The Swedish vampire film titled Let the Right One In has a depth to it which allows the audience to interpret the story through a variety of lenses. While it can be viewed literally as just a story between a vampire and a child, an underlying theme can be found which views the story in a more metaphorical sense. Oskar can represent anyone who struggles with their own internal demons (i.e. insecurities, depression, doubt etc.), which in the movie are symbolized by the bullies Conny, Martin, and Andreas.

Eli can be seen to represent anyone which can help a person with their struggles. The classical limitations historically placed on vampires, most notably in Dracula by Bram Stoker, perfectly depicts the dynamic found between those who seek to help and those who need help. The greatest example being how she cannot enter his house unless he invites her in otherwise she gets hurt just like how many people who attempt to help others who do not desire it can experience backlash from the person and become more alienated from them. While Eli always has the power to help Oskar deal with his bullies, she is unable to do so until he both physically and emotionally lets her in. The parallels between this dynamic and the ones between the sufferer and anyone trying to help is clear. While they may know how to ease or improve the sufferer’s state of mind, they cannot be effective unless the sufferer allows them in and wants their help. Eli helps Oskar learn to challenge and face his issues more directly, and despite her needing to step in at the end he still comes away with a healthier mentality when it comes to confronting problems he encounters. The similarity here between the story and life is more clear cut. This is easily seen as people helping others learn to cope with and manage the monsters in their head.

This is one interpretation out of many themes which can be found hidden within not only this movie, but within a number of other vampire stories. At face value, we all see this image of them as haunting, sinister creatures but numerous tales attempt to paint them in a different light by humanizing them and in this way we can draw greater similarities between them and people or more abstract concepts within our own lives.

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Alfredson, T. (Director), Alfredson, T., Lindqvist, J. A., Hoytema, H. V., Söderqvist, J., & Jonsater, D. (Writers), & Nordling, J., & Molinder, C. (Producers). (n.d.). Låt den rätte komma in = Let the right one in [Video file].

Stoker, Bram. Dracula (penguin Graded Readers Plpr3 Pbk Mp3). Place of Publication Not Identified: Penguin, 2012. Print.

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