In the movie, “Let the Right One In” (2008), Eli, a vampire girl, shows us exactly what happens when you let the right one into your life. Oskar is a bullied twelve-year-old boy who painstakingly scrapbooks articles of murder and death. Is it a mild obsession or an inspiration to seek revenge for those who have been wronged? One chilly night, while practicing his knife skills, Oskar meets the captivating Eli as she gracefully jumps off the jungle gym. Oskar, a loner, is not surprised when Eli tells him, “I can’t be friends with you.” Instead of scaring him away, Oskar seems intrigued that she actually thought that he wanted to be her friend. The next night they meet on the jungle gym and a life long bond is formed.
Eli has become Oskar’s friend and confidant. Upon hearing of the whipping from the three boys, she insists that Oskar fight back. She wants him to defend himself and she guarantees him that she will help him. Eli gives him the confidence to join the strength training class. A trust between Eli and Oscar is building and yet, Eli continues to prove to Oskar that she is a worthy companion. In spite of the fact that Eli tells Oskar she must leave at the end of the film, she returns to help him escape the clutches of the bullies at the swimming pool.
Eli is a representation of Theses Number 3 of Jeffery Jerome Cohen’s “Monster Culture (Seven Theses)." Eli presses the boundaries and identity of being a vampire on two separate occasions. The first is when she tries to eat the snack from Eli, even when she knows she can only consume blood and proceeds to throw up. She gains a strong embrace from Oskar for her attempt. The second time she challenges her vampire identity is upon entering the room without Oskar inviting her in. Eli begins to drain blood from her eyes, ears and body. Oskar immediately and properly invites Eli into his home, putting a stop to the drainage.
The bond between Eli and Oskar is a portrayal of true acceptance between two individuals who are basically considered outsiders in their environments. Oskar’s ability to love and accept Eli and all of her vampire complications is a testament to his character as a young boy finding himself in the throws of adolescence. Eli’s perseverance to demonstrate her loyalty to Oskar ultimately gives both characters what they needed the most, when you let the right one in, you will forever be accepted as you are.