I've been really sick. So, yesterday, while laying in bed, I watched Adaptation and Let the Right One In. If I ramble even more than usual, blame it on the fever.
I don't think that self-loathers like other self-loathers.
I actively dislike Adaptation and its primary auteur, that fat, worthless schlub (who writes insanely crafty scripts and is lauded by most of his peers) Charlie Kaufman. But, I'll give the movie some credit. I did laugh loud and hard when brother Donald's body is forcibly ejected out of a car window. Still, I'd rather watch The 3 than watch Adaptation again. I think that Hoberman nails it when he writes, "Narcissus may be a flower, but in Kaufman's earthier formulation, solipsism is synonymous with onanism."
Let the Right One In is another story of self-centeredness and self-loathing. Except that Eli, our 12-year-old Vampirella wants to claim the [a]moral high ground. She says something like, "You would kill because you want to" to Oskar and then says, "I kill because I have to," then asks Oskar something like, "Be me for a while, please."
Except that I don't feel sorry for her or Oskar. Their effortless amorality is a dangerous message for the 12-year-olds who will no doubt see (and be comforted by) this movie.
The movie is subversive to the extent that it makes the audience feel happy for Oskar in the end instead of terrified of his future descent into slavishly murdering for his beloved. I've read a few critics that find the relationship and the ending horrifying, but I'd argue that this is based on individual moral judgments and not based on what the film presents.
Let the neogoths have their tragic hero (hell, the title of the movie is taken from a Morrisey song!). The comfort she affords is fleeting and leads to the devil knows where.
What irks me is that so many serious critics love this film! Brandon, I dare you. Watch this movie again and tell me that the music isn't so much Hollywood manipulation. Seriously, we're in Bucket List territory here. My theory is that the music goes unnoticed by most, here and elsewhere, because we're never manipulated into crying, which is usally the only time a critic singles out the music in a film.
Also, the 'love' story between two 'lonely' creatures may be touching to you, but I find it the most horrifying aspect of the film. This isn't love. It's a Contract of Depravity.
If Twilight is for the mainstream girl who wants a little Mormon Mom naughtiness, then Let the Right One In is the same sort of fantastic romance for the alienated goth crowd, the remnant, the kind of kid that listens to old 4AD records or joins in Nitzer Ebb's chant without ever setting foot in a Hot Topic.
Which is maybe why I feel justified in trashing Let the Right One In. I was that kid.
At least Kaufman tries to get over himself and find meaning in allowing that "you are what you love." Let the Right One In allows only for unity of persons in suffering and revenge, without ever relenting in its seriousness. I don't know. Maybe this is just another expression of "you are what you love."
Let the Right One In never winks at us, which is a strength, but also the source of its perversity. Because it is serious in all of the wrong ways. All good to me is lost.
As Ebert says, it is a deadly serious vampire movie -
"Let the Right One In" is a "vampire movie," but not even remotely what we mean by that term. It is deadly grim. It takes vampires as seriously as the versions of "Nosferatu" by Murnau and Herzog do, and that is very seriously indeed. It is also a painful portrayal of an urgent relationship between two 12-year-olds on the brink of adolescence. It is not intended for 12-year-olds.
Ebert is naive. I agree that the movie should not be for kids. But, the very fact that it features 2 kids already breaks this prohibition. I highly doubt that the filmmakers would say that this movie is intended for 'adults only.' I watched an interview on Youtube with the the main actress and she gushes about the role and how she'd love to have this vampire girl as a friend if she could. This movie WILL be watched by 12-year-olds, which is both appropriate and scary because it has a malformed 12-year-old's understanding of the world and its pains.
It's no surprise to me that this is being remade by Hollywood. Besides some above average cinematography, there's not much to distinguish this from your typical Hollywood disposable art, except perhaps that at the moment our pop culture has only reached the Stephanie Meyers level of the abyss. Twilight has just shot up on my to-watch list. I'm at least going to wait for Let the Right One In 2: Van Helsing vs. Eli and Oskar.
No apologies - these thoughts come straight from the gut of a Buffy:the Vampire Slayer fan.
I'm waiting for a Haneke vampire flick.