I was in New York for three days last week, for several meetings: one with an editor, one with an agent, one as part of a board meeting. So I was busy while I was there. But I also had a few hours free between meetings one afternoon, and I was not far from an art film house that I love (the Angelika on Houston and Mercer Streets); so I went there in hopes of seeing "I've Loved You So Long" with Kristin Scott Thomas. But I arrived twenty minutes after that film had begun, so I looked through the listings to find out what was showing at a time that worked for me.
Aha! A Swedish film. This is good. About a 12-year-old. This is very good. No, wait: it is abut TWO twelve-year-olds. Very very good indeed. And so I found myself buying a ticket to a movie called "Let the Right One In."
I knew nothing about this film except that it was Swedish and indeed when the little boy, Oskar, who is the protaganist, showed up on the screen, I settled down in my seat with a happy sigh. Oskar looked just liked the little Swedish girl whom I had photographed for the jacket of Number the Stars....well, like her male counterpart. Blond and angelic.
Then Oskar meets Eli, a 12-year-old girl, a hauntingly wide-eyed, pale child with dark hair. Oskar is a shy misfit, often bullied, and this mysterious girl befriends him. It bodes well. I relaxed for a lovely afternoon at a Scandinavian buddy movie.
THEN IT BECOMES CLEAR THAT ELI IS PALE BECAUSE SHE IS A VAMPIRE AND SHE NEEDS TO FIND SOME HUMAN BLOOD QUICK!
Oh, god. How do I get myself into these things?
I know vampires are in at the moment, but they are not in with me, and never have been, especially not when I have to watch two hours of hemoglobin drainage, plus a female adult spontaneously combusting after she has been clawed by an army of cats, and in addition a male adult whose face is destroyed by acid, though who cares about that after he flings himself from a high hospital window and splats in the snow below.
If I had seen the attached photo and noticed the dark liquid sliding from Eli's lips to her chin, I might have avoided the film....which incidentally (I checked later) has gotten some good reviews.
Do not take your children.