Posts from 23rd April 2009

Apr 09


Do You See + FT18 comments • 409 views

* I contend that there has been a vampire film released every year since 1919, and whilst I contend this with no proof, I contend it with the same certainty that I could run a marathon. Its plain to me that vampires are an all pervading myth and one particularly suitable to cinematic representation. The special powers are pretty easy to represent (a bit of gas, a flip cut to a bat), and since the main power is charisma, its the monster vain stars most like to play. Look at Tom Cruise!

So with such a commonly represented fiend as the vampire clogging up our screens at least annually if not more, the challenge comes to make them interesting. Its a challenge often dropped, looking at endless rehashes of Dracula. And post Buffy The Vampire Slayer’s comprehensive deconstruction of all that is vampire, where is there to go? Well perhaps back to the well, back to the source. And I don’t mean Dracula, but rather folk tales about the others who move in and are a bit weird. Which brings us to Let The Right One In, a Swedish vampire film which is both thoroughly traditional and yet novel enough to be revitalising for the genre*. Because what has been lost in the gradual but absolute monsterfication of the vampire is that at its heart a vampire is seductive BECAUSE we want to be one. It is the great paradox at the heart of Buffy as soon as any the vampires were given any personality or agency. If vampires can choose to be evil, then they can choose to be good, and therefore a vampire is just a superpowered human with a dodgy diet.