. I did not think it was boring. It was a little bit slow paced. And, frankly, I do think that they maybe could have done a little bit of editing of some of the side stories could especially the locals. I mean, I I get it, you know, and it was fine. It was acted, directed well. Nothing wrong with it.   Maybe not so necessary. The the maybe could have trimmed the time down a little bit. But generally speaking, it’s beautifully made. It’s beautifully acted, and it’s it’s it’s different. And I think that it’ll it’ll have you thinking and not in a bad way, but, I wouldn’t say it’s a fun movie. 

Todd:  No. You know what 

Craig:  I mean? 

Todd:  Right. It’s not one you’re probably gonna pop in and watch again, do you think? Well Unless maybe with the right person? 

Craig:  Maybe with the right person. Somebody who would appreciate, what it is. But, yeah, it’s not, you know, something that you’re gonna stick on in the afternoon to clean your house. 

Todd:  For sure. I would highly recommend seeing the remake. I I don’t say that very often because usually remake suck. 

Craig:  Mhmm. 

Todd:  This one really is a different enough movie that still plays enough respect to the original that it is like seeing a different movie. It is nice to see 2 different takes on the same story because I think the story is that compelling, and it’s just so different that it’s fun to watch. So I’d recommend it. 

Craig:  I’d recommend it. It’s a it’s a well made film. Well done. Very well done. 

Todd:  Thank you again for listening, to to another episode. Please, if you enjoyed this podcast, forward it to a friend. Check us out on Facebook. We’re on Itunes where you can subscribe to us also on Stitcher. Send us a comment. Let us know what you think. I guess we have some activity on our Google plus page too. So if you’re one of those, nerds that like us who are in the Google plus, check us out there.   Maybe that’s where the action is. Until next week. I’m Todd. And I’m Craig. Two guys and a Chainsaw.

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