Magnolia Pictures via Everett Collection
It's Friday evening, that surreal few hours in which your work self evolves (or devolves) into your weekend self. You're feeling that bizarre mix of tired and excited. You're hungry for something fun, something relaxing, something... weird. And a good old-fashioned piece of oddball cinema — be it a mind-bending mystery, a psychological thriller, or just your standard trippy horror film — is the way to go. For this week's Freaky Friday, Netflix Hand-Picked Flix recommends Let the Right One In.
If you've seen one vampire love story, you've seen them all, right? Not quite. Let the Right One In takes all of the conventions you're familiar with and flips them on their heads. The Swedish film follows Oskar (Kåre Hedebrant), a 12 year-old boy who spends his free time coming up with elaborate revenge plans for the kids at school who bully him mercilessly. One night, he meets Eli (Lina Leandersson), a pale, quiet girl who has moved in next door, and the two develop a close friendship, bonding over their knowledge of morse code and enjoyment of Rubik's Cubes. However, Eli soon reveals that she isn't a normal teenager; she's a vampire, and she's killing people in their town in order to feed off of their blood. Despite his inital shock, Oskar soon learns that he and Eli might be able to see eye to eye on this development.
Dark and strange, yet still moving and beautiful, Let the Right One In is less a story about vampires and revenge than it is a tale about two lonely people coming together to find someone who understands and accepts them completely. Hedebrant and Leandersson, whose dialogue was actually dubbed in order to better fit an important secret about Eli, give performances that are nuanced and at times frightening. Despite their young age, they aren't afraid of exploring the darker, hidden elements of their characters, which allows Let the Right One In to keep its twisted edge, even as Eli and Oskar's affection for each other grows. At once a disturbing horror movie, which slowly builds up suspense and terror, and a moving art house picture, Let the Right One In is unlike any vampire movie you've seen before, and one that you're not likely to forget any time soon.
Let the Right One In is available to stream instantly on Netflix. Check back tomorrow for our pick for the perfect Saturday Night Fever flick.
There appears to be some kind of unwritten Hollywood rule that a Young Adult blockbuster must feature a soundtrack stacked with credible indie favorites. First, the Twilight phenomenon roped in the likes of Iron & Wine, Thom Yorke, and Vampire Weekend for three albums' worth of angst-ridden rock, then the Hunger Games series recruited everyone from Arcade Fire to Patti Smith to provide the musical backdrop for The Capitol's annual fight to the death. Now, it's Divergent's turn. The forthcoming big-screen adaptation of Veronica Roth's best-selling novels shows off its too-cool-for-school credentials with the release of 13 tracks which either helped to inspire or were inspired by its dystopian story.Executive produced by Hans Zimmer, the collection doesn't initially seem to be too concerned about distancing itself from the film's obvious predecessors. Ellie Goulding – who recently lent her featherlight vocals to the Catching Fire soundtrack – shows up three times here, while the shadow of Coldplay's contribution to the aforementioned also hovers over the windswept rock of Snow Patrol's "I Won't Let You Go."
The formulaic hands-in-the-air EDM of superstar DJ Zedd’s opener "Find You" isn't exactly the most encouraging start either. But thankfully, the soundtrack soon recovers to carve out an intriguing and unexpectedly Gallic-tinged identity of its own.
Indeed, it's the three French artists who make the cut who turn out to provide the album's standout moments. Anthony Gonzales's M83 – no stranger to futuristic sci-fi having composed the entire score for Tom Cruise's Oblivion – showcase their triumphant blend of saxophones and synth-rock on the widescreen "I Need You."
Parisian video director-turned-troubadour Woodkid's international profile will no doubt rocket after lending the gothic baroque rock of 2012 single "Run Boy Run" to the movie. While best-known for his work on Kanye West's Yeezus, techno producer Gesaffelstein remains as uncompromising yet hypnotic as ever on the unnerving and appropriately apocalyptic doom-hop of A$AP Rocky collaboration "In Distress."
The latter is also indicative of the album's stronger hip-hop flavour. Chance The Rapper provides a brilliantly off-kilter rap on the spacey electro-R&B of Pia Mia's "Fight For You." Plus, Kendrick Lamar justifying his MTV's Hottest MC in the Game label with an inspired reworking of Tame Impala's "Feels Like We Only Go Backwards" with the Australian psych-rock revivalists.
Of course, described by director Neil Burger as the inner voice of the film's heroine Tris, it's Goulding who takes center stage. The cloying balladry of "Dead in the Water" and new composition "Beating Heart," essentially a subdued retread of her US No. 2 hit "Lights," fail to leave much impression. However, London trio I See MONSTAS' remix of "Hanging On" is much more vibrant, substituting the original's ethereal qualities for grimy synths, punchy handclaps and pitch-shifted vocals.
