Look at that damned calendar! The year is over!! What the heck?! Remember good ol' last year when we were able to do an overview of all the creepy kids that appeared in horror films over the year? Sure you do, it's HERE. Well, what in the name of Rhoda Penmark are we supposed to do this year? Sure, kids appeared on the sidelines in movies like MIRRORS, but their presence seemed only required so that they could mutter faux-creepy slogans for use as gotcha moments in the movie's trailers. THE ORPHANAGE ruled for sure, but one movie does not an end of year overview make and technically it was made in 2007.
If you're anything like the frightening voices that torment me nonstop in my head, you're probably screaming in a twisted hag voice "Unkle Lancifer, you need to get out more!" Yes, countless hours were wasted this year playing Lego Playstation games, I'll grant you that, but remember I live in Bumblef*ck where the only films on the theater marquee are ROCHELLE, ROCHELLE and THE FLOWER THAT DRANK THE MOON. Adding insult to unjustifiable rationalization, TRICK R' TREAT is still sadly M.I.A. and the U.K. flick THE CHILDREN is yet (to my knowledge) to jump across the pond.
What was I to do? How was I to make any kind of statement about kids in horror in 2008? I think there was a kid in that French movie FRONTIERS, I assume there was a zombie tyke in QUARANTINE, and didn't some kids try to warn people to stay clear of THE RUINS? A spiraling spurious non-list began to form in my mind's eye. Who was I kidding? Then, there I was at my wits end and fantasizing about fashioning a noose from NERDS ROPE when I received a message from a carrier vulture named Saint Antonio Sanchez informing me that maybe perhaps I should check out LET THE RIGHT ONE IN...
LET THE RIGHT ONE IN makes up for everything, and it saved my year. I'm not just saying this because I was on the precipice of the abyss when we met; I mean it. Even outside the realm of horror it may be the best movie of the year, it certainly and without question is the Kindertraumiest. Aunt John has no say in this matter whatsoever; I'm prepared to skip camp if rebuffed. I, with the power of Grayskull and inspired by this unique film, have decreed that a new award must be forged for future years and that award is the KINDERTRAUMA MOVIE OF THE YEAR! That's right, it's official, LET THE RIGHT ONE IN is KINDERTRAUMA MOVIE OF THE YEAR! We must all listen to MORRISSEY (to whom it owes its title) today in celebration.
What is so special about this movie and what can I tell you about it without ruining it? First of all, I'd just like to say this movie does not spaz out and get all up in your face. That is very important to me. It's calm and peaceful yet stand warned, it's not afraid to smack you around a little when you start feeling too secure and cozy. It's about actual human connection, how we change the people who come into our lives and how they change us. More importantly, it shows how outsiders can identify themselves in each other and gather strength from their alliance. (Call me nuts but REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE and THE LITTLE GIRL WHO LIVES DOWN THE LANE sprung to my mind not to mention E.T. with a taste for blood). To top it all off there is mucho snow (my cinematic Achilles heal) and the whole thing is filmed as simply and as exquisitely as humanly possible.
It is a "horror" movie for sure, but I have to point out that it reflects the actual universe that we live in far more accurately than most non-horror films (Certainly more than all the superhero, wedding disaster and dopey buddy flicks released this year combined). This is the real deal folks. The main characters may be twelve (even twelve for a looooong time) but their ability to bond without judgment and care for each other is something you rarely get to see in films that feature characters of any age.
Less you think I'm reviewing SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING COFFIN, I should inform you that many people die undeserving deaths within this film and at the hands of these spiritual and soulful characters. Well, what can I tell you? You got to break eggs before you devil them and I'm so enamored with these kooky kids that if that's what keeps 'em writing love notes and teaching each other the Rubik's Cube, so be it. (By the way, apparently there is no moral question in my mind concerning the film's final poolside massacre as I laughed whole heartily and gleefully all through it, I may have even clapped).
I really don't want to say much more as I don't want to spoil anything, but GO see this movie! If it's not playing around you yet go buy the book it's based on by JOHN AJIDE LINDQVIST instead (I'm devouring it now). This is the type of horror tale that comes around far too rarely and, like a long lost soul mate, it lifts the genre up to a whole new level.
P.S. Many films have attempted the proverbial "attacked by cats" scene with questionable to borderline comical results. This is due to the rookie mistake of actually throwing live cats onto people in order to simulate the melee. Not so in LET THE RIGHT ONE IN, I'm so happy now that somebody has finally done it right!