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Comic Book / Alena

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Alena is a Swedish graphic novel written and illustrated by Kim W. Anderrson. It was later made into a movie directed by Daniel di Grado.

When Alena arrives at her new elite boarding school, she finds herself the target of constant bullying. Her best friend Josefin won't let her take anymore. If Alena won't strike back, Josefin will do it for her. Hard.

The graphic novel and film provide examples of:

  • Adaptational Sexuality: Alena is presumably bisexual in the comic; she has a romantic encounter with Josefin but later falls for Fabian, a boy. In the movie, Fabian is now Fabienne and Alena falls for her instead. There is no indication of any interest in boys in the film.
  • Adults Are Useless: Subverted in that the adults at the school try to help Alena and put a stop to the bullying, although their actions inadvertently make things worse.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: One of the reasons why Alena finds herself a target from the bullies.
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  • Alpha Bitch: Filippa is one of the most popular girls at school and set on making Alena miserable.
  • Attempted Rape: A guy tries to rape Alena in the locker room before being stopped by Josefin. In the film, it's another girl who tries it as a result of the setting being an all-girls institution.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Fabienne is a bit bruised after her encounter with Josefin but looks fine later on. In comparison, Fabian in the comic ends up losing a number of his teeth in the attack.
  • Black Eyes of Evil: Josefin has these in the comic.
  • Bury Your Gays: Josefin dies before the story starts and Alena dies at the end. Subverted in the film where Fabienne survives as opposed to her male counterpart from the comic.
  • Creator Cameo: Kim W. Anderrson appears as the shopkeeper in the beginning of the film.
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  • Dead All Along: Josefin, although this is only a big reveal in the film.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Alena is this via her narration in the comic.
  • Decapitation Presentation: Josefin decapitates Fabian and Filippa and holds their still-talking heads in a dream sequence.
  • Disney Villain Death: Josefin is pushed off a bridge.
  • Driven to Suicide: It's believed that Josefin jumped off a bridge. Later it's revealed Alena pushed her.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: Occurs in the film with Fabienne and Alena.
  • Expy: The film takes a lot of inspiration from Carrie (1976), with Filippa being a very obvious stand-in for Chris; a blonde Alpha Bitch who constantly threatens to call her father and, after assaulting the protagonist in the showers, is banned from a school activity/event and tries to get revenge by humiliating her at the prom. This action gets them both killed.
  • Gayngst-Induced Suicide: Josefin killed herself due feeling abandoned by Alena so soon after their romantic encounter. Or at least, she threatened to. It's unclear if she would have gone through with it if Alena hadn't pushed her.
  • Gender Flip: Fabian becomes Fabienne for the film.
  • Hide Your Lesbians: Inverted in the film which introduces an additional lesbian romance into the story.
  • The Killer in Me: Alena in the ending, though this trope is less of a twist than usual. Unless one assumes Josefin to be a ghost, only Alena could have committed her crimes and the film treats The Reveal as more of a Foregone Conclusion (just check out the poster). The fact that Alena killed Josefin herself, however, is this trope played straight.
  • Lighter and Softer: The film is considerably less gorier than the comic.
  • My Hair Came Out Green: In the film Alena intends to dye her hair blond to fit in, it comes out pitch black instead much to her distress. (In the comic she purposely dyes it black to stand out.)
  • Never My Fault: Josefin accuses Alena of this mindset.
  • Nightmare Fuel Coloring Book: In the film Alena draws some morbid illustrations, one of them shows her pregnant guidance counselor being torn apart by her baby.
  • Psycho Lesbian: Depending on your interpretation, either Alena or Josefin.
  • The Reveal: That Josefin died before the story starts is treated like this in the film and isn't revealed until the halfway point. In the graphic novel, it's revealed right at the beginning. In both versions, that Alena pushed Josefin off the bridge is this.
  • Shear Menace: Josefin's preferred weapon is a pair of scissors.
  • Slashed Throat: Filippa is stabbed through the neck with a pair of scissors.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Fabian is killed in the graphic novel. Fabienne survives at the end of the film adaptation.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": The Dark Horse translation changes Filippa to Philippa and Josefin to Josephine.
  • Teens Are Monsters: Subverted in the film. While Alena faces a lot of bullying, it's made clear that Filippa is the only one who is truly monstrous and her friends are just acting as her Yes Men. When she tries to humiliate Alena at the climax, not a single person is amused and she is told to leave.
  • Yandere: Josefin functions as this towards Alena.

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