From Sweden comes this obsessively sorrowful puppy-love vampire tale about Oskar & Eli. He’s twelve, young & friendless, bullied at middle-school, barely noticed by his divorced parents and unable to ‘solve’ Rubic’s Cube. Eli is also twelve, er . . . a hundred & twelve! She lives next-door with a guardian, is able to ‘solve’ Rubic’s Cube, but can’t eat a thing off the smorgasbord. They’re like Wendy & Peter Pan, but with reversed genders; he’s waiting for puberty to kick in, she’s stuck on the cusp forever. It’s a great set up for the usual vampiric sex-substitution racket, but director Tomas Alfredson smothers everything with so much poetic sensitivity that all the blood is sucked out of the film along with the occasional victim. And the actors are so slow on the up-take, they might as well be zombies. Undead fanciers will appreciate the look of the film, the snow-bound dream landscapes, and some amusing effects (watch for a swift, satisfying cat attack), but there won’t be a lot of converts.
SCREWY THOUGHT OF THE DAY: You can see everyone’s frozen breath in the chilly outdoor scenes, but shouldn’t our little vampire exhale without showing any mist? After all, she’s a cold blooded thing. And it would look way cool; a Nordic variation on not being reflected in a mirror.
DOUBLE-BILL: Anybody see the Stateside remake, LET ME IN/’10? Worth a look?