As a connoisseur of vampire fiction, have you read/watched either adaptation of Let the Right One In? If so, thoughts?
I probably couldn’t be called a vampire connoisseur, simply because vampire popular fiction is often aggressively heterosexual, and that immediately makes me bored to tears. I get that the modern conception of the vampire is rooted primarily in Dracula and thus Victorian fears about sexuality (which in the novel includes queerness but that’s a rant for another day) but MY GOD. THE FUCK WITH ALL THESE STRAIGHT VAMPIRES EVERYWHERE ALL THE TIME, YOU’RE BORING. YOU’RE UNRELATABLE AND BORING, PRETENDING YOU’RE PUT UPON WHILE EXISTING AS THE MOST SOCIETALLY ACCEPTABLE ORIENTATION.
I am a BIG fan of the Swedish film, and have long meant to read the novel, though I’ve been hesitant out of concern for how it handles themes like Eli’s castration and abuse by his maker. CSA is serious fucking business for a story to tackle, and I worry about the overt address being grimy and exploitative more than anything (while the movie, by contrast, benefits a lot by implying many things about Eli’s caretaker and living situation but not wallowing in it for shock value).
I adore what LTROI does with the concept of vampire romance: the fact that the protagonists are-and-aren’t children (Oskar is a baby serial killer on the make, Eli is very old but also arguably emotionally arrested and forcibly helpless); the implicit cycle of codependency, aging, and discarding (though as I understand in the novel Eli’s caretaker was an adult child molester rather than being with him from childhood); the cold calculation embodied in the setting versus the tiny, vain hope of actual emotion between the leads. It’s beautifully made.
And Eli in particular is a fantastic execution of vampirism not as eternity but stagnation and violence. He was mutilated to keep him a sexless child, and therefore paradoxically to keep him an object of desire to adults preying on that fetishized “purity.” He’ll live forever, but he’ll never grow up. He’ll never have the choice to decide who he is down to his own gender, because agency over his body was taken from him in an ugly, visceral way.
The “would you still like me if I weren’t a girl” scene is quite important to me, because it embodies so much of what Eli is. The movie takes pains to show us, albeit in implication, that Eli’s bodily mutilation from the novel is still quite true. And coupled with that question, it seems he doesn’t allow people to identify him as a girl because he feels himself to be a trans girl. Rather, it’s what’s easy. He looks feminine, that’s how people see him, and that’s how it’s easiest for him to get prey. He’s used to people imposing their own views and desires over him and has become adept at turning that to his advantage, but it’s not who he is. So broaching that question becomes a moment of enormous emotional weight: “If I am honest with you, will you still like me?”
Which is, in itself, quite the relatable experience for most queer individuals, whether to do with gender or sexuality. It’s not a “trick,” it’s going with the flow of expectations and baring your throat once you take the risk of letting someone close.
And because that aspect of gender and self is so important to me….I haven’t seen Let Me In. The erasure at play in casting a cis girl rubs me eight thousand times the wrong way. Chloe Moretz is a talented actor, and I understand that even an R-rated American film would probably never get away with the scar scene, but there are other ways to make implications about gender and trauma. That’s not what it was about. The adaptive team saw an easy way to make the remake unquestionably cis and heterosexual for a mainstream audience (while also capitalizing on that sweet, sweet Kick-Ass money), and I’m not interested in being party to it. There’s dearth enough of queer genre stories without having to accept one example being stolen and erased.
the only currently unemployed main member of tw? / You mean Posey, right? Yeah, everyone has a brilliant acting career except TP but that's okay! he got a small role in Lucy Hale's movie 'Truth and Dare thanks to his contract with MTV and after that he can always crawl back to Jerk Davis and beg him to give him a job... or keep whining about his former co-stars being talented, praised af and way more popular and successful than he will ever be, whatever!
"BJ Wads only had 19 peeps on his live" Who is BG Wads again? Which character did he play on TW? And I think he was on Shelley's new show with Nazi teacher and Schnabel. Or was that someone else? You can't tell me that there's no TW connection with that show.
He’s the LTROI kid who was on the TW set for the finale causing havoc, ha. I don’t see him connected to LC, but I wouldn’t be surprised.