Let the Right One In – Anne Billson (paperback)

Vampires have never been so popular. Amid the glut (Twilight, True Blood, The Vampire Diaries, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the Blade and Underworld movies) 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. What does Eli want from Oskar?

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 Martin (1977) and Near Dark (1987) and how vampire mythology adapts itself to the modern world.

£9.99   112pp   ISBN: 978-1-906733-50-6   2011


“Auteur Publishing’s new Devil’s Advocates critiques on individual titles (Let the Right One In by Anne Billson and Witchfinder General by Ian Cooper, both £9.99) offer bracingly fresh perspectives from passionate writers. The series will perfectly complement the BFI archive volumes.” Christopher Fowler, Independent on Sunday

[Anne Billson’s] tight-packed monograph explores how LTROI feeds on but twists 86 years of vampire flick tradition. Drollery (vamp Twitter) and anecdotal colour (she fainted watching Grave of the Vampire) smartly leaven the scholarly pitch, while her study of the nuanced Oskar-Eli bond is fang-sharp and sensitive… (4****)” Total Film

“Genuinely stimulating writing on film is relatively rare these days, but the always insightful Anne Billson has been delivering such fare within the pages of the Guardian for some considerable time… 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 In 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. (4****)” Empire magazine

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