Let The Right One In -OR- How Clearly Much More Horrifying The Humans Are Than The Monsters In This Book
A long time ago I wanted to grow up to be Clarice Starling.
In large part, because, well,
how rad to be that smart & sexy & totally bad ass
I’ve always taken great comfort that most people do not exhibit obvious homicidal tendencies…
I know it seems a bit morib, but really, it’s not.
It’s a truly remarkable thing that most of the time,
go throughout their life subverting the most common tendencies
and do nothing but wish horrible things upon each other
and it has given me great hope of what we are capable
that so few humans ever do end up with blood on their hand.
Which brings us to this week’s read.
Week 3 of 52:
Let the Right One In - John Ajvide Lindqvist
Translated by: Ebba Segerberg
In it’s most basic, this is a story of a child-like vampire, Eli set by a backdrop of the mundane and erily depressive Stockholm subburb. But this is really not a horror story, or at least not a typical monster tale; the most retched & monsterous characters are very, very disturbed & very much human.
In this place, where dispair is treated with the usual vices, a bloody murder & a horrific pediofile are treated as one might suspect, with police vigilence & heavy drinking; ignoring much of what is happening just below the surface.It seems similar to the townies of Twin Peaks in this way, oblivious to the dangerous developments hiding openly amoungst the muffled duldrum.
The most disgusting characters are not monsters, and to aid in the comparison, even the monsters in transition are full of introspection & budding self awareness. (There is a fantastic scene with a newly vampired victim drinking her own blood to take care of the thirst). By far the most monstrous characters are the two males opposite of the child-like vampire. Both are monsters in their own right, filled with some of the most treacherous human thoughts anyone could hold. Both would likely murder without the excuse of their love for Eli, but with this, they are freed to be justified in their terrors*.
And this is so very, very human. The ability to justify behaviors typically assigned to characters of fictional & folklore, and to make these actions not only good, but righteous is one of our more terrifying attributes. An ability that we are all, as humans, capable…
*seriously, there are some of the most upsetting & grotesque descriptions in this book - so good.
Additionally, if you haven’t seen Let the Right One In, watch it.
Watch it, now.Right now.