Let the Right One In

BookLet the Right One In

Let the Right One In

Devil's Advocates


October 31st, 2011



Other Formats



These days it takes a very special vampire movie to stand out. Like Twilight, the Swedish film Let the Right One In is a love story between a human and a vampire but there the resemblance ends. Let the Right One In is not a romantic fantasy but combines the supernatural with social realism. Set on a housing estate in the suburbs of Stockholm in the early 1980s, it's the story of Oskar, a lonely, bullied child, who makes friends with Eli, the girl in the next apartment. 'Oskar, I'm not a girl,' she tells him and she's not kidding. They forge a relationship which is oddly innocent yet disturbing, two outsiders against the rest of the world. But one of these outsiders is, effectively, a serial killer. While Let the Right One In is startlingly original, it nevertheless couldn't have existed without the near century of vampire cinema that preceded it. Acclaimed film critic and horror novelist Anne Billson looks at how it has drawn from, and wrung new twists on, such classics as Nosferatu (1922), how vampire cinema has already flirted with social realism in films like Near Dark (1987) and how vampire mythology adapts itself to the modern world.

This is a concise but penetrating volume on one of the most influential Swedish films in some considerable time; the intriguing analysis of Tomas Alfredson's Let The Right One may be delivered within only a hundred or so pages, but Billson still produces a remarkable number of aperçus on this highly influential adaptation of John Ajvide Lindqvist's remarkable novel. (Crime Time)
Anne Billson offers an accessible, lively but thoughtful take on the '80s-set Swedish vampire belter... a fun, stimulating exploration of a modern masterpiece. (Empire)
...informative and eminently readable, hitting just the right note of intellectual engagement ... any vampire film aficionado will be able to revisit Let the Right One In with new eyes and appreciate so much more after reading [Anne Billson's] assessment of its undoubted merits. (Black Static)

Author Information

Anne Billson is a film critic, journalist, novelist and photographer. In 1993 she was named one of Granta's 'Best Young British Novelists'. She is a regular contributor to, amongst other publications, The Guardian and has written a number of works of fiction and non-fiction, including a highly acclaimed vampire novel Suckers and a volume in the BFI Modern Classics series on John Carpenter's The Thing. She blogs on film at multiglom.com

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
'Be me, for a little while'12
Textual Analysis18
The Other Swedish Vampire Movie24
The Vampire's Arrival28
Meeting The Vampire36
The Vampire as Serial Killer58
The Vampire as Metaphor70
Sex and the Vampire76
Becoming a Vampire84
The Vampire's Lifestyle88
The Vampire's Nemesis92
The Vampire's Assistant98
Vampire Rules102
The Vampire's Departure108