Heralded as “The Best Vampire Story Ever!” “The Best Horror Film of the Year!” etc, etc, and all certainly true, this is in fact first and foremost a love-story: the unexpected love that develops between a twelve-year-old sissy and a vampire who “has been twelve for a very long time”.
The tall but shy and slender Oskar, with his long blond hair, and the small, dark, reclusive but far from shy Eli.
Oskar’s parents are divorced, his mother works nights and he has no friends. At school he is tormented by bullies. At home he spends most of his time reading and wandering around in his brief white underpants studying his reflection in the mirrors and tightly-closed windows. The house – an apartment in a big block of flats – has central heating, but outside there is thick snow, and snowdrifts everywhere.
Occasionally Oskar goes outside, well wrapped up against the cold, and mooches around by himself, afraid to go further than the garden/courtyard of the apartment block in case he is spotted by the other boys.
And there one night he meets Eli, a strange girl of about his own age who seems not to feel the cold and although she doesn’t go to school solves Oskar’s Rubik’s Cube with ease – which really impresses him!
She lives with her “uncle” in the next apartment to Oskar, and this uncle, we soon learn, is a ruthless serial killer. He anaesthetises boys, hangs them up by their ankles and drains their blood into a plastic container – and he does it for Eli.
Of course, the killings cannot go on, but while normally they would leave, move on to another town – the life of a solitary vampire must necessarily be peripatetic – this time the uncle gets caught.
What is the sweet little Eli (she really is very sweet) to do now?
This is a hell of a film, and everyone, but everyone, should see it. And I think I do mean everyone. On the cover of the DVD it stipulates 15 years of age, and as far as the violence and horror is concerned that should probably be 18. BUT, on the other hand, it would do most twelve-year-olds the world of good to see how these two twelve-year-olds cope with the cards life has dealt them – which, don’t forget, includes each other. It is, finally, a film that glorifies friendship and – yes – love.
The ending is unforgettable. But so is the rest of the film. (I am about to start again, but mustn’t, or I will spoil it for you.)