I don’t watch too many contemporary horror films, because I just found them uninspired in the story department, and relying too much on cheap shock rather than take the trouble to develop atmosphere. Perhaps the reason this film was such an international success was the fact that the novelist/screenwriter John Ajvide Lindqvist and director Tomas Alfredson both had zero background in horror, and therefore approached the story with a focus on the characters and their relationship, crafting a pure love story between two 12-year-old lonely kids in a quiet Stockholm suburb in the early 1980s, one of which just happens to be a 200-year-old vampire. The cinematography is stunningly beautiful, and doesn’t exist only for its own sake or for flashiness, but actually helps tell the story. There are obviously special effects in use, but they are nearly invisible, as again the work to move the story along, rather than seek to dazzle the viewer.
Fans of this movie are upset that there is a soon-to-be-released Hollywood remake, which does seem like a pretty bad idea. This movie nearly perfect. The only qualm I had was the cats attack! scene, which was a bit cheesy, with flaws that were too obvious in the special effects. Also, it is too hard to imagine this transplanted to even the smallest of American towns.