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"She will keep you safe. She will keep you close. She will keep you forever"
Let Me In is a 2010 horror film by Matt Reeves (of Cloverfield fame), starring Chloë Grace Moretz, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Richard Jenkins, and Elias Koteas. It is an English-language remake of the Swedish film Let the Right One In, based on the book of the same name by John Ajvide Lindqvist. It is produced by Hammer Horror, making this their first movie in decades.
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In 1982, in Los Alamos, New Mexico, young Owen is tormented by bullies and frustrated with his parents, who are too wrapped up in their divorce to offer him much sympathy. Everything changes for him when Abby moves into the apartment next door. However, Abby is not what she seems, and as Owen strikes up a friendship with her, he is soon drawn into her dangerous life.

For tropes on the original book, see Let the Right One In. For tropes on the Swedish film, see here.


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This film contains examples of:

  • Adaptational Attractiveness:
    • In the books Oscar is described as being overweight whereas Owen is very slender. This is probably why the bullies now call him "a little girl" rather than "piggy" like in the book or Swedish adaption.
    • Abby is a lot cleaner and more feminine looking than the mangy, androgynous descriptions of Eli in the book.
  • Adaptational Angst Upgrade: Owen suffers a lot more in this version than Oskar did. He's treated much more poorly by his parents. In this version, his mother is an alcoholic who neglects him while in the Swedish version they have a loving relationship. While Owen's father doesn't even make a single appearance, his voice is only heard on the phone while he totally ignores that his very distressed, crying son plead with him to listen to him. Whereas his Swedish counterpart, despite heavily implied to be an alcoholic, made the effort to see him every weekend. Also, the bullying he endures is much more brutal and violent than the kind shown in the Swedish version, which was a lot more childish than the abuse inflicted on him in this continuity. Considering how much more innocent and kind he is than in other versions it makes his abuse much harder to watch.
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  • Adaptational Badass: A marginal example in the pool scene. In the Swedish version Oskar makes no effort to resist the bullies and even meekly swims towards them when asked. Owen, on the other hand, is more proactive in defending himself, the second he realizes the bullies are going to attack him again, he bolts out of the pool and runs towards his locker to get his knife. It doesn't do much good, as he's a small, half naked boy against 4 teenagers armed only with a small pocket knife, but it's still a much greater effort at protecting himself than Oskar ever did.
  • Adaptational Heroism:
    • Thomas in this version seems to have been divorced from the clear pedophile storyline of Håkan in the book and the softened version of it from the Swedish film. Here there is a scene revealing that his counterpart met Abby when he was a child.
    • Owen, while still retaining some of the darker aspects of Oskar (i.e. fantasizing about killing his bullies), has had most of the most disturbing aspects of his character removed, such as committing arson at his school, shoplifting, and having an obsession with serial killers. All in all, he comes across as a much more gentle, innocent character than Oskar was. In addition, Oskar could be quite snide to Elia throughout the book whereas Owen's an absolute sweetheart to Abby throughout the entire film.
  • Adaptational Jerkass: Jimmy is much more of a Big Brother Bully here, mocking Kenny for his injury, and basically threatening him into giving him his keys, which he seemed a lot more casual about in the Swedish film.
    • Abby is a lot ruder and demanding towards Thomas, than Eli was to Hakan. This is best seen when they lose the blood they had procured for Abby/Eli. In the book, Eli desperately pleads with him to try again, whereas Abby is absolutely furious with him screaming at him in a demonic voice while he cowers on the floor.
  • Adaptational Villainy:
    • Abby's intentions with Owen are a lot more ambiguous in this version. While Håkan was recruited by Eli when he was an adult, Thomas has been Abby's caretaker since he was a child. This implies that she is just seeing Owen as a replacement, and he is doomed to become a murderer who will eventually be replaced as well. According to Chloe Grace Moretz, Abby does love Owen, but is also manipulating him so that she can have him to herself.
    • Owen's parents. In the original, they were flawed but still loving parents. In this version, they plainly don't care about him.
