The film “Let the Right One In”, directed by Tomas Alfredson, is a tale of a bullied outsider and an unlikely heroine. Oskar, a 12 year old school boy who is constantly bullied, is the main protagonist in this film. Oskar is befriended by a peculiar girl named Eli, who happens to live in his building. Eli is not a strange looking girl, she just has some mannerisms that seem outside the norm. The two find solace in each other, both being outsiders and soon become inseparable.
Later in the film, we see scenes of a man killing and exsanguinating his victims. Only to find out our suspicions about Eli were true. Eli is a vampire, and this man, Hakan, is her caregiver. He kills and drains the blood of his victim for Eli to drink. However Eli is seen multiple times throughout the movie feeding on her victims alive.
Eli being what she is you would expect her to be the protagonist in the film, but in the case of Oskar she is nothing but the most unexpected heroine. Oskar, as I mentioned before is constantly bullied by a boy at school named Conny and his two lackeys. Oskar confides in Eli about his tormentors multiple times and Eli encourages him to stand up for himself and not let them push him around. Oskar takes this advice and the next time Conny harasses him, Oskar his him upside the head with a large stick, which mangled his ear. For a little bit this seemed to appease the bullying and Oskar is left alone. But towards the end of the film this issue rears its head again when Conny recruits the help of his older brother. They all ambush Oskar at the pool and Conny’s older brother forces Oskar to try to hold his breath under water for three minutes. If he fails, he loses his eye. It is in this scene where Eli performs her greatest heroic feat. While Oskar’s head is under water we hear muffled screams and sees bodies and body parts falling into the pool. Shortly after Oskar is pulled from the water to see his savior, Eli, and the bodies of his tormentors. Eli, a vampire, would normally be viewed as a dark, evil entity, but instead in this film she is the heroine, rescuing Oskar multiple times. She is truly an unlikely hero.
Let the Right One In. John. A. Lindqvist.
Monster Culture. Jeffrey Cohen.