In flames

A vampire in flames

BluRay case

Home media relese on BluRay

DVD case

Home media relese DVD case

Eli bleeding

Eli bleed because she came into his house without an invitation


Eli normal

Let the right one in (English title) is a book/movie from Sweden about a boy named Oskar who befriends a vampire named Eli who helps him throughout the book/movie. There is another film based off this movie with the same storyline called Let Me In which came out on October 1st, 2010.


Let the Right One In follows a young twelve year old boy named Oskar who resides in the suburban town of Blackebern [] in Stockholm, beside his single mother Yvonne.

Oskar is a tormented boy at his school, who is constantly bullied by his peers. So much so that he fantasizes about exacting his revenge on the bullies.

Oskar meets another young girl, Eli, when she moves into the next door apartment complex with her father, Hakan [åkan]. Eventually the two kids form a close bond with each other, they are told by Eli's father that she should not hang around with Oskar, also Eli was Oskar's inspiration to stand up for himself at school.

On his quest to gather blood for Eli, Hakan fails to do so and then instructs Eli to commit the devious act for herself. This act as well as another performed by Hakan are noticed by others in the respectful scenes. In an attempt to save himself from being identified, Hakan ends up in a hospital where he is visited by Eli. After the encounter where Hakan sacrifices his own blood for Eli, Oskar and Eli have a revealing conversation where Eli admits that she "is not a girl" [].

After leaning about Eli's gender ambiguity, Oskar then soon learns about her true identity as a vampire, where he also readily accepts after some upset feeling are passed about her nature of needing to murder innocent people. It is at this point where the two begin to further their relationship and find a cohesive use of their similarities. With their new connection, the two are soon faced with new foes that they encounter and ultimately help each other with by either murdering or distracting them.

These encounters include Lacke attempting to murder Eli and ultimately failing and ending up dead at Eli's hands, as well as the group of bullies at the pool where Eli rescues Oskar by murdering the bullies.

Portrayal of Characters

In Tomas Alfredson's 2008 film, Let the Right One In, the central focus of the story is based around the character Eli. Eli is a young girl who has existed as a vampire for decades as a result of her lack of ability to age. Vampires are commonly portrayed in this manner, and it has become common notion among the vampire community that they lack the ability to age.[1] Not only has Eli's lack of ability to age effected her in a physical way, but it has also manifested itself in an introverted personality which she has adopted and displayed throughout the entirety of the film. This introverted and closed off sense of wonderment about Eli not only reveals much about her wisdom but it also alludes to a quiet sense of observation which one can clearly see. Another physical vampire trait that Eli portrays throughout the film is her white pasty skin. Another instance where a vampire is portrayed with pale skin is in Lord Byrons Vampyre stating "Why looks my lord so deadly pale"[1] Vampires are commonly portrayed with white, almost translucent skin.[2]

Dracula wallpaper by regourso-d7gzm5t

[2] This appearance is one which is constantly maintained throughout vampire culture and is a reoccurring theme which exists throughout the vampire world. One of the most powerful traits which Eli is able to take advantage of is her ability to fly to get herself out of trouble when encountering sticky situations. Vampires are commonly able to fly, but in Eli's specific case she does not have to morph into a bat before parting to the sky. These specific traits which Eli possesses not only are integral to the story of Let the Right One In, but as a result they help to maintain and pass on the different physical appearances which most vampires maintain throughout the lore.

Oskar is a young boy, who is an outsider and is constantly bullied at school. Due to his parents being separated their communication is not the greatest and Oskar suffers greatly from hiding his bullying from them. He keeps to himself and has no friends at school to talk to. He meets Eli in the courtyard of his apartment complex and is stabbing a tree pretending to stab one of the kids who bully him. Oskar is average size has long blonde hair a notably different hairstyle compared to the kids at school. He tries to fit in by joining a weight-lifting class which he fails miserably at. He is mainly bullied by three other boys who believe that he doesn’t belong, is the odd-ball and doesn’t fall into social norms. He seeks friendship through Eli as she is the only one who seems to have accepted him and listens to what he has to say. Ideology in this film is very present through Eli and Oskar as it suggests the two need each other in order to function and have an easier life[3]. Similar to Buffy[4] in season 1 episode 1 where the people she met that were the outsiders of her new high school became her best friends and go on to follow her in her adventures of hunting. Similar to that Oskar stays close to Eli even after finding out she’s a vampire because he needs communication and someone who can understand what is feels like not to belong. In the end he stands by his friend and is someone who is trustworthy being able to keep Eli secret and aid her when she was faced with death. Trustworthiness that many vampires don’t commonly find like the short folklores the vampire, and the Peasant and the Corpse[5].

