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Tainted Love and Swedish Vampires

215px-Let_the_Right_One_In_(Swedish)A few years back I watched a foreign film called Let the Right One In. This film centers on the friendship between a vampire and a boy and is based on the book written by John Ajvide Lindqvist. Directed by Thomas Alfredson and starring Kare Hedebrant, Lina Leanderson, and Per Ragnar, the story revolves around Oskar a twelve year old boy who lives in the dreary Stockholm suburb, Blackeberg, with his divorced mother. Oskar is constantly bullied at school by a group of nasty boys looking for any excuse to beat him up. Strangely none of the teachers ever see Oscar being hurt. It’s not much better at home, where Oskar is often alone until late at night, because of his mother’s work schedule. Oskar is the poster child for latch key kids. He is isolated and friendless…the perfect victim for a predator…Time to meet the new neighbors. Find out more after the jump.

Eli

Eli looks to be around 12 years old, and has just moved into Oskar’s apartment complex with an older man named Hakan. Is it her father?MV5BMjA1MTQ0NjI0Nl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMzc3MjUzNA@@__V1__CR274,0,1499,1499_SS100_ We’re kept in the dark about the identity of this man until later in the film. Eli is a strange child. She’s pale, smells funny, and doesn’t wear shoes or socks outside in the frozen snow. Eli tells Oskar right off that they can’t be friends, but she starts to hang out with him and one night enters his bedroom window to lay naked next to him. She is, to say the least, an unusual little girl?

Oskar

MV5BMjE0OTI2NDY5M15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwODc3MjUzNA@@__V1__CR310,0,1255,1255_SS100_The curious boy, thinking that the girl is another lonely soul like him, tries to befriend Eli. One day, after another vicious beating at the hands of school bullies, Oskar is questioned by Eli about the bruise on his cheek. He confides in her and she tells him to start hitting back. He does defend himself, but with dire consequences later on in the movie. Over time, they become close and Oskar falls in love. Using Morse code, they send messages to each other on the wall that separates their apartments. Due to certain events, he begins to suspect that Eli is more than a girl, but when she drops to the floor and drinks the blood dripping from his cut hand, he finally realizes what she is. What will he do? Shocked, but also intrigued, he makes his decision.

Hakan

We begin to understand that this man is not Eli’s father, but her provider. His love for the girl forces him to kill people for their blood, and for Eli to live. Is this poor child anemic, you dare ask? No, but she is a 200 year old vampire. Hakan is her familiar and the one responsible for feeding her, but his jealousy of the bond between Eli and the boy makes Hakan reckless in his pursuit of obtaining the needed blood. During one of his night raids, he is spotted and now the police are searching for him. Things for Hakan go from bad to worse. Not only is he losing Eli to the boy, but he is getting too old and too sloppy with his victims, which forces Eli to go after her own food. The neighbors are getting suspicious.  Hakan makes one last attempt to get blood and is caught. He disfigures his face with acid to keep the police from tracing him back to the apartment complex and to Eli.

Climax

imagesCA3FUZR8Eli is hungry after a botched attempt to get blood, which left a female victim infected. After Eli drinks Hakan dry at the hospital he tumbles out of the window and to his death. The female victim, also a patient at the hospital, is destroyed when the nurse opens the curtain, accidently letting the sun in. A policeman goes to investigate Hakan’s apartment and discovers the girl in the makeshift bathtub coffin. Oskar who spent the night goes to Eli’s rescue and the policeman is killed. Eli packs up and leaves the area to escape the police investigation and Oskar is left behind, heartbroken.

But, you ask, what about those bullies? Angry that Oskar defended himself earlier in the movie, the lead bully gets his older brother to hurt Oskar in the school swimming pool. The hoodlum almost succeeds…almost… but Eli comes to the rescue and kills him and the others. The movie ends with Oscar riding on a train with a large trunk next to him. He is tapping a message on the trunk. Minutes later, he gets a reply and smiles.

Conclusion

imagesI did get to watch the American version of the film titled Let Me In and, surprisingly, the movie directed by Matt Reeves was just as good as its foreign counterpart due to its talented young actors Chole Moretz and Kodi Smit McPhee. I was interested in Hakan’s character played by Richard Jenkins  in the American film, because neither movie covered much of his background. Was he a victim of Eli? Seduced at a young age only to be dumped when he was too old? After reading the translated version of Let the Right One In by Ebba Segerberg, I came to the realization that Hakan was the real monster in this tale of tainted love, a pedophile attracted to young boys.

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About gilbertspeaks

I'm Steampunk Granny to all my friends and when I'm not going on adventures with my nine grandchildren, I do ghost investigations with my team. Book 3 of the Roof Oasis Sci-fi Apocalyptic Series, Beware the Harvesters, is now on Amazon.com. Book 4 comes out in the summer of 2017.

Posted on February 21, 2013, in books, General, horror, Marie Gilbert, movies, Van Sciver and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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