    • The bullies are also a lot more sadistic in this version than in the Swedish film, whose bullying seemed to be a lot more childish, consisting of pranks and teasing compared to the brutality in this version. For example, their first scene in the Swedish version consisted of flicking Oscar's nose, while in this version they whip Owen in the eyes with a wet towel before attacking him until he wets himself. Also, some of the Swedish bullies only joined in due to peer pressure and didn't derive pleasure from it, while each American bully deeply enjoys causing Owen as much pain and humiliation as possible. This is shown in the respective scenes where they whip Oskar/Owen, in the Swedish version most of them hesitatingly hit him with a thin branch and Oskar barely seems to feel it, while in "Let Me In" they hit Owen with a metal antenna so hard the pain brings him to tears and their only objection is when Kenny hits him in the face, leaving a cut on his cheek, pointing out that his mother will want to know what happened to him.
  • Adaptation Distillation: This version distills the plot further than the Swedish version did. Barely any characters other than the boy and the vampire even register, and one Composite Character is created to fulfill the function of one of the demoted characters at the climax. The film also adds more scenes between Owen and Abby, such as when he confides in her that his parents are getting divorced, and later tells her about how miserable he feels in Los Alamos and just wants to leave.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: In Let the Right One In, Eli had dark hair and Oskar was blonde. In this film, Owen has dark hair and Abby is the blonde.
  • Adaptation Name Change: A lot of characters had their names changed to fit in better in America than Sweden. Oskar became Owen. Eli became Abby. Hakan became Thomas. Conny became Kenny (ironically his original name in the book was Jonny).
  • Adaptational Modesty: The scene where Abby comes into Owen's bed to cuddle with him after Thomas dies. In the original film Oskar is in his underpants and in the book he was naked while in this version he's wearing a pair of pyjamas.
  • Adults Are Useless: Owen gets blamed for hitting Kenny on the ice, despite acting in self-defense, with the principal threatening to suspend him over the incident. There's no mention of Kenny getting in trouble for threatening to drown him. Notably, when he's in the principal's office he doesn't even bother telling her what Kenny was planning on doing to him, assuming that neither she nor his mother would believe him.
    • Tragically, it's a running theme in the film that almost every adult in Owen's life totally fails to protect him, or even notice just how much pain he's being put through. The only adult character who's useful at all is Mr. Zoric the gym teacher. He's the only adult to show Owen any care/attention and encourages him to exercise to get stronger and he's the only teacher who sees what a monster Kenny is.
    • This trope is deconstructed by the film. As the neglect and apathy from the adults in his life leads Owen to believe no one can help him. This is best demonstrated when he tearfully goes to his parents for comfort after discovering Abby's a vampire and both times he's ignored. After that any chance Owen would change his mind or refuse to join Abby in a life of murder is vanquished.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Thomas still has a sad ending, despite the fact that in this version he's still a serial killer, holding a sobbing Abby in his arms and letting her feed on him before falling out the hospital window to his death. Especially considering what he does to his face to keep Abby safe beforehand.
  • The Alcoholic: Owen's mother, making her a Composite Character of Oskar's parents in the novel and Swedish film. She's seen drinking or holding a glass of wine in almost every scene she's in. She also drinks so much she passes out. In one heartbreaking scene in the film after Owen was almost killed he goes to his mum for comfort only for her to be passed out drunk.
  • Aliens in Cardiff: Abby has been roaming the suburbs of New Mexico.
  • Asshole Victim: Owen's bullies. Abby might be rather brutal when tearing them apart, but even if some of them expressed uncertainty about their final attacks on him, they had spent the majority of the movie humiliating, assaulting, or threatening Owen.
  • Ass Shove: When Owen picks up a metal rod to protect himself against Kenny, he threatens to take it off him and sodomize him with it. Considering how vicious and sadistic Kenny is towards Owen it's very hard to tell if he's making a sick joke or he genuinely means it.
  • Ax-Crazy: Kenny and his brother Jimmy. Kenny's obsession and love of hurting Owen overrides any common sense he might have to the point he threatened and moved to throw Owen into a frozen lake while a teacher was watching. Jimmy is even worse, during the sadistic test in the swimming pool he was holding Owen's head under the water with the blatant intention of drowning him, when the other bullies get nervous about actually killing someone they nervously ask Jimmy to stop, only for him to shriek at them to be silent.
  • Ambiguous Disorder:
    • Due to the abuse and loneliness inflicted on him Owen displays several odd quirks throughout the film. He takes part in several re-enactments of killing people including one where he wears a Halloween mask, he seems obsessed with the Now and Later sweet brand including singing the theme tune constantly, scenes where his mother begs him to eat something coupled with how emaciated his body is indicates he has some kind of eating disorder, he wets himself at age 12, he is extremely quiet and shy and he has a habit of spying on his neighbours.
