In the Swedish film “Let the Right One In”, the director, Tomas Alfredson, shot the film in a peculiar way. There is a hand full of scenes in the film that has a different taste to it, one that reminded me of a Wes Anderson’s film. From the odd, almost uncomfortable dialogue, to a few action scenes that almost make the movie seem centered as if it’s a play. The scene of Eli hunting under the bridge is shot from afar and centered as if it were a play on stage (1). Although the movie may lack some of the charm that Wes Anderson usually brings to the stage, I couldn’t help but think of him during this movie.
The film gives us a story of a relationship that develops between a boy and a not so ordinary girl. We are shown a boy named Oskar, who from the first few scenes we can tell is an outsider. He is a quiet, shy kid who is dealing with bullies and other issues in his life. He is always too afraid to stand up to the bullies, so he never fights back and just takes it. He meets a new neighbor girl named Eli who catches him stabbing a tree in the courtyard pretending that it is the kids who bully him. He begins a friendship with her that turns into a romance, and he tells her his troubles. She tells Oskar that he should fight back those bullies. The film carries on as Oskar notices that Eli is different than other girls. He eventually finds out that she is a vampire, but that doesn’t change Oskar’s feelings for her. Throughout the movie Eli keeps telling Oskar that she is not a girl. In the book, it is said that Eli was a castrated boy. This falls in the line where their relationship falls outside of the sexual normative. As Jeffrey Cohen describes in his “Monster Culture: Seven These” (2) this relationship would make Eli the monster to society and culture (Cohen, 11). Cohen’s thesis IV is about how the monster dwells as the gates of difference, and for Oskar he was different, and an outsider (Cohen, 7). Because of this, he was tormented and bullied for being different.
Later in the movie Oskar has a chance to fight back his bullies and he does. He hits the bully in the face with a stick, and Oskar’s face shows how content he felt doing that. This was one of my favorite scenes, the way it was filmed from far away, centered, and the blunt theme to it is why I find it so amusing (3). We also see some bravery develop in Oskar when Lacke tries to kill Eli and Oskar stops him giving Eli enough time to fight back. This film shows a vampire that give a lonely boy a friend, a lover, and his bravery.
Cohen, Jeffrey Jerome. "Monster Culture (Seven Theses)(extract)." Speaking of Monsters (1996): n. pag. Web.