Vampedia Entry 1: Good vs. Bad in Let the Right One In

By Brad Sinesi

One of the themes I will explore from Tomas Alfredson’s film Let the Right One In (2008) is the subjective nature of being a “good” or “bad” person. So often we are told that there are good people and bad people, and that the line between the two is very clear. But what exactly defines one person to be good, and another person to be bad? Do we just observe people’s actions without questioning what caused their behavior? Oskar, the main protagonist of the film and the boy being horribly bullied at school, practices how he will murder his tormentors by stabbing them to death. Does Oskar’s bloodthirsty intentions make him to be a bad person? Oskar may be wrong for having thoughts of murdering Conny, the bully, but between Oskar and Conny, who is the good person and who is the bad? Despite Oskar’s murderous thoughts, I found Conny’s behavior to be completely unprovoked and unjustified, which is why I sympathized for Oskar, and not Conny. So maybe good versus bad can be determined by our emotions. But what about Hakan, the man responsible for murdering innocent people in order to provide Eli, a vampire, with fresh blood? Hakan is a murderer, but do his reasons justify his actions? Should Hakan be murdering other people for the sake of Eli? Probably not...but it does bring up the question of good versus bad again. In “Monster Culture: Seven Theses,” author Jeffrey Cohen argues that monsters are difficult to quickly categorize. This is an important point to examine, in that it further supports the rather complex process of deciding whether or not someone is good, bad, or a monster.  In the article “The Poet, the Physician and the Birth of the Modern Vampire,” author Andrew McConnell Stott argues that the role of the vampire is to “induce intense paranoia about the nature of social relations,” asking “who are the real bloodsuckers?” That is my question for you Let the Right One In, who is good and who is bad? Not as easily defined as you may think.    


Let the Right One In Film Review,

The Dark Truth Behind The “Let the Right One In” Ending,

How Do You Spot a Monster? (Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist),

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