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While Tomas Alfredson’s Let The Right One In (2008) is difficult to place for certain, I think it sits closer to romance than horror.
Yes, one of the kids is a vampire but who’s to say they can’t fall in love? Vincenzo Natali’s contribution to Paris, je t’aime (2006) is a short about an infatuated female vampire, who ends up devouring Elijah Wood. Violence is always near the surface of the film, though so too is tenderness. For every instance of a teenager being strung up by their feet, drained of blood, there is the touching delivery of a Morse code message from Oskar (Kåre Hedebrant) to Eli (Lina Leandersson), tapped out gently on a dividing bedroom wall.
While watching, I thought of Żuławski’s picture Possession (1981). It’s pretty crazy and the lump of tentacled flesh with which Anna (Isabelle Adjani) is captivated is certainly more monstrous than eleven year old Eli. But, like Let The Right One In, Possession does not sit easily in the horror genre. It probes the nature of love (and the loss of it), exploring a messy divorce and its effect on a child.
Here’s a short post on two complex films that are beautifully shot and about which there is a lot more to say.