Two Minutes of Perfect Cinema – Let The Right One In

1:20:15 – 1:22:15

There is a knock at the door and a young boy opens it to find his friend, a similarly aged girl, standing on the other side. It all looks fairly regular, just two kids relaxed in one another’s company, only we already know it isn’t. Oskar is a bullied loner from a broken home and Eli is a bloodthirsty and remorseless vampire.

Then comes the exchange that triggers one of the most iconic scenes of modern cinema and gives us a satisfactory answer to a question that has gone unresolved for one hundred and sixteen years.

“You have to invite me in.”
“What happens if I don’t?”

Oskar ushers her in (this clearly doesn’t count as an invitation) with the dangerous adolescent combination of confidence and curiosity. He thinks he might get to see something cool and he clearly still doesn’t know quite who he is dealing with.

Other vampire films show their undead standing outside with threatening patience or beating an invisible wall like a some kind of over excited mime artist but here Eli just steps nonchalantly into the room, still smiling an innocent smile. There is nothing sinister in her actions.

Then it starts. She doesn’t writhe or scream but begins to convulse very slightly. The eyes intensify and she begins to bleed. First it flowers inexplicably on her back before seeping out of her ears, eyes and mouth. This is not the extreme gushing blood of Kubrick, De Palma or Tarantino and is better for it achieving a disturbing realism not allowed by such overblown theatricality. All the while Eli just stands there weeping thick blood and staring at her friend.

He in turn is soon holding her, frightened and shouting that she can come in, suddenly aware of the supernatural power that lies suppressed within this other child.

Well, he did ask!

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