    • Kenny, there's something really off about him. His bullying of Owen reaches very disturbing levels of obsession and sadism throughout the film. In the scene where he sees Owen writing notes for Abby he sees genuinely upset at seeing Owen have any pleasure in his life. He then follows him to the toilets and whips him, when Owen summons the very meager defiance of refusing to repeat Kenny's words back to him, his face starts to spam in sheer rage.
  • Ambiguous Ending. The final scene is of Owen and Abby on a train leaving to start a new life. However, it is made very clear that Owen's still human, with the closing shot being him staring out into the sunlit countryside. So, does this mean that he's now just another familiar for Abby to use before he gets too old like Thomas? Or does Abby genuinely love him and will turn him at a later point? The director himself said audiences are free to choose their own interpretation.
  • Battle Discretion Shot: Abby's slaughter of the bullies at the climax is obscured; the camera remains underwater and focused on Owen the whole time.
  • Badass Adorable: Abby despite being a cute small girl is a centuries old vampire who can tear 4 teenagers apart with ease.
  • Berserk Button: Whatever you do, don't try to hurt the boy the vampire likes. Notably, when she rescues Owen at the end of the film at the pool and starts to slaughter the bullies she screams in pure primal rage throughout the entire massacre demonstrating just how angry Owen's torture and suffering has made her.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: The film has two main antagonists. Kenny, Owen's persistent tormentor and The police officer, whose investigating Abby's murders.
  • Big Brother Bully: Kenny's older brother Jimmy. It's implied that it's because of him that Kenny became a bully himself, since he calls Kenny a "little girl" to mock him in much the same way Kenny does to Owen. He's also the one who leads the bullies and threatens Owen with either drowning him or picking out one of his eyes, to the objections of Kenny and his friends who think he's going too far.
  • Big Damn Heroes: When it's made abundantly clear that Owen's going to die via drowning at the hands of Jimmy, the other bullies hear the sound of the skylight breaking and hear Abby's inhuman shriek of rage. She then proceeds to rip every bully apart for their torment of Owen.
  • Butt-Monkey: Owen, the poor guys life is a living hell.He lives in a run down apartment complex with his alcoholic mother who neglects him, his father doesn't care about him and every day at school he's abused, beaten and humiliated by bullies. He's traumatized repeatedly throughout the film: his girlfriend nearly kills him, he sees a man ripped to shreds in front of him and he's tortured and almost drowned at the end of the film. It says a lot about how awful his life was that going to live a nomadic life with a vampire (either as her familiar or being turned by her) is actually the happiest ending he could have had.
  • Blatant Lies: When Owen's mother demands to know where he's been after being out with Abby, Owen unconvincingly claims he's been in the courtyard the whole time. She seems to buy it. Earlier, after Kenny beats him up and intimidates Owen into lying about what happened he tells his mother that he fell on the playground. Despite the fact he has a gash in his cheek and is obviously very upset about something she believes him.
  • Blood from Every Orifice: If Abby enters a place without being invited in first, she bleeds from everywhere.
  • Bring My Brown Pants: In the remake, the bullies attack Owen until he wets himself.
  • Blood Oath: Owen cuts his hand and suggests this to Abby. Abby, being a vampire, takes it somewhat less than calmly.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: The Swedish film relied a lot on long shots to not focus as much on the gory aspects. This film was more open to those aspects.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The ending's sweet in that Owen finally escapes his horrible life in Los Alamos and he's starting a new life with Abby, who he loves and has a very gentle, affectionate relationship with. It's bitter in that no matter how their relationship pans out (whether she turns him into a vampire or he becomes her familiar), they'll spend the rest of their lives as nomads committing murder and Owen will never see his parents again (although, seeing as how neglectful and unconcerned with his suffering they both were it's really hard to see Owen missing them in anyway).
  • Big Damn Kiss: Near the end of the film, Abby kisses Owen on the lips. Unlike other times when Abby and Owen show each other affection such as pecking him gently on the cheek or hugging each other this is the scene where they're shown as more than just friends and as a genuine couple. The scene is both heartwarming and disturbing as it occurs just after Abby kills a man and his blood is still on her lips.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me:
    • Despite the fact that Owen is terrified of her vampiric nature and is worried that Abby is evil, he still helps and loves her because she's the only person in his life who shows him the slightest degree of concern, affection or attention. This is seen when Abby kills the policeman, Owen finds it very distressing to watch but he still closes the door when the man is pleading for help and assists Abby in hiding the body.
