“Let the Right One In” is a horror film which tells the love story between a boy named Oskar and a vampire girl named Eli. Unexpectedly, I actually liked it because it was able to effectively present the romantic aspect of the horror genre which was quite uncommon among horror films. Many would probably compare the movie to the cheesy and well-known “Twilight” series but I would certainly not. Without a doubt, I can dare say that the said film was so much better because of its inspiring and touching story. It did not only present two young lovers in such an original and unique way but it was also able to address several recurring themes such as bullying and revenge. Indeed, I am glad our professor decided to show it as the final film for our horror film class since it was a great way to end the semester.
Oskar was first introduced as a young boy who lived with his mother and frequently visited his father and kept a knife under his bed while collecting newspaper readings about gruesome murders. He was constantly bullied in school so he had always thought of revenge. One day, he met a strange girl named Eli who just moved next door with an old man named Hakan. Although she was requested to stop seeing Oskar, Eli convinced him to fight for himself. They eventually became close friends and by exchanging Morse codes, their bond with each other slowly strengthened. Due to Hakan’s failed efforts to obtain blood, Eli consequently killed a local man named Jocke and Hakan was forced to sacrifice himself in order to feed her. Eli had no one to run to so she went to Oskar’s apartment and as she revealed that she was not a girl, Oskar just ignored it. Since the body of Jocke was discovered by his classmates, Oskar learned to fight back by attacking one of the bullies. Lacke was the only friend of Jocke and his girlfriend Virginia bursted into flames after getting attacked by Eli and being sensitive to sunlight. Eli finally admitted her true nature as a vampire and their relationship still evolved even though Oskar was devastated of Eli’s need to kill for her survival. The final few moments of the film involved Oskar and Eli saving each other from near death experiences as the bullies and Lacke seeked out revenge. The movie ended with Eli, whom Oskar protected against the sunlight, travelling together on a train.
In general, “Let the Right One In” efficiently presents how relationships and young love in particular start and continually develop. In addition to this, the predominant gender issue in the film was that Eli acted as if she was the male while Oskar acted as if he was the female. It was discussed in Linda Williams’ article that women can find their power in the monster’s power and Eli best exemplified this. Eli was the one who taught Oskar to stand up for himself and she even saved him from the bullies in the swimming pool. On the other hand, Eli was helpless and incapable throughout the movie specifically when he just simply shouted when Eli was about to be killed by Lacke. Moreover, Eli’s revelation to Oskar that she was a vampire can be associated with Barbara Creed’s concept of the monstrous feminine stating that there is something abject about the woman which disturbs the whole system and order of things. In the end, the film is proof that young love exists and love knows no boundaries.