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New takes on old genres

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Every now and then a film comes along and completely changes how you look at a genre. For the last few years no one has had a new take on the horror genre and the most innovation we experienced was the rise and fall of ‘torture porn‘. Well that is all about to change with Let The Right One In. The movie is not a traditional horror film, it’s a relationship story about an introverted girl who teaches a shy bullied kid how to stand up for himself. It’s sweet in every way you wouldn’t expect. Beautiful and haunting, Let The Right One In is a film you must see.

Luckily it is a movie you can see if you live in either Vancouver or Toronto. Toronto After Dark is going to show it at their festival in mid October, and the Vancouver International Film Festival is showing it as well. Below is the synopsis from the VIFF Website as well as the trailer from Toronto After Dark:

Twelve-year-old Oskar lives with his mom in a particularly bleak section of Stockholm. Geeky, awkward and just plain weird, Oskar is one of those kids that bullies seem to sniff out. One night, while practicing stabbing a tree (in lieu of his tormentors), Oskar meets the new girl who just moved in next door. Eli, preternaturally pale and self-possessed, might smell a little odd, but like Oskar she’s dying of loneliness–as well as the need for human blood.

Director Tomas Alfredson (Four Shades of Brown, VIFF 04) has done the seemingly impossible by reinventing the hoariest of horror genres–the vampire film–with sly wit and surprising sweetness. The beauty is in the details, and Alfredson’s particular genius is apparent in small perfect touches. The scene where Eli and Oskar dance to bad Swedish disco is a particular standout, but the film is filled with wonderful grace notes. The film’s most enduring quality, however, is how perfectly it captures the aching loneliness of people on the outside. It is this need for human contact that makes even the most horrific of acts somehow forgivable. Kudos must be given to the film’s two young leads whose natural and deeply affecting performances lend the film emotional honesty and rare power. A massive hit on the genre film circuit, Let the Right One In reminds you of the power that horror cinema, done right, can have. Winner of the Film Festival Founders Award for Best Narrative Feature, Tribeca 2008, and Best Film, Best Director and Best Photography at Montreal’s Fantasia Film Festival.

If you are in Toronto you can get your Toronto After Dark VIP passes here, something I consider a great value at $99 for all 17 screenings. If you are in Vancouver you can get your Vancouver International Film Festival tickets and passes here. Make sure you get your tickets for this one quick, I have a feeling it will sell out fast.