Let the Right One in Analysis Essay

1243 Words Oct 27th, 2013 5 Pages
BONDING THROUGH EXILE:
An Analysis of Mise-en-Scène in Let the Right One In

The theme of loneliness and isolation has been predominant in cinema since its inception, but Tomas Alfredson explores the idea in a unique way in his 2008 Swedish romantic horror film, Let the Right One In. Set in the snowy winter of Stockholm, the film depicts the similarly cold and depressing life of Oskar, a young target of bullying. This frozen, barren setting contributes to the complete isolation that the viewer feels with the characters. Through strategic shot composition and specific color and mood choices, Alfredson shows how both Oskar and Eli are cut off from the world in different ways, and then how their common bloodlust brings them together.
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Before, she was always clearly visible and innocent looking. Her demeanor was never too dark or angry, and she acted respectfully. By soaking her face in blood and showing her in a barely visible light - in fact, her face grows harder and harder to see as she leans in closer to Oskar - Alfredson portrays the underlying danger of Eli. While she seems kind on the surface, her interior motives are to satisfy her survival instincts. There is a moment in the scene in which Eli’s face appears to be much older and wrinkled. Her angry expression turns to a worried one, almost as if she’s pleading with Oskar. This quick glimpse of the real age of Eli allows the audience to feel more sympathy for her motives. Seeing her as a desperate adult pleading for help to a child appeals more to our pity. This scene acts as a turning point in the film by showing Eli’s true nature through the use of blood-stained imagery in contrast to the stark whiteness of the rest of the movie’s imagery.
The climax of the film consists of a sequence in which Oskar is confronted by bullies in a pool. They hold him underwater with the intent to drown him until Eli saves him by murdering every bully except one. It comes as a surprise to the audience because Eli tells Oskar in a previous scene that she has to leave. To accomplish this surprise element,

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