In the depths of a suburban Swedish winter, twelve-year-old Oskar befriends his new neighbour, the mysterious girl Eli, whose arrival in town seemingly coincides with a series of grisly local murders. Undeterred by her dark secrets, Oskar gains confidence from his new friendship and finds Eli to be a useful ally against the bullies that plague his school life.
Adapted from John Ajvide Lindqvist’s novel (which takes its title from a Morrissey lyric), Let the Right One In may be an adolescent tale of the supernatural but in spirit it’s far removed from the glut of Twilight-inspired teen fiction, approaching its story with adult attention and authenticity.
Eschewing genre conventions, Alfredson instead focuses on crafting an affecting relationship drama that still delivers its share of stylish set-pieces and icy atmospherics.
Coinciding with the rise of ‘Nordic noir’, the film became a substantial crossover hit, reaching a wide audience despite its subtitles and appealing to non-horror fans and genre stalwarts alike. The film’s success later inspired a not entirely discreditable Hollywood remake from Cloverfield director Matt Reeves, Let Me In.