30 March 2009

Let The Right One In

Let The Right One In: 12-year-old Oskar is white as death. . .as if all the blood has been drained from him. . .which is fitting, given the friend he’s about to make.

Oskar is a listless, scrawny lad. He’s bullied at school, and his home life, a lonely existence with his distracted mother in their drab suburban Stockholm apartment, isn’t much better. His chief joys seem to be working on his true crime scrap book and using his talismanic pocketknife in pretend acts of revenge against his schoolyard tormentors.

One cold night, friendless Oskar sits on the snow-covered jungle gym outside his apartment building, fiddling with a Rubik’s Cube. He attracts the attention of Eli, the new girl from the apartment next door. Eli appears to be 12-years-old, also. . .but, as Oskar eventually learns, Eli is a vampire, and, as she will say, she has been 12 for a very long time.

Vampires are *in* in Western culture. . .one out of every five books sold in the USA during the last holiday season was authored by Stephenie Meyer. Blood drinkers seem to hold a particular appeal for teen girls. What is it with this *Twilight* generation? What spell have Meyer, Rachel Caine, Ellen Schreiber and the rest of the daughters of Anne Rice cast over them?

One must view the mania for vampirism as a criticism of Western life. Superficial. Scientific. Electronic. Restless. Neurotic. The bland vulgarity of Western life. Narcotics and nudity. Insta-Fornication. The triumph of pornography. The stale degeneracy of Western life. Never have so many debased themselves so thoroughly, and enjoyed it so little.

There must be in the subconscious of teen girls, as the sacrificial lambs of our pornocracy, some sense that the *natural world,* the Western world, is ugly and dead. There is no sensation. There is only the overwhelming boredom of ceaseless debauchery. Thus the appeal of the supernatural. . .

It used to be the ritual of the church gave life to the Western world. . .the supernatural flesh and blood of Christ was given in the Eucharist, and it sustained the West for almost 2000 years.

But now we have the McChurch. . .and instead of serving the flesh and blood of Christ, the McChurch offers coffee and donuts. What is the Jesus of the McChurch, this Savior-as-Tim-Hortons, compared to the counter-culture vampire of Meyer? It is the vampire which appears to teen girls to make all things new.

It used to be that filthy men and women looked to Christ to redeem them and clothe them in clean white linen as His spotless bride. . .

Now, as our culture unselfconsciously wallows in the mire, vampires offer our sexually beat-up teens (they are worn-out before they even have any understanding of physical union, of what it means to leave father and mother and to become one flesh with another) the chance to *revirgin*. . .they can recycle their ravaged and over-exposed genitals. . .they can become innocent brides, not by being born again, but by being dead again, through a union with the living dead.

In the ritual existence of vampires, Western girls, sacrificed for the pornocracy, see life.

The church used to preach eternity, but now mimics the world and only offers a temporal material heaven on earth.

As eternity vanishes from the church, teens find it in the nocturnal rituals of the vampire. The appeal for the Western girl: to be Forever 21.

But this is only my cranky rambling on the church and our polluted culture. . .it has nothing to do with the very good Let The Right One In, which is not a Meyer-esque vampire story, nor a traditional vampire or horror movie. It really has more the spirit of a Grimm’s Fairy Tale.

Isolated Oskar’s initial attraction to Eli is that of infatuation. He crushes on Eli as *the girl next door,* and wishes they go steady. Eli cleverly indulges Oskar while gradually seducing him into violence.

When Eli first meets Oskar, she is living with an old man. . .an old man who kills and then drains the blood of his victims. The old man’s serial murders are less conspicuous than vampire attacks, and serve, in our world of murder, as a safer, less conspicuous route to obtain the blood Eli needs.

One gets the impression the old man has been with Eli for a very long time. . .that he started out much as Oskar did.

Seen together, the Forever 12 Eli and the old man look a couple shadowed by incest/pedophilia. . .but it is Eli who is much older than the man. And there is a real sense of the tragedy of this old man’s life as his luck finally runs out and he is caught in an attempted murder. His bond to Eli is so strong (a bond of unnatural love), he pours acid over his face, so he cannot be indentified as the old man who lived with her. Eli visits the horribly disfigured old man in the hospital, and he offers his neck to her in a final act of devotion.

Eli, of course, is the Hebrew word for *my God*. . .and any who would worship Eli must approach her through blood sacrifice.

With the old man dead, and needing a new human caretaker, Eli intensifies the seduction/manipulation of Oskar. The filmmakers do a credible job showing the evolution of Eli’s + Oskar’s relationship. . .it is not rushed and it is not psychologically illogical, as would be done if this were a Hollywood film.

Even though Oskar has violent fantasies prior to meeting Eli, he is initially repulsed by Eli’s blood-lust and the violence which supports it. However, Eli takes advantage of Oskar’s desire for revenge, and this is the catalyst for his submission to Eli’s will.

