In the film “Let the Right One In” directed by Thomas Alfredson, a not so cliché vampire love story unfolds. Oskar, a twelve-year boy, is portrayed as a quiet, reserved person who is subjected to the torment of his peers. He the befriends Eli, and “about twelve-year old” girl while stabbing a tree that he pictures as his bullies. She is also isolated because of her current condition. Both show characteristics of being reserved but differ because Eli is a vampire. The term othering categorizes a person/group as “not one of us” and usually holds a negative connotation (Unit2 Lecture). This perfectly describes how Oskar and Eli are portrayed in the beginning of the film.
Unbeknownst to Oskar of her vampire lifestyle, a relationship between them begins. As Eli learns of Oskar’s torment, she tells him to fight by back. This starts Oskar’s transformation from the aggresse to the aggressor. He then starts weight training to gain the strength he needs to take revenge. Eli seems to represent a catalyst for Oskar to finally stand up for himself against Connie and his posy. Jeffery Cohen mentions that “The monster is born only at this metaphoric crossroads, as an embodiment of a certain cultural moment- of a time, a feeling, and a place” (Seven Thesis 3). In the film, this moment is born when Eli climbs into bed with Oskar after she kills Hakar. He disfigures his face with acid so he would not be identified for the crimes he committed. A sense of vulnerability can be felt from Eli, giving her more human like characteristics. When Oskar and his class go to snow, Connie attempts to bully him again. Oskar gains the courage to attack Connie in defense. In this scene, the monster as mentioned by Jeffery Cohen is born.
Article on comparing how different or similar the book and movie is:
Cohen, Jeffrey Jerome, editor. Monster Theory: Reading Culture. NED - New edition ed., University of Minnesota Press, 1996, www.jstor.org/stable/10.5749/j.ctttsq4d.
Unit Two Lecture
Picture: Screenshot from film Let the Right One In (1:20)