Movies / Movie Reviews

Let The Right One In/What We Do Is Secret at Fantasia 2008


By Al Kratina
July 19, 2008 - 22:50

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Alright, clearly I am a failure. It’s day 17 of Fantasia 2008, I’ve seen something around 30 films, and I’ve managed to review about 6 of them here. The explanations and excuses for this are myriad; exhaustion, malnutrition, poor time management, possible scurvy. But it’s time to put the pedal to the metal and get the job done. Metaphorically, of course. In my current half-starved condition, the only job I could conceivably do is fertilizer plants by decomposing. But I’m going to do my best to provide retroactive wrap-ups for Fantasia 2008.

Sunday, July 6th:

 

 

  Let The Right One In
2008, Sweden
Director: Tomas Alfredson
Screenplay: John Ajvide Lindqvist
Cast: Kare Hedebrant, Lina Leandersson, Per Ragnar, Henrik Dahl, Karin Bergquist
Producers: Carl Molinder, John Nordling
Distributor: Magnolia Pictures

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Immediately after watching this film, I crowned in the best of the festival. It turns out the competition was a little fiercer than I had expected, which should come as no surprise at Fantasia, where all the films have filed their teeth down to points and are flipped out on vodka, Red Bull and blood. But as of this writing, this brilliant Swedish vampire film is still number 1.

While bloody and occasionally horrific, Alfredson’s film is not a horror movie. Instead, it’s a sweet, romantic, and ultimately tragic exploration of the love between Oskar, a 12-year old boy, and his vampire neighbour. Regardless of the fact that, though vampire Eli looks to be Oskar’s age, she’s actually much older, meaning that every time the two characters kiss the audience should get arrested. It’s a funny, touching, and beautiful film.

Rating 9 out of 10.

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What We Do Is Secret
2007, USA
Director: Rodger Grossman
Screenplay: Michelle Baer Ghaffari, Rodger Grossman
Cast: Shane West, Bijou Phillips, Rick Gonzalez, Noah Segan, Ashton Holmes
Producers: Rodger Grossman, Kevin Mann, Stephen Nemeth, Matthew Perniciaro
Distributor: Peace Arch

If I were still 14, this bio-pic of LA punk legend and Germs frontman Darby Crash would be the perfect movie. Containing cussing, drugs, and loud guitars, most teenagers would find the film’s bratty rebellion synonymous with regicide. Now that I’m older, however, I’ve discovered that mildly irritating my parents and wearing a wallet chain is fairly far removed from shooting Tsars in the back of the head, and I feel silly and old watching this film.

While the Germs and their proto-hardcore thrashing may be idolized in certain circles, the way filmmaker Rodger Grossman treats Crash’s lyrics like a cross between Jesus’ parables and dirty limericks gets annoying quickly. Bio-pic clichés and poor performances don’t help either, though Shane West is capable as Crash, and Bijou Phillips, as bassist Lorna Doom, steals every scene she’s in. Ultimately, you’re better off listening to the records, or just growing up.

Rating 5 on 10.

ADDITIONAL BONUS REVIEWS BY ALISON ANDERSON

Sick of reading paragraphs with punctuation and sentences? Here’s a bit-sized capsule review, with a handy “Suckometer” scale, that runs from 1 (good) to Suck (not good).

Let The Right One In

If I were a 12-year-old vampire, I would definitely hang out with cooler people than some albino kid. This was a great movie, but I totally don’t understand why the vampire didn’t hang out with cooler people. Come on, you can fly and stuff. Try out for the football team. On a scale of 1 to Suck, I give this a Bela Lugosi.

What We Do Is Secret

What do they do that is so secret? Pick scabs? Throw up in corners? It doesn’t make any sense to me. Also, Darby Crash is kind of a douche. The Germs weren’t that good, and neither is this movie. On a scale of 1 to Suck, I give this a Joel Madden


Last Updated: September 6, 2021 - 08:15

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