While Eli is certainly the protagonist of the film, there is controversy around what type of character she is: heroine or villain. If given only certain scenes of the film, one might fall on either side, firmly believing that Eli is one or the other. For instance, Eli, with the help Hakan (the man who takes care of her) kills and drinks the blood of many innocent people. This could be taken to mean she is the villain of the film. Some also define a villain as "Inhuman forces of nature" ([6]. On the other hand, Eli stands up for the primary outcast of the film: Oskar, as mentioned above. She defends him from bullying that he receives throughout the film. This may seem to indicate that Eli is actually the heroine of the film, as heroes often are outcasts or stand up for outcasts, which Eli does both of. [7] Two examples of Oskar being bullied: [8] [9]


Reception towards the movie has been largely positive in both the Swedish and international movie markets, with the movie having a high rating on Rotten Tomato and receiving several awards, most notably the 'Founders Award for Best Narrative Feature' at the Tribeca Movie Festival in 2008 [3]. Critics have lauded it as a return of the vampire proper, giving them a proper 'scary' spin, with Empire Magazine stating that the characters were “so frightening, so magnetic” [4].

Additionally, the movie was praised for it's focus on the romance between Oskar and Eli, as Tomas Alfredson ignored common horror conventions of vampires of male vampires romancing or seducing and ultimately killing women or turning them into vampires, and exploring gender conventions in regards to Eli. Furthermore, despite there being violent content, Alfredson also ignored common vampire convention in that the violence scenes were depicted in a tasteful manner as opposed to the eroticization of gore.

Critics have also praised the movie for it not being just a horror story, but an excellent coming-of-age movie as well, Bloody Disgusting calling it “a human story, a pensive meditation on the transcendent possibilities of human connection” [5], emphasizing the point of intimate connections between two societal outcasts: Oskar by virtue of being the bullied teen, and Eli being a vampire. The movie is considered to be an excellent reworking of othering in vampire mythology, while still remaining true to the myth of the ‘modern vampire’, a homage to classical vampires but ultimately an evolution: no longer just a Byronic figure, but something capable of breaking free from the vampire shown in Polidori’s The Vampyre.

While it can be perceived as a vengeance story, with Eli (commonly seen as a girl up until the portrayal of her being a eunuch, and even then the movie continues to portray her as a girl) coming to the rescue of the man by killing his bullies, it is ultimately a romance story (monsters being capable of frightening and hurting as much as attracting), with the ending being a sweet portrayal of the complicated relationship between Eli and Oskar: the movie ends with Oskar on a train, Eli in a box safe from the sun, and responding to Oskar by using morse code to spell out a single word: kiss.

Traditional Aspects of Vampirism Edit

In the film Let the Right One in, the historical accuracy of traditional vampires is displayed through the character Eli.  Midway through the film, when Eli comes to visit Oscar in his home next to hers, she asks if she may enter the room.  This classic portrayal of vampires has existed in Vampiric culture for centuries, depicting vampires as being unable to enter rooms without permission from the owner of the residence.  Not only is this one of the prevalent examples of how Tomas Alfredson portrays a classical example of a reoccurring tradition within vampire culture but it also shows a historical accuracy and great attention to detail.  Vampires not only have to ask permission in order to enter a room, but if a vampire enters a room without asking for permission, they face excruciating pain and soon after death. This cruel and unusual tradition which vampires must obey has existed throughout literature and film for decades and as a result of Tomas Alfredson's attention to detail, it is preserved throughout his film Let the Right One In. The other common vampiric trait which Eli possesses in the film Let the Right One In is the trait that vampires are resistant to the cold. Early on when Eli first meets Oscar, she is seen sitting outside in a snow filled courtyard in Sweeden wearing nothing but shorts and a normal dress shirt. After Oscar asks how she is not cold, she replies that she simply has forgotten how to be cold. Another place where Vampires being resistant to cold is seen in the fantasy board game, Dungeons and Dragons. This portrayal of vampires shows the consistent traits which vampires have maintained throughout popular culture. The most common trait which Eli possesses in relation to other traditional vampires is the bloodlust in order to survive. As portrayed throughout popular depictions, a vampire can be seen commonly with blood dripping from their mouth. [10]

Christopher lee as dracula by revenant 99-d3e7lia

This belief that vampires must drink blood in order to survive is by far the most common and widespread tradition of vampires. As stated in the poem The Giaour by Lord Byron, a vampire must "Suck the Blood of all thy race" [11]. Not only does this further support the notion of a vampire's bloodlust but it also shows the extent of which the bloodlust must persist.

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