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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 6: Vampiric Invitations: Becoming with the Vampire

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Chapter 6 Vampiric Invitations: Becoming with the Vampire Chapter 5 considered the ways in which the present can be seen to look back to the past, often in a melancholic way, one that not only manipulates history but also reifies it so that it is held in stasis forever. This is not always the case, but it inevitably restricts the possible trajectories of those effected and where their line of flight might eventually take them. In contrast, this chapter looks at how actions in the present can have ramifications – initi- ate becoming’s – that totally change one’s path, and how invites accepted can open doors to futures that are totally unexpected. This chapter will also conclude the present study into our becoming’s with the vampire by suggesting that unexpected trajectories and new forms of difference are not about losing one’s identity but finally finding it. Returning to Let Me In, the film continues with a series of events bring- ing Owen and Abby closer together. Owen, after once again being attacked by the school bullies, is encouraged by Abby to ‘hit back harder than you dare’ (Reeves 2010), which seems to gain the young boy some respite from his tormentors. Abby’s Father realises he has lost her to the new love in her life, and so bungles yet another attempt at killing a young boy for food for her, allowing himself to be caught by the police.1 Just before he is captured, Father throws acid over his own face to ensure...

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