....Now, I'm not one for Vampire films, but so much was made of this feature on its release last year, that I felt I just had to see it.
The Swedish horror film, directed by Tomas Alfredson, offers a fresh take on the traditional Dracula format. Set in a bleak, snowy suburb of Sweden, twelve year old, fair haired Oskar is being bullied at school. One evening Eli appears, same age, barefoot, modestly dressed and befriends the boy. As the film progresses and we witness a series of grisly murders, both Oskar and the viewer learn that Eli is a vampire, surviving only on the blood of her victims.
Rather than being put off, the relationship strengthens and in turn helps Oskar find renewed vitality and purpose in his life. The narratives of dark killings and youthful innocence remarkably work side by side, whilst the cinematography is beautiful in its capture of the snowy landscapes and almost ethereal in style.
In case you are wondering, the film's title refers to a piece of undead lore with which I was previously unacquainted. Apparently, vampires must be invited into the lives of those they love and a tentative friendship and then a tender love grows. Just like that of Oskar and Eli. This is an incredible film - be it a vampire film or not. Well worth a snowy night in.