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Becoming Vampire

Difference and the Vampire in Popular Culture

Simon Bacon

Becoming Vampire is an interdisciplinary study of how the figure of the vampire in the twenty-first century has been used to create and define difference, not as either a positive or negative attribute, but as a catalyst for change and the exploration of new identity positions. Whilst focusing on the films Let Me In and Let the Right One In to highlight the referential and intertextual nature of the genre itself, it utilises a broad spectrum of methodological approaches to show how the many facets of the vampire can destabilise traditional categories of who we are and what we might become. This volume then provides a timely examination of the multifaceted and multivalent character of the vampire and the possibilities inherent within our interactions with them, making this study a consideration of what we might term ‘vampiric becomings’ and an exploration of why the undead ‘creatures of the night’ remain so fascinating to Western culture.

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List of Figures

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Figures Figure 1. Owen, wearing a mask and spying on his neighbours, just before he sees the vampire arrive. Let Me In (Hammer Films, 2010), Matt Reeves (dir.). 10 Figure 2. Oskar staring into the night with his hand on the window, just before he sees the vampire. Let the Right One In (Magnet Releasing, 2008), Tomas Alfredson (dir.). 12 Figure 3. Eli as the dark reflection of Oskar and an external Other. Let the Right One In (Magnet Releasing, 2008), Tomas Alfredson (dir.). 54 Figure 4. Abby as the mirror reflection of Owen and an internal Other. Let Me In (Hammer Films, 2010), Matt Reeves (dir.). 55 Figure 5. Abby’s vampire eyes. Let Me In (Hammer Films, 2010), Matt Reeves (dir.). 61 Figure 6. Owen’s vampire eyes. Let Me In (Hammer Films, 2010), Matt Reeves (dir.). 61 Figure 7. Strip of photos of Father as a young boy with Abby. Let Me In (Hammer Films, 2010), Matt Reeves (dir.). 85 Figure 8. Oskar’s deserted train compartment (he is hidden from view, but is in the last seat on the right). Let the Right One In (Magnet Releasing, 2008), Tomas Alfredson (dir.). 95 Figure 9. Owen’s busy train carriage (the conductor is just asking to see his ticket). Let Me In (Hammer Films, 2010), Matt Reeves (dir.). 96 Figure 10. The alien being has peeled off its skin and holds its face in its hands. Under the Skin (StudioCanal, 2013), Jonathan Glazer (dir.). 138 Figure 11. Owen’s neighbour undergoes an...

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