    • A possible interpretation for why Abby is so protective and kind towards Owen. Throughout the film due to Thomas incompetence she's starving and Owen would make a perfect victim to kill and dispose of, he clearly has no friends and is neglected at home by his parents but because he's so sweet and friendly towards her (i.e. offering her his Rubix cube when he finds out she doesn't celebrate her birthday, hugging her to comfort her after she vomits outside the arcade), she decides to become his main protector and friend.
  • Boy Meets Ghoul: A charming story where the bullied boy meets a charming vampire when she moves in next door.
  • Bully Brutality: The bullies that harass Owen and end up almost drowning him.
  • Catchphrase Insult: Kenny is constantly calling Owen "little girl". It's changed from the book where Oskar was called "Piggy", which considering how Owen is as skinny as a reed wouldn't make any sense.
  • Children Are Innocent: Averted with the bullies and Abby being cruel and homicidal.
    • Owen's a complicated case, as while he is shown to be a very gentle, naive boy, especially in his date scenes with Abby, he does take part in detailed re-enactments of killing the bullies who torment him every day. His innocence can be best scene when Abby crawls into his bed naked to cuddle with him, he's surprised but doesn't do anything. When he asks Abby to be his girlfriend, she seems hesitant and worried that Owen might want something more than friendship from her only for Owen to tell her nothing would change between them. Demonstrating that Owen has a very innocent attitude to dating and just considers it a very close form of friendship.
  • Coming-of-Age Story: Oddly heartwarming. Kind of.
  • Chastity Couple: Due to the film being a Puppy Love story, Abby and Owen as a couple are this trope. Their bonding moments mainly involve long hugs. Abby only kisses Owen twice in the entire film and only then they were two quick pecks on his lips and cheek. Even when Abby sneaks into Owen's room, takes off her clothes and crawls into his bed to snuggle up to him, it isn't portrayed as anything sexual and more like an innocent sleepover.
  • Creepy Child:
    • Abby counts as one giving how she murders people on screen. Although she's been a child for a long time.
    • Owen could count as an example. He certainly looks the part physically, with his raven black hair, almost inhumanly pale skin and slender, almost malnourished-looking body. He also has some rather unsettling quirks, he softly sings to himself all the time. He regularly fantasizes about killing people and acts it out with his knife. However seeing as he's being tortured every day by bullies and isn't helped or protected in any way, it's probably the only way he knows how to cope with the constant abuse. He's also seen spying on his neighbors with a telescope but that's more due to his sheer loneliness. So he is a very tragic and sympathetic version.
  • Danger Takes a Backseat: One of the most intense sequences in the film has Thomas hiding in the backseat of a car in order to kill someone for Abby to feed on.
  • Darker and Edgier: To a degree, while it tones down the moral ambiguity of the film in many ways it's a darker story. For one, the violence is much more explicit. Secondly, Owen's suffering is much more pronounced in this version. To contrast, in the pool scene in the Swedish version the room's brightly lit and Oskar is playing to pop music before the bullies attempt to drown him and when they're killed the violence is mainly obscured. In this version, Owen's chased through a darkened locker room, then dragged screeching before they attempt to drown him. The bullies' massacre is much more graphic and bloody, with Owen's back left soaked in blood by the end of it.
  • Dark Secret: The audience knows that Abby is a vampire the entire time; Owen finds out eventually. Stemming from this, Abby tries to hide the more gruesome aspects of her affliction from her new friend (such as what happens when she enters a house without permission, and what she does while sleeping/recuperating in the bathroom), but Owen deals with each in turn.
  • Darkness Equals Death:
    • The finale pool scene starts out bright just like it was in the Swedish film but once the bullies come in they turn out the lights where the entire pool area let alone the pool is ridiculously dark as the violence is about to pick up.
    • When the Police Officer kicks the door of Abby's apartment down and starts investigating the apartment is extremely dark due to all the windows being covered in cardboard to blot out any sunlight. The scene is extremely tense as Owen is trying to avoid being caught by the man. It eventually climaxes by the police officer being ripped to shreds by Abby.
  • Desperately Craves Affection: Owen, due to his extreme loneliness, having no friends and being neglected by his mother can be seen looking enviously at happy couples throughout the movie.
