Let the Right One In (2008) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • Oskar, an overlooked and bullied boy, finds love and revenge through Eli, a beautiful but peculiar girl.

  • Oskar, a bullied 12-year old, dreams of revenge. He falls in love with Eli, a peculiar girl. She can't stand the sun or food and to come into a room she needs to be invited. Eli gives Oskar the strength to hit back but when he realizes that Eli needs to drink other people's blood to live he's faced with a choice. How much can love forgive? Set in the Stockholm suburb of Blackeberg in 1982.

  • In the suburb of Blackeberg in Stockholm, the twelve year-old Oskar is a lonely and outcast boy bullied in school by Conny and two other classroom mates; at home, Oskar dreams on revenging the trio of bullies. He befriends his twelve year-old next door neighbor Eli that only appears during the night in the playground of their building. Meanwhile, Eli's father is a serial-killer who drains the blood of his victims to supply Eli, so she doesn't have to kill. Eli advises Oskar to react to Conny fighting back; however, he soon discovers that she is a vampire and he feels fear and love for the girl.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • Twelve year old Oskar (Kåre Hedebrant) is so wimpy that he's constantly picked on by the other boys at his school, especially Conny (Patrik Rydmark) and his two friends, Martin (Mikael Erhardsson) and Andreas (Johan Sömnes). Out of fear, Oskar never fights back. In the evenings, however, he sits in the courtyard rehearsing knife attacks on his tormentors. One evening, Oskar notices a new girl about his age and her father moving into into #15, the apartment next door to his. Oddly, the first thing they do is to cover the windows with cardboard. What Oskar doesn't know is that Håkan(Per Ragnar) is not Eli (Lina Leandersson)'s father... he is her renfield... and Eli is a vampire. It is Håkan's job to bring Eli fresh blood, which he gets by killing other humans. First he anesthetizes them with halothane, then he strings them up by the feet, slits their necks, and catches the blood in a jug, leaving the bodies to be discovered the next day. Unfortunately for Eli, Håkan is having problems securing blood for her. On his first kill after moving into the new apartment, he either lost or forgot the jug filled with blood. Consequently, Eli is beginning to get hungry.

    One evening, as Oskar is in the courtyard stabbing a tree in lieu of his tormentors, he notices Eli watching him. She's not very friendly, as she tells him right off that she can't be friends with him. The next evening, they run into each other again in the courtyard. Oskar notices that Eli is not wearing a coat even though it's the dead of winter in Stockholm. What's more, she's not even cold. And she smells bad. Still, Oskar shares with her his Rubik's cube and shows her how to work it. After Oskar has gone inside, Eli goes hunting. She waits in the shadows under a bridge. When two neighborhood friends, Jocke (Mikael Rahm) and Lacke (Peter Carlberg), part company, and Jocko walks under the bridge, Eli calls out, "Help me!" Thinking that the little girl has fallen, Jocko picks her up. Suddenly, Eli latches onto him and bites his neck. Gösta (Karl-Robert Lindgren), a friend of the two men, sees everything from his apartment window. By the time he is able to stumble into the Sun Palace Cafe and get help, however, Jocko's body is gone (Håkan has already covered up the killing by tossing the body into a pond), but they do find Jocko's blood in the snow. The next morning, Oskar finds that Eli has solved the Rubik's cube and left it in the courtyard. When they meet there later in the day, Eli is a bit more friendly, taking the time to explain to Oskar how she went about solving the puzzle. She also smells better, but it's odd that she cannot remember her birth date when Oskar asks. Since Eli doesn't know her birth date, she doesn't celebrate her birthdays and gets no presents, so Oskar offers her the Rubik's cube.

    The next day at school, Oskar stays after class to copy the symbols for Morse code from the encyclopedia. On his way home, he is confronted by Conny and his two friends. When Conny orders Oskar to show him what he copied from the encyclopedia and Oskar refuses, Martin grabs Oskar and Andreas begins to whip his legs with a stick. As an added measure, Martin slaps the stick against Oskar's cheek, gashing it. Oskar later tells his mother that he fell during recess. But when Eli asks what happened, he tells her the truth. Eli tells him that he must start to fight back. If so, they will stop tormenting him. If they don't stop, Eli promises to help him. Oskar shares with Eli the Morse code that he copied from the encyclopedia. That night, they practice tapping on the wall that separates their apartments. The next day at school, Oskar signs up for the weight-lifting program. Later, he takes Eli to a candy store and offers her a piece. At first, she refuses; then she tries one. Oskar finds her heaving on the sidewalk around the corner. He hugs her. Eli asks him whether or not he would still like her if she wasn't a girl. "I guess so," Oskar replies, not quite understanding what Eli is asking.

