Let the Right One In features a Vampire love story that differs largely from the Twilight series. It is definitely darker and disturbing with a tinge of sweet innocent vampire romance. The viewer is provided with the touching innocence of a child experiencing his first love that is coupled with the haunting, reimagining of the immortal story of the vampire, a story which the vampire really deserves. Love here is the root of the horror. We never know if Eli looks at Oskar as friend, boyfriend or dinner. Like Bella, Oskar willingly accepts a vampire into his home and consequentially, his life in general. It is interesting to note that almost all those who strike a relationship with a vampire, are commonly troubled, cast out by society and generally discontent with their lives. Bella, well Bella is plain weird and Oskar is a shy, unhappy and bullied child from school, and both are living with divorcee parents. The vampire acts as a sort of escapist reality for their own less-than-perfect world, and presents an entirely new world full of new thrilling adventures. The dynamic of the male vampire, female girl is also switched around; instead we have a girl vampire coupled with a human boy. Oskar wanted a friend who for once does not endanger him physically and emotionally. What is ironic is that he found a friend and safe place in a vampire, a creature supposedly a thousand times more dangerous than 500 bullies combined.
The love story is not too overdone too. The relationship between Oskar and Eli is purely friendly, innocent and cute at the same time. With one touching scene Oskar asks Eli to be her girlfriend, it mirrors the sad, heart-breaking reality of a lonely soul seeking out to another lonely soul, only more immortal. Furthermore, the film is not without its shocking and unnerving moments. There are many scenes wherein Eli attacks and drinks blood from random people in brutal animalistic fashion. And the transformation to a vampire is highlighted too. There is a scene of one of Eli’s surviving victim spontaneously combusting in a hospital.
The film does not lack in the disturbing department either. By the end of the film, Oskar runs away from home with Eli, and one can’t help but notice that unless Eli turns Oskar into her own, Oskar is still going to age. This mirrors the fact that Eli at the start of the film is assisted by an old fart that helps her get fresh blood by murdering random strangers. What if that old man, 60 years ago, was a similar young hapless boy who happens to fall in love with Eli too? This leads us to a dark realization that Eli and Oskar’s story maybe a dark cycle all along.
Let the right one in is surely one of the best and memorable rom-horror films out there.