  • Dirty Coward: Kenny, to be expected of a schoolyard bully. For one thing, he only ever attacks Owen when he is accompanied by two other boys despite the fact he's considerably taller and more muscular than his short, skinny victim. When Owen fights back for the first time Kenny doesn't go near him again until he has the support of his older, bigger brother and even then they wait until he's alone and half-naked in the pool before they attack him.
  • Dirty Kid: Implied initially with Owen at the beginning where one of his first scenes involve him spying on his neighbours as they're about to have sex but it's shown to be more out of curiosity than anything perverted. Throughout the rest of the film Owen is shown to be quite innocent. When Abby sneaks into his bed naked he's shocked and doesn't do anything, later when they're alone in the basement and she asks him what he wants to do he breaks out into a nervous, goofy grin. Plus it should be noted in their relationship Abby is the one who kisses him while Owen seems to prefer long hugs.
  • Distressed Dude: At the end Owen is ambushed and nearly drowned by his bullies. Only for Abby to save him.
  • Did They or Didn't They?: Towards the end of the film Owen sneaks out from his mothers apartment to spend the night with Abby and it's never made clear what precisely they were doing during the entire night. While their relationship is portrayed, for the most part, as very sweet and innocent. The scene immediately occurred after Abby and Owen reconciled their relationship before being interrupted by his mothers entrance into the apartment. So while it's rather unlikely they had sex, it's still somewhat ambiguous.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: The remake has two instances of this, since it takes place in the 1980s. The first being Kenny being forced to do laps for sexually harassing a classmate. If the movie had taken place in modern-day, his punishment would have been much more severe. Another one was Owen being able to buy a knife at only 12-years-old, which would not fly as easily in the post-Columbine society.
  • Death by Adaptation:
    • In the book Eli only kills Jimmy and Kenny's counterparts but lets the other bullies live. Here she kills them all.
  • Demoted to Extra: Most of the mid-level characters from previous versions are excluded from this version.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Owen has definitely hit this when Abby leaves him after killing the policeman. As he watches her go, he seems in shock and can't even show emotion. The next day, he just stares out the window at the empty jungle gym, crying his heart out.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Abby, in first few scenes she's incredibly cold and standoffish to Owen. Her first words to him were that they could never be friends. However, when they bond over their shared love of puzzles she quickly becomes a lot more friendly towards him. Soon they start dating and even playing together like normal children.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: In Let Me In the bullies try to kill Owen for splitting Kenny's ear, in self defense no less. This is distilled from the book where there was an ongoing series of events to get there, but this is the same level as from the Swedish film.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Owen is at first brutally targeted by the bullies until after Abby's encouragement he finally strikes back splitting Kenny's ear in the process.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: Kenny's brother, Jimmy. Kenny is the main villain of the film, with Jimmy only appearing in two scenes and he attacks Owen at his brother's behest but it's shown he's much more dangerous and cruel than Kenny and the other bullies. To the point they're afraid of him.
  • Dramatic Irony: When Owen comes home with a bloody scar on his face and tells his mother he got it from falling in the playground she tells him: "You have to be more careful, honey. I hate to see my baby get hurt". Completely unaware that Owen's getting tortured daily by bullies.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Owen and Thomas to Abby, if you consider Abby evil. Kenny and Jimmy to each other.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: When Jimmy is putting Owen through his sadistic test and it becomes rather obvious that Owen is on the verge of dying (Jimmy held him under the water for over a minute and a half before Abby intervened)Kenny and his friends get nervous and ask Jimmy to stop. However, considering how much they enjoyed hurting Owen throughout the film it's hard to tell whether it was truly the bullies having limits on their cruelty or they were simply afraid of the consequences that awaited them if they actually killed Owen.
  • Eye Scream: Referenced; Kenny's older brother threatens to put one of Owen's eyes out. Earlier in the film, Kenny snaps a wet towel into Owen's eyes.
  • Entertainingly Wrong: The police officer, he has noticed the pattern of Abby and Thomas killings throughout the country and he knows there's something deeply unnatural about them. However, since he doesn't know he's in a supernatural film he comes to the conclusion that Thomas is some kind of satanic cultist.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Owen, despite being a normal human boy, is extremely pale. He's actually more pale than Abby, who is undead. This coupled with the fact in this continuity he's the one with dark hair and he actually looks more vampiric than Abby does at times.
