"Let the Right One In" (2008) is an intriguing and complex film. Oscar, a 12-year-old boy is struggling with bullies and the toll of facing them constantly. He is deeply disturbed and at night reads magazines and news articles of mass shootings and murders. It is clear he has ideas/visions of himself taking part in one. Then one day a young girl moves into an apartment near Oscar. Their first encounter is rather strange with the girl, Eli, informing Oscar that the two may not be friends. Honestly, at this point I thought Oscar was going to go on a rampage or something because of his constant rejection, but Oscar does not and you see him and Eli slowly develop a friendship. This friendship grows and Oscar eventually opens up to Eli about his constant tormenting and bullying. Eli tells Oscar to stick up for himself and Oscar begins to prepare by taking some weight classes. The friendship blossoms even more when Eli informs Oscar that “she” is actually a “he”, yet, even though at the time this is taboo and unheard of, Oscar accepts this. I personally found it odd that Oscar didn’t question it anymore than he did or have any hesitations. That is a big change regardless of how open you are… It is clear as the story goes on that Eli and Oscar’s relationship is strengthening and maturing everyday. Through this you see Oscar’s confidence rise and eventually he sticks up to one of his bullies. Yet, there was still one thing Eli had yet to tell Oscar… that he was a vampire. But, low and behold Oscar finds out himself and confronts Eli. Oscar is hurt, confused, mad, sad, everything really but he decides to confront Eli and find the truth out himself. Eli is hesitant to admit his secret to Oscar but admits it anyway, hoping he can convince Oscar to join him in their quest to kill. When an attempt on Eli’s life is thwarted by Oscar, Eli realizes he must leave and vanishes. Oscar goes to his weight class the next day and has an encounter will the bullies. They attempt to drown Oscar but of course out of nowhere comes Eli to save the day! Eli attacks the bullies and kills all except one. The film ends with Oscar and Eli, in a box, riding in a train.
"Let the Right One In" reminded me of the article we had to read by Jeffery Cohen, "Monster Culture: Seven Theses". In particular, just how Eli always seemed to escape, especially after partaking in carnage, it reminded me of King Author and the Ogre he would attempt to kill would somehow always escape. In Thesis II of the article it is stated "the monster turns immaterial and vanishes... to reapper somewhere else" (Cohen, 4).
Check out this site for a great arguement on why the ending isn't a happy ending: https://cinefilesreviews.com/2015/10/15/the-dark-truth-behind-the-let-the-right-one-in-ending/
Here is a great discussion about the differences and similarities between the film and the novel: http://www.avclub.com/article/ilet-the-right-one-ini-25503
A random page I came across but rather interesting: http://dramatica.com/analysis/let-the-right-one-in
"Monster Culture: Seven Theses" - Jeffery Cohen : https://d2l.arizona.edu/d2l/le/content/563364/viewContent/4841247/View