In Let the Right One In, Oskar is a young Swedish boy. He is first seen in the film acting out what he would do to the bully that is constantly tormenting him at school. He befriends Eli early on in the movie. Through their many encounters, Oskar realizes that Eli is in fact a vampire. She even aids him by killing one of his bullies. In this story Eli is often framed as the antagonist but Oskar fits the description of a monster as well.
He realizes, through his many talks with Eli, realizes that the two aren’t so different. Eli is the one that needs to kill but Oskar is the one that wants to kill. Monsters are often characterized as killers. In fact, Oskar shares many characteristics with monsters throughout folklore. In his Monster Culture: Seven Theses Jeffery Cohen describes the characteristics of monsters. Oskar, like many monsters, is an outsider. This is shown when he is bullied by other children and his lack of interaction with his peers. He only seems to be social around Eli. He also characterizes Cohen’s sixth thesis. Cohen’s thesis states that fear for a monster is actually a fear that is desired by the audience. People like to see such violent acts by a child because it is so taboo. Finally, Oskar is a monster because he lives on the borders of becoming. He redefines what a child could act like in his cultures context. While others were off playing, Oskar was studying murder stories in the news. His lust for murder is outlandish not only for a child but for any adult. Although it seemed as though there was only one monster in this story, Oskar proved that even though he wasn’t a Vampire like Eli, he still showed several traits of a monster.
Låt Den Rätte Komma in = Let the Right One in. Dir. Tomas Alfredson. By Tomas Alfredson,
John Ajvide Lindqvist, Hoyte Van Hoytema, Johan Söderqvist, and Dino Jonsater. Prod. John
Nordling and Carl Molinder. Perf. Kåre Hedebrant, Lina Leandersson, Per Ragnar, Peter Carlberg,
Ika Nord, and Henrik Dahl. Publisher Not Identified, 2008. Online.
Cohen, ed. Monster Theory: Reading Culture (Minneapolis and London: University of Minnesota Press, 1996), 3-25.