Girls in Horror Movies: Let Me In
This week I‚Äôll be talking about the 2010 horror movie Let Me In. Let Me In is an interesting exploration of the vampire horror movie genre.
The movie opens with a man being taken to the hospital. His face is disfigured and he dies after jumping out of the hospital window leaving a note saying ‚ÄúI‚Äôm sorry, Abby‚Äù. We then meet Owen, who sees Abby and Thomas move in next door. Abby and Owen form a friendship by using Morse code through an adjoining wall between their apartments. Abby seems unhappy in her life, and we know that Owen is also unhappy as he is getting bullied at school.
The movie continues to explore Abby and Thomas‚Äô relationship. Thomas abducts a teenager for Abby, but fails to collect their blood. Abby gets angry and retaliates by killing a neighbour. A little while later, Thomas hides in a car, planning to ambush the driver and take them back for Abby. Unfortunately, the driver discovers Thomas and the car crashes. Thomas pours acid on his face so that the police will not recognise him and he is brought to hospital. Thomas allows Abby to drink his blood, and falls out the hospital window ‚Äì which brings us back to where the movie started. The next day, the body of the neighbour Abby attacked is discovered. Abby reveals to Owen that she is a vampire and a detective arrives looking for Abby. Abby kills the detective and tells Owen that she has to leave. Owen goes to school the next day and the bullies attack him but Abby arrives and saves him from the bullies. The movie ends with Owen leaving town on a train, with a large suitcase. From inside the suitcase, Morse code is tapped out, to which Owen replies, which reveals that Abby is inside the suitcase.
Abby is an extremely interesting character in that she is clearly lonely, so we empathise with her, and yet she is, by definition, a monster. Typically in horror movies, we do not see this side to vampires. Despite her loneliness, Abby is strong and resilient. There are a few scenes where we see her in action as a vampire and we see her physical power. She is also emotionally strong as she must deal with death on an almost daily basis.
Abby is also very mysterious. She sees that Owen needs support and so she‚Äôs there for him ‚Äì but is this true? Is she with Owen because he is a friend in need, or is she with Owen because she can see that Thomas is becoming sloppy and she sees an opening for a replacement? Not much is revealed about the characters, so Thomas could have originally been much like Owen, and Abby could have had a long line of Thomas-like people throughout her long life looking after her. Whichever way you interpret it, Abby is a complex and interesting character.
Honourable mentions of the Vampire genre include 30 Days of Night; a more classic adaptation of the genre depicting vampires as extremely vicious.
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