As the DVD’s flow out from last years Oscar’s, I’ve felt one disappointment follow another. Oh, they’re not all bad movies, just that they don’t live up to the hype. And though there are some redeeming qualities in many of them, all in all it’s a lot that is just a notch above mediocre.
Sluumdog Millionaire (which I didn’t wait for) was by far the best of the nominated lot. I’ve since seen The Reader, and Milk. Both very flawed movies. I’ve yet to see Frost/Nixon (though I’m not chomping at the bit to get my hands on it). Benjamin Button, I may just not even bother with. I still want to see The Wrestler, though.
This is a long way around of saying that this Swedish horror/vampire flick runs circles around all of those (‘cept Slumdog of course). Horror/Vampire flick doesn’t begin to do it justice. This is the best vampire movie I’ve seen (as far as I can recall). To describe it as a vampire movie may be off-putting, and though that’s what it is, it extends beyond the boundaries of the genre. One could say it’s a coming of age movie the likes of which you’ve probably not seen. It’s a movie about friendship and loneliness – about being ‘the other’, about the pain of not quite fitting in.
The haunting, stark setting sets the right tone. The amazing thing about this movie is that though there are several typical vampire scenes re-enacted, gory and bloody, coffins and staying out of the sunlight – the usual nods to the mythology – it is also a uniquely sweet and tender film. Melding these two paths is what raises the movie so far above the usual. I watched this several weeks ago and it still comes back to me from time to time.