We get little to nothing of Eli and Håkan’s backstory in “Let the Right One In,” but we can fill in the gaps. When they move in next door to Oskar and his mum, it is under the cover of darkness and they have very few belongings with them. The first thing Håkan does is cover the windows with cardboard. They pass themselves off as father and daughter, but Håkan’s role is more complex; he’s a combination of parent, guardian, and familiar, held in Eli’s thrall like Renfield in “Dracula.” In one scene he tells Eli off for venturing out to kill Jocke, but it’s clear that she is the boss in this relationship.
Håkan is growing old and weary, and he’s losing his touch when it comes to sourcing blood for Eli. His existence is a desperately lonely one; moving around from town to town to keep a low profile, unable to fit in or make friends, always shacked up in some temporary accommodation until their cover is blown and it’s time to go. His whole life revolves around murdering people to keep Eli sated, knowing that if he can’t provide she will eventually become hungry enough to feed on him. When it comes to the crunch, he’s so devoted that he offers his throat as a vital snack to keep her going.
Eli inhabits the body of a 12-year-old and mentions to Oskar that she has been that age for a long time. Håkan is now middle-aged, but how old was he when he was first bewitched by Eli? Oskar’s age, perhaps? It doesn’t bode well for Oskar’s future, especially as Eli pays more interest in him after Håkan’s horrible death; notably, the boy is regularly framed or reflected in windows, mirroring how we often see the older man.
/Film – ‘Slash Film: Let The Right One In Ending Explained: A Tale Of Boy Meets Vampire’
Author: Lee Adams
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January 15, 2023