The film would have been a truly great modern fairy tale had it ended at its next-to-last scene, with Oskar ultimately rejecting Eli’s violence, and choosing to remain alone in the human world. However, the movie concludes with a rather vulgar orgy of violence, and a beaming Oskar happily consenting to step outside the human world to become Eli’s new partner. . .thus, the tragedy of both Eli’s and Oskar’s lives is cheapened by the triumph of the Satanic circle of violence.

Still, everything that precedes the unsatisfying ending is of a high standard in art, plot and character development. . .even the movie’s subplot, involving the intersecting lives of Eli and a handful of eccentric alcoholic suburban Stockholm losers, is first rate. A worthy alternative to Hollywood’s lifeless drivel.


  1. Maitland McDonagh also gave this one a pretty good review. I'll have to pick it up the next time I mosey on down to Blockbuster.

    Saw a pic of Stephenie Meyer the other day, and DAMN...she ain't too shabby for a mid-thirtysomething. I might consider watching Twilight if she'd do an extended shower scene or something similar to Chloe Sevigny's big "performance" in "The Brown Bunny".

  2. I never heard of this Maitland McDonagh until you mentioned her here. I looked her up. . .she wrote a book on Dario Argento! Can't be all bad.

    As for Stephenie Meyer, when was that picture taken of her? Last time I saw any pics of her, she was getting pretty fat.


  3. As far as cranky ramblings, you take them to 11. Incredible commentary, really.

    I never thought the US female attraction, and creepy older dude obsession, was linked to some forever young syndrome for hot babes. But then again, I've always looked at "powerful" young women (sexually speaking) as a tragi-comedy waiting to happen. Because one day that youth will wear off and the sags and wrinkles are the first things noticed. Get it while you can. . .

  4. You're right! I was looking at an older photograph of Meyer! Maybe all that ruminating on hormonal teen Draculas made her sad about her own aging process - despondent enough to forgo dietary moderation. I guess quite a few women try to sublimate that pain and lack of fulfillment by indulging in midnight moon-pie frenzies.

    But she WAS cute. --Silas

  5. Look how fat she is in this picture:


    She can't even get her sweater closed.

    It looks like her arms are about to bust through the sleeves.

    Somebody needs to send her a couple tapeworms. . .

  6. On a whim, I decided to peruse through the comments section while taking a short break from an essay (in one of the campus computer labs). I laughed when I read that last one...then noticed some HUGE bitch reading my computer screen. She got all huffy and moved to the other side of the room!!

    Oh yeah. Here's one of Meyer during foxier days. The change is un-fucking-believable.



  7. It’s a real shame, all that gone to waste (or waist). . .

    You’d think one like Meyer, with all the money in the world, could afford a membership to the local Y. . .

    I can just picture her in front of her computer, banging away at the keyboard, typing up the latest supernatural romance, and the keyboard just clogged with food crumbs. . .chocolate smears on the keys.

    Man, here’s a really nasty picture of her with some other heifer:


    You wonder what her husband thinks, seeing her turn into that? He’s probably too busy spending her money to notice. Too busy playing Wii or whatever that is, he don’t even want to fuck. . .just play video games.

  8. What the hells wrong with you guys?!? Ain't damn thing wrong with a lady packing a little jello. Ha ha!

  9. I know you always liked that Jennifer Lopez big ass type. . .but the only thing I want to see sticking out on a chick are her ribs.

  10. I like to go with a happy medium: something I refer to as the "Kardashian" (or, one of my favorite down-home colloquialisms... "Bojangles booty")

  11. Hey man am I allowed to put a link to your blog on my links list? I know you dont want any mention of this having any connection to the TJMT but I don't know how low key you want to be with this.

  12. You guys are crazy man! I'm all about the chubster in the long dress.


  13. Yeah, you can put a link on there as long as it doesn't reference TJMT. Thanks.

    And here's the perfect woman for you, Trish Goff:


  14. Oh she is nice too, I like the bush too, even if the carpet doesn't quite match the drapes. I'm not hating on the skinny ones, I'm married (although most likely splitting up with) to a woman thats 6 ft tall and weighs 120 pounds.

  15. Oh, man, are you serious (about the busted marriage)? What happened (I am sure you want to spill it out here for everyone to see)?

    Will you be able to stay in Denmark?

  16. I'm open to living in other countries but the only way I will ever leave Europe is if they ship me back in chains with deportation papers stapled to my head, I will seriously go to that extreme if I have to. But we haven't filed anything yet, and I renew my visa in a few months which should be good for at least another 2 years. By the time after that I need to renew it again I should have everything in order and done what I need to do to get my permanent residence and/or citizenship. I feel like I will find a way to work it out one way or another.

  17. "What happened?"




  18. At least you won't have to come back here, then. The rest of it will take care of itself.

  19. Start talking fat chicks and boards, how they light up!

    Funny aside, the word verification needed to post: "prics"