Let the Right One In with Swedish Director Tomas Alfredson

Swedish filmmaker Tomas Alfredson weaves friendship, rejection and loyalty into a disturbing and darkly atmospheric, yet poetic and unexpectedly tender chronicle of adolescence in “Let the Right One In,” a feature based on the best-selling novel by John Ajvide Lindqvist.


Tomas Alfredson on his Movie:


1982. A country that keeps going despite everything. Despite the February cold which has made the landscape come to a halt, frozen the water in the lakes and made the branches on the trees as tense as violin strings. The birds have flown to somewhere less desolate and the bears are sunk in deep sleep. Cities keep going in spite of it all.


The shimmering green of the street lights keeping the darkness at bay over salted and gritted streets. The oil from a distant land burning in the boiler rooms of the concrete blocks.


The people who live there. Preserving the hope of the exact opposite of all this. Coming home, taking off their damp winter boots, acrylic jumpers crackling over their heads, snagging nylon tights, burled wall to- wall carpet, all that humming electricity.


The hardworking mothers in the suburbs, the faithful fathers scraping the frost off their SAAB’s, the children who regardless of the darkness get up at seven and head off to school where they all dutifully finish their plates of liver.


Everyone reads one of two news papers in the morning, one of two at night, watches one of two news shows in which politicians go on about that submarine which ran aground off the coast. Two ways of thinking, red or blue. How do they stand it, those who live there in spite of it all The people who don’t turn to each other for warmth, who hold their tongues and turn their backs for fear of cracking into pieces like statues, for fear of killing each other


When I read John Ajvide Lindqvists novel Let The Right One In last summer I knew that I absolutely had to share this story on film. It’s a feeling you only get with one script or novel in a hundred. Most of the time there are parts of the material that grab me, a feeling here, a detail there, and urge to get my greedy hands on it and start rewriting.


This time it was different. This is a story, which is both grand literature and a fantastic drama. Despite the depressing background of a leaden gray Sweden, the harsh social conditions, the bullying and the bloody violence, I see it as a romantic love story with a hopeful and happy ending. I see the same dynamics between the dark background and the light foreground as in the stories of Charles Dickens, or the classical writers of horror, for that matter.


This is an entertaining film rich in social pathos and an in-depth knowledge of mankind, capable of attracting a mass audience without being flat or calculating. I also believe that its unequivocal Swedishness lends it great opportunities for international success.