For those who have missed it, there have been a few gems turning up from Sweden recently so I want take the time to introduce some of them.
To begin with there is Let the right one in. This is one of the best vampire films out there and came out of nowhere leaving me baffled when I first saw it.
The story is unusual to begin with as it's about vampires, but the main antagonists are kids. It follows a young boy who befriends a girl seemingly his age that turns out to be a vampire. This movie perfectly balances the childish playfulness and humor with brutal reality. It places vampires as simple reality and treats the fact without glamor, special mysticism or the expected romantic/erotic features that we have come to expect. Also the story is told without the usual drama surrounding the blood-suckers. This was what made the movie stand out to me.
The actors were thankfully brilliant. Children acting in movies are such a big risk because there simply aren't that many good actors that young out there. We have all sat through a movie that placed too much focus on a badly acted youngster, which in turn destroyed the entire movie even if the co-actors did a brilliant job.
Of course, this movie is being re-done by Hollywood (explain to me why?). I knew it was a bad idea from the start, but when i heard the title I let out a long and heavy sigh. After watching the movie I felt the original title Let the right one in could both be seen from the boy's perspective - as he must invite the vampire in before she could enter his place (as is the common rule of vampires) and by doing so is risking his life, but also from her perspective - as she is searching for a new companion that she desperately needs to survive and must equally trust with her life.
The american title is - Let me in. Yep, no need to think on this one. Either they didn't get the original title or felt it was too complicated. The same way I expect the movie will be a watered down version of the original stripped of any scenes or story twists that might have you think for a second.
The second movie is actually a trilogy also known as the Millennium trilogy. A Swedish author and journalist by the name of Stieg Larsson wrote these books passing away just after finishing the last in the series. These have now all been filmed and were a great surprise to watch.
The first movie/book The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo can actually be seen as a stand-alone as it is a complete totally gripping story with a beginning and proper end (in contrast to the "to be continued...."). The story follows a journalist, who has been disgraced after a seemingly shocking report by him backfires and he is jailed for fabricating allegations. He receives a second chance when a rich old man hires him to track his niece and find out what happened to her. The twist: she mysteriously disappeared 40 years ago.
The journalist teams up with a young goth-looking woman, who turns out to be a brilliant researcher with a story of her own. We equally follow her (to who the title refers to) and the search for the missing girl. Both stories are brutal and tie you to the chair through the movie.
Again the stories are told without being dramatic about it.
The second movie -The Girl who played with Fire is undeniably a filler that leads you to the third and last movie. It is not bad, yet since it lacks the same sense of completion it feels a little weaker than the first one. The story is however very intriguing and takes you on a ride to a destination unknown. We now come to realize that the young punk-girl plays a much greater role and her story expands into the unexpected.
The third and last movie - The Girl who kicked the hornets' nest is the resolution of the entire story. It slows the pace and is more about clearing up the mysteries and finding piece and finally serving justice.
These movies get the highest grade from me and I strongly recommend checking them out.
If you are into horror movies, here at the end two good European slashers as a bonus since you read the whole thing :)
Norwegian - Fritt Vilt (english - Cold Prey)
Austrian - In 3 Tagen bist du tod (english - dead in 3 days