The Bullying at the Center of ‘Let the Right One In’ [Horror Queers Podcast]

Kill Your Bullies

We’ve been bouncing around the decades ever since we wrapped up our ‘Underseen or Underrated’ theme, with stops in 1960 London for Peeping Tom, 2010’s boobies and blood Piranha 3D and 1987’s Near Dark last week. Our unofficial vampire double bill continues this week with Swedish adaptation Let the Right One In, which brings us back to childhood bullying, as well as a slightly murky trans narrative.

In the film, shy outcast Oskar (Kåre Hedebrant) befriends reluctant neighbor Eli (Lina Leandersson) who has a combative relationship with their “father” Håkan (Per Ragnar). As Oskar suffers horrible bullying from his classmates, Eli encourages him to fight back, even as they themselves struggle with some unnatural bloody urges. As the bodies begin to pile up, it’s unclear if these “kids” are in a love story or a slowly unfurling tragedy.

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Episode 173 – Let The Right One In (2008)

It’s time for another gorgeous vampire film as we finally tackle Tomas Alfredson’s Let The Right One In (2008). Along for the ride is The Beauty of Horror‘s Chandler Bullock, who connects deeply with the depiction of bullying in the film. Expect all three of us to get very candid!

In addition to bullying, we unpack a multiplicity of trans readings for Eli, the eternal 12-year-old vampire, as well as debate at length whether the end of the film is a tragedy, a love story, or both.

Plus: Trace’s thirst for child blood, Chandler and Trace’s take on the stage production, a missed Oscar opportunity and Joe fills in the gaps between the book, the Swedish film and its American remake (for a lot more on that, check out his YA adaptation podcast Hazel & Katniss & Harry & Starr which did a tie-in episode)

Cross out Let The Right One In!

Coming up on Wednesday: We’re Hollywood-bound with a look at Robert Zemeckis’ daring technical marvel, Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)!

P.S. Subscribe to our Patreon for more than 175 hours of additional content! This month, we’re discussing the 10th anniversary of Joseph Kahn’s Detention, Korean “woman in peril” thriller Midnight, not quite erotic thriller Deep Water, Robert Eggers’ The Northman and a 25th anniversary audio commentary on Anaconda!

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