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Old March 15 2011, 04:26 PM   #19
Robert Maxwell
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Re: Let Me In (Possible Spoilers)

DeafPoet wrote: View Post
Dark Gilligan wrote: View Post
Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post
I'd go as far as to say it's a tremendously abusive relationship, though not in the conventional sense one would define "abuse." More like an endless psychological torment inflicted upon them, subtly at first, but directed entirely by her until there is simply no escape but death.
This. Any sympathy we feel for Abby is meant to echo the feelings that are stirred in the boys who try to "save" her. We want to believe that Owen is different from the other caretakers, that the love between he and Abby is real, but in truth we're shown no evidence of this. We're as much her victims as they are, which to me is brilliant filmmaking. Bravo to all. But yes, Abby is a monster... enormously skilled in manipulating those around her in order to survive. An author friend of mine (who loved the movie, btw) says that anyone who thinks this is a love story doesn't really understand what a healthy relationship truly is.
A lot of that is true, but I disagree that Abby is fundamentally manipulative. Her line "I'm 12, but I've been that way for a long time" is useful in that regard. Sure, she's chronologically very old, but she's still basically 12. There really isn't a lot of guile to what she does. It's a necessary that she has a caretaker but that's true of any 12 year old. It's simply a fact of her existence.

Sure, it's tragic and certainly not healthy, but I don't think she's selling Owen a bill of goods or anything. She genuinely does care for him and yeah, the whole thing's not going to end well, but she's simply doing what a vampire's gotta do, more out of habit and necessity than any sense of manipulation. It looks like manipulation to us, but how well did you really understand machiavellian stuff when you were 12?
I guess your perspective will be based on what kind of developmental stagnation vampirism causes. If you're "made" at a young age, will you ever mature emotionally, or will you maintain the mindset of a child forever? Given that her existence requires either killing or manipulating others into killing for her, there's a level of maturity involved that I think goes beyond whatever she had at the time of her death/undeath. I think even if you are stagnated in many ways, you would be unable to escape the reality of what you're doing and would have to make a conscious choice to draw others into your world to do your bidding. Yeah, she may actually care for him, but in the end his usefulness to her is tied directly to his ability to protect and feed her, and given that Owen's not the first person she's done this to, she should be fully aware of the consequences of their relationship even if he isn't. Their positions are utterly unequal--he would have no idea what he's getting into.
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