If you were expecting something a bit darker from Twilight, you may enjoy this film. It has very similar qualities. A young boy falls in love with a young girl - The girl being the vampire. But the story is less text book love, and more real passionate love. And even though the two main characters can't be older than 12, they play their parts very maturely. Much more mature than the some what desperate characters in Twilight. (I must add, I AM a Twilight fan, so lunatic followers, don't come after me)
And the action involved is a lot more sinister. The director Tomas Alfredson hasn't been scared to use blood, breaking bones and very tense night scenes. And as the young boy is bullied, you really see the torment that he goes through, giving it a sense of realism to this very vampire world.
In terms of the special effects, they are very lacking. This film obviously didn't have a Hollywood budget, and a particular scene with cats doesn't give you the scare factor, but almost provides some sort of dark comedy due to the poor editing. It could have been much more effective to just leave the cats hissing, rather than pouncing on the vampire. Other than that this film is very effective and unique.
Some could call this film slow because in parts, if you're not interested in the originality of this kind of cinema, it doesn't provide the usual plot points a mainstream film would have. The films leaves it very much for you to decide what is going to make you jump. There is lack of music and camera shots making it a very lingering film which does add to the apparent slowness. But if you're willing to try a new experience then really, you have to watch this.
Straight away you'll see the deviation from American cinema because it really puts you straight into the gore. From then on you see what cinema has to offer if you really pay attention. This film doesn't give you every ounce of information, you have to work it out a lot yourself. It's not enigmatic, it's just very laid back with a real tense undertone. As the camera shots are so long, you have a while to take in the scenery yourself, rather than being given establishing shots and codes. It's a very good experience for a film in general.
Swedish cinema has been known for its slow pacing of films and this certainly lives up to its reputation. And being one of the most highly regarded films this year - Opening the Freight Fest, and creating frenzies for film reviewers around the world, it really has made a mark for this foreign cinema. With Sweden producing even more films in the future, this is definitely going to be one of it's trade marks.
So if you fancy a change and don't mind subtitles, go for it!