There are so many guaranteed rent-or-buy theatrical movies new to DVD this week — Milk, Rachel Getting Married, Cadillac Records ... — that it might be a good time to consider a couple that aren't guaranteed, except to surprise.
■ Let the Right One In is the vampire movie that is not Twilight. It is kind of like Twilight, but Swedish and more horrific. The movie itself is not unlike a vampire: cold, unsettling and reveling in the dark.
Oskar (played by Kare Hedebrant) is a sensitive 12-year-old who seems to have no friends and frequently is bullied by other boys at school. When Eli (Lina Leandersson), a peculiar girl — she's 12, too, and has been for a long time — moves into his building, he develops a friend and a crush. A series of gruesome deaths attends Eli's arrival, and Oskar comes to realize that she's a vampire. Innocently, he asks, "But can we be friends?"
The confused emotions of a coming-of-age story coexist beautifully yet tragically alongside the bloody necessity of the vampire's "life."
Let the Right One In is spoken in Swedish, with English subtitles. It's rated R and lists for $26.98 on DVD and $34.98 on Blu-ray.
■ There's murder in Primal Fear, too, the 1996 film that's out this week in a Hard Evidence Edition. Edward Norton made his screen debut (and got an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actor) as Aaron Stampler, an innocent-looking young man who obviously is guilty of the murder and mutilation of a Chicago priest. Richard Gere plays the lawyer looking to cash in on publicity even as he's sure that his client will be convicted.
As evidence begins to emerge, however, the case is shown to be not so simple and the ending not so obvious.
Primal Fear: Hard Evidence Edition includes commentary by director Greg Hoblit and writer Ann Biderman, among others, and an interview with Edward Norton. The DVD is rated R and lists for $14.98 for DVD and $29.99 for Blu-ray.