    As the friendship between Oskar and Eli deepens, Håkan starts feeling a bit jealous. He tries again to obtain blood for Eli. This time he preys on a student alone in the weight-lifting room, but he is interrupted when Matte (Christoffer Bohlin)'s friends come to pick him up. Knowing that he is trapped and about to be discovered, Håkan pours acid on his face so that he can't be identified. When Eli learns that Håkan has been taken to a hospital, she shows up asking for her father. The desk clerk tells her that Håkan is on Level 7, so she climbs up the outside of the building until she gets to his window. Håkan lets her in and offers her his neck. After Eli drinks his blood, Håkan falls to his death. Eli returns to the apartment building and taps on Oskar's bedroom window, asking to be let in. Oskar is almost asleep but he tells her to come in. Eli crawls into bed with him, and Oskar notices that she doesn't have any clothes on. He asks her whether she'd like to go steady with him, and Eli replies "I'm not a girl." That doesn't seem to bother Oskar, so they decide to go steady. The next morning, Eli returns to her own apartment, but she leaves a note for Oskar that reads, "To flee is life; To linger is death. Your Eli."

    One afternoon on a school outing to a local pond for some ice skating, Conny, Martin, and Andreas again confront Oskar with a warning that they are going to push him into an ice hole. This time, however, Oskar stands up for himself and takes a swipe at Conny's head with a stick, causing his ear to bleed. At the same time, two younger students gone off to pee behind some trees notice a body frozen in the ice. The police are called, and the body is cut free. Later that afternoon, after school is out, Oskar brings Eli to a basement room at the school. When Eli asks why they're there, Oskar pulls out a knife and cuts his palm, offering to mix bloods with her. Watching Oskar's blood drip on the floor, Eli can no longer stand the hunger that she's experiencing now that Hakan is not providing her with blood. She falls to the floor and begins to lap up Oskar's blood.

    The body stuck in the ice is identified as that of Jocko's. Jocko's drinking buddy, Lacke (Peter Carlberg) and his girlfriend Virginia (Ika Nord), try to convince Gösta to tell the police what he saw the night that Jocko was murdered. During the discussion, however, Lacke defends his closeness with Jocko by pointing out that Virginia is "cold", Consequently, Virginia storms off. Lacke follows her to the subway where Eli jumps on her. Fortunately, Lacke is able to kick Eli off before she kills Virginia. Unfortunately for Virginia, Lacke's save only means that Virginia is doomed to become a vampire. She notices the change the next morning when she opens the blinds and quickly closes them again. That evening, she visits Gösta's apartment looking for Lacke, but she is viciously attacked by Gösta's cats. Later, in the hospital, Virginia realizes that she's been infected with something and decides that she doesn't want to live. She asks the doctor to open the blinds to her room. Immediately, she is consumed in flames.

    A wimp he might be but Oskar is not a dummy. He has figured out that Eli is a vampire and confronts her. Knocking on the door ot her apartment, he is let in to see that there is no furniture and that Eli smells bad again. When Eli comes to his apartment and asks to be invited in, he stalls, asking her what would happen if he didn't invite her in. Eli steps inside and begins to bleed from various places on her body. Oskar relents and invites her in. Eli explains that she drinks blood because she has to. Apparently, Oskar understands, as he allows Eli to shower and put on one of his mother's dresses. As Eli dresses, Oskar peeks in the door and notices that Eli has a horizontal scar across her public area and no evidence of a vaginal slit. [NOTE: In the novel, Eli was born male and castrated at age 12 by the vampire that turned him.] When Oskar's mom comes home, Eli immediately scampers across the window from Oskar's apartment to hers, even though it's two stories up.

    The next morning, Oskar finds a note from Eli asking him whether he wants to meet her that evening. Lacke has somehow traced Eli to her apartment. He breaks in and finds her asleep in the bathtub. Because he can't see in the dark, he rips open the cardboard covering the windows. Oskar, who was in the apartment waiting for Eli to wake up, screams "NO!" giving Eli sufficient time to jump on Lacke and drink his blood. After feeding, Eli thanks Oskar, but informs him that she must go away. That night, Oskar looks out the window to see Eli moving.

    The next day, Oskar gets a call from Martin, asking whether or not he's going to be at swimming practice that afternoon. Martin also tells Oskar that he thinks Oskar was right to stand up to Conny. That afternoon, while Oskar is in the pool, someone starts a fire in the trashbin out back, forcing the attendant to leave the pool area unattended. As Martin distracts Oskar, Conny, Andreas, and Conny's big brother Jimmy (Rasmus Luthander) enter the pool area. Jimmy orders everyone else out of the pool. When they are alone with Oskar, Jimmy gives Oskar an ultimatum... either stay under water for three minutes or have one of his eyes poked out... Oskar's eye for Conny's ear. Then Jimmy grabs Oskar's hair and pushes him under. A minute passes. Suddenly, feet can be seen skimming on the surface of the water, followed by Jimmy's severed head, and then Jimmy's severed arm. An almost drowned Oskar is pulled from the water by Eli, who has just slaughtered three of Oskar's tormentors, leaving the fourth sobbing on the side of the pool.

    Epilogue: Oskar sits on a train. Snow is falling outside. A large basket sits in front of him. From inside the basket comes a rapping. Oskar raps back in Morse Code, "P-U-S-S", Swedish for "kiss". [Full synopsis by BJ Kuehl]

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