Vampires, rural Sweden and the case of a missing sister

In the last 2 weeks I’ve watched not 1 but 2 Swedish movies. I think I am right in saying that they are the only 2 Swedish movies I have ever watched in my life which is surprising considering how much of a fan I am of one of Sweden’s cinema exports Britt Ekland, anyway I digress back to the movies.

SS

Firstly last week I watched “Smala Susie”, a dark comedy that follows Erik in his search for Susie, his missing younger sister. Previously Erik had become disillusioned with living in rural Sweden and the eccentric characters in his home town so leaves and moves to Stockholm. While living there he receives a call from one of his sister’s friends back home to say that his sister has gone missing, so being the conscientious older brother that he is he returns in the hope of discovering her whereabouts.

The movie is essential that search and the incidents that happen along the way but is made interesting and funny by opening the usually closed doors on the lives, drugs and pornography of small town Sweden.

The movie came out back in 2003 and I was surprised to have never heard of it before as it’s a really good watch, yes you can tell its low budget but the way that the story introduces you to a gaggle of weirdos that you just can’t help but feel you know someone like is great. Well I hope you do to and it’s not just me that knows too many weirdos, but then I grew up in a small town too.

I enjoy it when a movie relates in some way to others, “Smala Susie” does this a few times one of my favorites being a scene between the local policeman (there is only the one) and one of Susie’s friends;

Policeman: We do occasionally get some tips. Do you know anyone by the name of Keyser Soze? Tony Montana?

Sandra: No.

Policeman: You don’t. OK. They’re not registered anywhere.

Trust me it works in the movie.

LTROI

Secondly I watched “Let the right one in” a horror which follows a short time in the life of a bullied and lonely 12 year old Swedish boy called Oskar and the friendship he finds with a young vampire girl that moves in next door.

 The film is particularly good because it’s not Hollywood, that’s not to say I don’t like Hollywood movies it’s just they are sometimes a bit too easy to second guess what is coming next. With “Let the right one in” I was never sure which direction the story would take.

It’s slow paced and in hindsight given the content it’s not particularly dramatic, and I also think it’s the first time that I have ever watched a heartfelt horror. There are definitely undertones of Carrie in there, the revenge lust of the bullied pupil but overall I felt that it was an original piece of cinema.

 It’s a coming of age story told as a classic and not as an MTV commercial, I’m not trying to have a dig but I also watched Twilight and in terms of true cinema there is one clear winner. It’s perhaps unfair to compare the two, even though they both deal with young crushes the darkness that Let the right one in carries perhaps shows that it’s made for an older audience and not the teenage girls that Twilight aims to attract.

Where the male lead in one is a heart throb the male lead in the other is awkward, and it’s that awkwardness that really lets you into the story of the characters.

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