If Goulding's omnipresence is supposed to set the tone for the film, then it seems unlikely that Divergent will be as thrilling as its action-packed counterparts. But if it's more in keeping with the rest of the impressively eclectic track-list, then Mockingjay may have a genuine rival for this year's biggest teen-friendly hit.
Divergent hits theaters March 21. You can check showtimes and purchase advanced tickets at Movietickets.com.Follow @Hollywood_com
Yeah Yeah Yeahs singer Karen O is set to be joined onstage at Sunday's (02Mar14) Oscars ceremony by Vampire Weekend guitarist Ezra Koenig. The frontwoman will perform the The Moon Song, which has been nominated for the Best Original Song award, from Spike Jonze's movie Her.
Kanye West is looking to make a triumphant return to the Bonnaroo Music Festival this summer (14), six years after he was booed on the same stage. The Stronger rapper has been named one of the headliners for the Manchester, Tennessee event, marking the first time he will grace the festival since his disastrous set in 2008.
West was one of the headliners that year and he made thousands of fans wait hours for his performance, taking to the stage at nearly 4.30am.
The set-up for his show took longer than expected, and by the time he walked onstage, his fans' patience had snapped and they booed the rapper during his performance.
In addition to West, other headliners tapped for the 2014 weekend include Sir Elton John and Jack White, as well as sets from Lionel Richie, Lauryn Hill, Vampire Weekend, and Wiz Khalifa.
The 13th annual Bonnaroo festival will take place from 12 to 15 June (14).
Miley Cyrus' ex-fiance Liam Hemsworth has sparked rumours he is dating Nina Dobrev after he was spotted on a date with the actress in Atlanta, Georgia over the weekend (07-09Feb14). The two were photographed at Corner Tavern on Friday (07Feb14) and an eyewitness insists they were "definitely acting couple-y (sic)."
The insider tells Celebuzz.com, "They stayed around two to three hours and Nina left before Liam, and as she was leaving they gave each other a good night kiss... (and) she ran off into a car service with her friend."
Dobrev is currently in Atlanta filming season five of Vampire Diaries and Hemsworth is in town working on The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Parts 1 and 2.
Hemsworth broke off his engagement to Cyrus last year (13), while Dobrev previously dated her Vampire Diaries co-star, Ian Somerhalder, from 2010 to 2013.
Matthew Mcconaughey's Oscar-tipped movie Dallas Buyers Club is among the nominees for the 2014 Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) Media Awards. Dallas Buyers Club, which tells the story of a real life AIDS patient, has won a nod for Outstanding Film ahead of the organisation's prizegiving, which recognises TV programmes, movies and individuals for their "fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community."
Other nominees in the category include Kill You Darlings, starring Daniel Radcliffe as poet Allen Ginsberg, and French lesbian drama Blue Is The Warmest Color.
Hit U.S. TV show Orange Is The New Black will compete against Modern Family, Glee and Andy Samberg's Brooklyn Nine-Nine in the Outstanding Comedy Series category, while Shameless, Orphan Black and Grey's Anatomy are nominated for Outstanding Drama Series.
The hotly contested Outstanding Music Artist category is full of big names with Lady Gaga, Sir Elton John, Goldfrapp and Vampire Weekend all among the nominees.
The GLAAD Media Awards will be handed out at two ceremonies, held in Los Angeles on 12 April (14) and in New York City on 3 May (14), with special honourees for each city yet to be announced.
The Strokes star Julian Casablancas will serve double duty at the Governors Ball festival in New York in June (14) - the frontman will perform solo and with his rock band. The annual Governors Ball will mark The Strokes' first gig since 2011. They will join the reunited Outkast, Jack White and Vampire Weekend among the headliners at the weekend event, held on Randall's Island. Disclosure, Phoenix, Skrillex and TV on the Radio will also perform.
Eric Clapton, Bruce Springsteen, Phish and Christina Aguilera will head up the talent at this year's (14) New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. The four acts will be joined by Arcade Fire, Santana, Vampire Weekend, Robert Plant, Public Enemy and John Fogerty, among others at the 45th annual music event, which will take place in Louisiana over two weekends in April and May (14).
Rockers Vampire Weekend have recorded an odd cover of Andrea Bocelli's romantic tune Time To Say Goodbye (Con Te Partiro) for a new Valentine's Day compilation. Bosses at Coffee giants Starbucks asked a number of artists to revamp their favourite love songs for the album, titled Sweetheart 2014.
The compilation also features My Morning Jacket's Jim James' version of Bob Marley's Turn Your Lights Down Low, Ben Harper's cover of Mazzy Star's Fade Into You and Beck's take on John Lennon's Love.