The Daily Stream: Let The Right One In Is Still Bloody Brutal And Oddly Touching

(Welcome to The Daily Stream, an ongoing series in which the /Film team shares what they've been watching, why it's worth checking out, and where you can stream it.)

The Movie: "Let the Right One In"

Where You Can Stream It: Hulu

The Pitch: I know spooky season is over, but that doesn't mean we gotta stop recommending some bloody movies here at The Daily Stream. "Let the Right One In" is not only in the running for best genre movie of the last 20 years, but it's also a perfect movie to get you ready as winter rears its frigid head.

Why It's Essential Viewing

Here's the difficulty with recommending this movie to the average movie-watcher: there's a pretty damn good English language remake from the great Matt Reeves called "Let Me In," and we all know American audiences hate reading subtitles.

As much as I love what Reeves did with "Let Me In," and it is a very well-made, emotional film, there's just something that hits a little harder in the Swedish language original. Perhaps for this ignorant American, it's that the Swedish culture is recognizable, but still a little alien to my experience, which mirrors the disruptive presence Eli represents when she enters young Oskar's life, whereas the '80s-set remake was something I had first-hand experience with.

The story follows Oskar (Kare Hedebrant), a bullied young weirdo who is devastatingly lonely. His parents are mostly absent from his life, he has no friends, no role model, no passions, and no outlet for the anger building inside of him. His life is headed towards a dark place. He practices stabbing his school tormentors in his off time.

Then Eli enters his life, moving in next door, and is only seen hanging out at night. She's also a loner and the two kids connect pretty quickly. They see each other when no one else on Earth seems to be able to. The only problem is that Eli's a vampire.

At Least Someone's Warm in this Movie

Now, the reason "Let the Right One In" jumped out to me when considering what streaming film to talk about was that it does a fantastic job of giving you the feel of winter. It actually makes you cold while watching it. Whenever Eli's walking around the snowy apartment playground in her bare feet, I can't help but feel the room's temperature drop, like, 10 degrees.

Cold snaps are beginning to hit the US, and Austin just dropped into the 40s for the first time since our brutal summer. So, I thought what the hell? Let's celebrate that by talking about a movie that fully embraces bleak, dark, cold-ass winters.

As a vampire tale, "Let the Right One In" is in a league of its own, breaking down some vampire cliches in extremely smart ways. I'll always remember the scene where Oskar forces Eli to enter his apartment without being invited and holding my breath to see what would happen (and the resulting scene did NOT disappoint).

There's a brutality to this movie that is hard to undersell. Eli's attacks are so animalistic, a whiplash contrast to the vulnerable, kinda shy kid we see playing with Oskar's Rubik's Cube. The bloody messes she leaves behind — if her victims are lucky enough to die during her feedings — don't leave much to the imagination.

A Different Kind of Coming of Age Tale

Eli is a monster, yes. But, like all the best monsters, she's one you can relate to. Her connection with Oskar is a top-tier coming of age ... romance is the wrong word, although there is a deeply romantic undercurrent to their relationship. Their connection is almost primal. A young boy with no one to care for or that cares for him meets a centuries-old creature who desperately needs a caretaker.

It's a complex relationship, problematic on a whole lot of levels for obvious age-related and living/undead reasons. But I'll be damned if by the end of the movie I didn't want to see Oskar and Eli taking on the world together.

That relationship is the core of this story, the foundation that takes it past just being a smart, fresh take on a vampire tale, and the fact that it's set against a freezing cold backdrop only enhances the themes of isolation.

It's an incredible movie and the pool sequence finale is one of my all-time favorite movie scenes, period, end of story. The way it is shot, the reveal of what's happening above the surface of the water, the look on Oskar's face when he resurfaces. Chef's kiss material, I'm tellin' ya'.

So, if you've never seen this one or it's been a while, how about you make up a nice cup of hot chocolate, settle in, and usher in the new season in bloody style?