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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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Chapter 5: The Vampire in Neverland: Nostalgia and Becoming-Child

Extract

Chapter 5 The Vampire in Neverland: Nostalgia and Becoming-Child Returning to Let Me In, we see Owen watching Father as he leaves the apartment building to dispose of the body of Abby’s victim that she left in a nearby subway. Father once again bungles this procedure and, although he manages to dispose of the body, it is in a place where it will be soon dis- covered. The scene then cuts to the following morning and shows Owen as he finds the Rubik’s cube that he gave Abby previously, now placed on the snow-covered climbing frame. The puzzle has been completed, and later in the film it is shown that the vampire has a penchant for puzzle solving, intimating that she has equally managed to ‘solve’ Owen just as she has the Rubik’s cube. The setting changes to night-time, and Owen and Abby meet at the climbing frame again. This is when she tells Owen her name. Now that she has eaten, she no longer smells, and she looks clean and healthy once more. Owen then asks how old she is, to which she says, ‘Twelve … more or less. How old are you?’ and he replies, ‘Twelve years, eight months, and nine days’ (Reeves 2010). This fragment examples the conflicting poles within the configura- tion of the child vampire as Owen and Abby are both the same age, and yet one of them is hundreds of years older than the other. The porosity of age, and indeed ageing, within...

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