Let Me In
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For me, the changes to the Father character ruined LMI for me... It completely destroys the point of the story for Eli.

8/2/2012 #1

In the Swedish movie the equivalent of "The Father" presents an even more undefined role than given in LMI. We hardly get any clues on his relationship with Eli. So in that case LMI dares to probe further, and does a good job at developing a possible relationship.

In the Swedish novel, we learn a great great deal about Håkan. So yes there is an entirely different direction between the novel and LMI regarding this character.

But I don't think either changes the underlying story. Abby and Eli have survived for a tremendously long time, relative to human aging. Each has likely had many such persons with them, likely changing every couple of years or decades. What we see in LMI or LTROI(movie) or LTROI(novel) are three possible but transitory examples of what these relationships might be.

In LTROI(novel), Håkan is a loathsome character; his presence and attributes drive an entire line of the novel's horror themes.

In LTROI(film), the same character serves a far lesser role, almost like a bridging element that helps bring the viewer into the story and its environments.

In LMI, "The Father" apparently has a long running relationship with Abby, which is wonderfully undefined and thus leaves us to imaging and probe what is and what might have been the case between them.

8/2/2012 #2

In the book, Eli tells Oskar "I haven't had a normal friendship with anyone in 200 years." Oskar was a bring back to humanity. They took that away in Let Me In.

8/2/2012 #3
The Cretin

Truthfully, I like both representations but that's because I like multiple takes on a story. Hakon was dispiccable in LTROI. He's actually one of the scariest things about the story. In LMI, Thomas is shadowy, and in my opinion, a somewhat misunderstood character in many ways. Though he gives off a fatherly vibe, I got the impression that whatever bond he and Abby shared has long since been strained to a breaking point. Owen gives her a fresh start. A new chance at perhaps feeling something she's afraid she'd forgotten. Whether its love, a bond to humanity, or simple friendship is up for interpretation.

8/2/2012 #4

This is a powerful part of the book. I agree this is an aspect of Eli's story that is then not found with Abby. From LTROI(novel):

"This sounds a bit ... but..." the corners of Eli's mouth twitched, "... I haven't had a ... normal friendship with anyone in two hundred years."

There are several things we can take from this, all of which add disturbing layers to Eli's history. 1. Eli has been alive for 200 years. Comparatively, we don't know how long Abby has been around. 2. Eli been without a normal friend during that immense span of time. Us, as mortals with seemingly a max 110 year life span, we cannot truly relate with Eli on what that means. 3. The word "normal" implies both that there have been friendships, yet it opens the possibilities to the reader on a whole chasm of possible horrors.

For Abby's story, yes, things are different. We don't have a repeat of Eli's story. Instead we have a strip of photos showing, we are left to believe, a much younger "The Father" with an identical looking Abby. While this shows that Abby very likely has had at least this one "normal friendship" in the past it also puts it directly to us that Abby (like Eli) is outliving everything around her, remaining a constant while those who she comes to know, and possibly even love, age and slip away.

Okay, so yes, LMI's reboot of the story does take away the thread found in LTROI wherein is it Oskar who pulls Eli back to humanity. Owen, too, likely pulls Abby to a closer orbit with humanity, yet the distance is not as great as seen with Eli. As to whether this wrecks the story, comparatively, is subjective. I can see your point. Yet, I also like how this alteration digs into showing the likely scenario of friendship/love/loss that Abby has endured - with the further potential that this may only be one case of a repeating scenario. This leads the viewer to ponder, at the movie's end, whether Owen is off with Abby be merely another repetition or else something new.

8/3/2012 #5

The Cretin Eli didn't have love, a bond to humanity, or a simple friendship with anyone until she met Oskar. Her understanding of human love was as good as any normal twelve year olds, Or maybe, with people like Hakan, it's worse than a twelve year olds. Abby however has loved humans before Owen. So, whatever she forgot, it has just been forgotten since her relationship with Thomas was strained, not since she became a vampire. She has had human connection and at least one similar relationship before Owen. It makes what she goes through in the story a less pivotal moment in her life, regardless of what her future with Owen will be.

8/3/2012 . Edited 8/3/2012 #6

gkmoberg1 The swedish film did foreshadow that future as well, but they didn't go as far as changing Eli's relationship with Oskar to do it. They just left Hakan open to interpret, and many who didn't read the book interpreted that Hakan was once in Oskar's shoes. That's where Matt Reeves got the idea from.

8/3/2012 #7

I've been considering how this aspect of the story is reflected in the FFs for each. For the LTROI FFs, and I've ready many, I see two themes recurring. One is a vengeful theme, where the continuing characters of Eli and Oskar strike hard at bullies or prior "handlers" who are at all like Håkan. The other is an adventurous theme where Eli and Oskar delight in their life together; this is often a joy of friendship and love they hold with each other. Of course not all FFs are like this and some maybe a mixture the two themes. For either case, Eli and Oskar are most commonly tightly bound. I could be persuaded that this is due in part to the reason you stated earlier - that Oskar has pulled Eli back to humanity. Oskar has saved Eli, in a sense, and then has had this repaid by how Eli saves Oskar.

For LMI FFs, and here I have read far fewer - excuse me - I am not as sure of recurring themes. Friendship and love certainly is one. But... do you think there is a trend in other directions because of this difference in Abby's past? I do, but can't put it into words as yet.

8/3/2012 #8

gkmoberg1 you can't put what into words?

8/4/2012 . Edited 8/4/2012 #9
The Cretin

@gkmoberg: I think there is a difference. Abby is seen primarily as female. I don't think that can be disputed. Likewise, most fans know of Eli's past. I think that is where they diverge. Abby and Eli are in the same role but fans will regard them as having different past experiences and different outcomes because of their gender. They'll take their imaginations along different paths.

I hope that doesn't come out as sexist. I'm not trying to come off as sexist. Many women deserve the highest of respect.

8/12/2012 #10
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