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Is Let Me In's main character a serial killer, or just under a vampire's spell?

Illustration for article titled Is Let Me Ins main character a serial killer, or just under a vampires spell?

We knew Let Me In's vampire girl had super-strength, but did you know that she can control minds as well? In our exclusive interview with the film's star, Kodi Smit-McPhee, he reveals how Abbey plays with his character's mind.


We interviewed Matt Reeves [director] and he spoke a lot on how Let Me In is really about a boy's coming of age story. What are your thoughts on that?

Yeah. It's mostly about Owen growing up and making a lot of choices and big decisions. And I think the other part of the story is Abby's side.


How do you think Abby's coming of age story differs from Owen's?

She doesn't really come of age because she's stuck at 12. Matt always said that it's not a 300-year-old in a 12-year-old body — it's a 12-year-old, who has been living for 300 years.

What about the struggle with evil? This movie dwelled a lot on evil, what do you think Owen's demons are?

He's a really lonely kid, and he's bullied a lot. She seems like a protector, and his only friend, so he just went with her. He didn't see that she was a vampire. And maybe she doesn't see herself as a vampire, maybe she just sees it as just surviving.

Illustration for article titled Is Let Me Ins main character a serial killer, or just under a vampires spell?

What's Owen's turning point in this film?

I think Owen's biggest turning point, which is kind of obvious to see, is when he shuts the door on Elias Koteas' character [The Policeman] — but I think she's kind of mesmerized him and made him go along with her. They do really like each other, but then there's the higher level that's the other side of her.


So you don't think Owen has free will in the story?

I think it's kind of supernatural. She's put a blindfold in front of his eyes. It's kind of like love, for him — but he does these things that he doesn't realize are that bad. It's real love and then there's kind of a shade.


One of your last characters from The Road was almost completely devoid of evil. How do Owen and The Boy compare?

I think Owen and The Boy — they are both quiet, and they don't get out in the world a lot. And they don't know a lot. I think those are the similarities. But when I'm bullied, I reach out for someone to help me. And there was no one there on the phone when he reached out to his Dad. So instead he turns to Chloe. That's how they differ.


Which character would you rather live as?

Neither. They both have pretty horrible lives. He's killing for her and no one is around all the time. And the other is living during the end of the world.


Were there any scenes that you were sad got cut from the final film?

Yeah there were a few. There was one where he was reading through his diary and he draws pictures of the bullies dead in there, and he had all these serial killer cut-outs. I had to draw them, but the props guys added a few changes to make it a little more bloody.


Don't believe that this Americanized version of the teen vampire has superpowers? Slashfilm has a deleted scene in which little Abby shows Owen what her life was like, via vampire telekinesis.

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I'm just going to ignore the notion that Abby has some kind of mind control power over Owen. I prefer the idea that he's a screwed-up and lonely kid at a point where his moral compass is spinning wherever his hormones point him. His choice is between abetting a supernatural evil force that loves and protects him, or living in a world of mundane evil in which he's the victim. With Abby, he is both protected and protector, and he feels accepted and loved. If Abby is controlling Owen's mind, then the notion of choice kind of goes out the window, and that's part of what makes the movie(s) so good.

The only way to rescue that notion is, as Glucious says below, to look at love and relationships as a sort of 'spell'.