  • Extreme Doormat
    • Thomas, he's treated like a slave by Abby and he endures a lot of verbal abuse from her without complaint. He's even willing to pour concentrated acid over himself to protect her. He does lose his temper and screams at her but it's after she admitted to just leaving one of her victims out in the open and expecting him to clean it up, so it's rather understandable.
    • Owen counts as well. He endures a lot of abuse from the bullies without fighting back until Abby encourages him to. When Kenny scars his face, he orders Owen to lie to his mother about what happened. Owen terrified agrees and is seen doing just that. Part of Owen's character development is becoming less weak willed and submissive. Later in the film he stands up to Abby when she blocks him from leaving when he finds out she's a vampire.
  • Facial Horror:
    • Thomas, after pouring acid on his face, looks all the worse for it when he is in the hospital.
    • Virginia, who is not only vampiric but getting rapidly burned by the sun.
  • The Faceless: Used to signify that this is principally a tale about childhood (more or less), with adult characters mostly peripheral and often fleeting. Owen's island-like status is emphasized by his absent father only making one scene by telephone, and his mother - a fairly constant presence in the book - appears numerous times yet is never once seen properly on camera: she varies from being a distant figure, a ghostly reflection or obscured by a door, to fully visible yet thrown way out of focus or seen only from the neck down; even a passport-type photo glimpsed in her wallet is crumpled to the point of indistinguishability.
  • First Kiss: Abby kisses Owen on the cheek after he tells her how he stood up to Kenny.
  • Fight Unscene: None of Abby's massacre of the bullies is portrayed onscreen.All the audience hears is their screams. The camera is focused on Owen the entire time when he's underwater and when he's recovering from being almost drowned to death.
  • Foreign Remake: Let Me In is an American remake of the film version of Let The Right One In.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • At one point, Owen tells Abby how much he hates Los Alamos, and that he just wants to leave and never come back. In response, Abby takes his hand as if inviting him to leave with her. He does just that at the end.
    • When Abby notices the cut on Owen's cheek and inquires what caused it, Owen, ashamed, admits that he's being bullied. Abby then tells him that he needs to fight back, when Owen points out there's three of them, she advises him to use the knife and when Owen asks what he should do if that isn't enough she promises shell protect him. This exactly how Owen interactions with the bullies play out for the rest of the film, he defends himself against Kenny by hitting him with a stick, when they come for revenge Owen grabs his pocket knife and when they overpower him, Abby intervenes and kills them.
  • Fourth Date Marriage: Sort of. It takes a very short length of time from Abby and Owen meeting each other to Owen being willing to run away with her. In the 5th scene they have together Owen announces to her that he "likes her, a lot". In their 6th after Thomas sacrifices his life to Abby she's grown so fond of Owen that she goes to him for comfort. She sneaks into his bed to cuddle with him and he asks her to be his girlfriend, which she agrees to.
  • Friendly Neighbourhood Vampire: Averted with Abby, despite being one of the main characters. She has no problem whatsoever with drinking the blood of innocent people. Whether it be the victims Thomas kills or attacking and devouring them herself. She is kind to Owen (who she's literally neighbors with) and she's probably the only person who showed him any attention or affection in years but he's a singular exception.
  • Freudian Excuse: It's implied that the reason why Kenny bullies Owen more harshly than the others is because he himself is being bullied by his big brother. His brother even calls him a "little girl" which is what Kenny has been calling Owen.
  • Flight: Abby claims to be capable of flight. Although she's never shown flying on-screen there's evidence to support her claim. In the scene where she massacres the bullies you can see Kenny being dragged underwater from Owen's point of view and notably he's far too deep in the water for Abby to have dragged him from along the pool's edge. Also, after killing Thomas at the hospital while leaving from the window ledge rather than crawl back down she's shown jumping with the sound of wings flapping being heard.The sound of wings flapping can be heard in the pool scene too, when the bullies hear Abby enter the building through the skylight and when the massacre ends.
  • Gender Flip: Abby here is 100% female. Her counterpart in the book and Swedish film, Eli, was a castrated boy who for his/her reasons presented or was assumed to be a girl.
  • Geek Physique: Owen's implied to be rather nerdy, with his room having an outer space theme, and he is very skinny. In the scenes in the film where he is shirtless he looks downright underweight, with his ribs being fully visible. The script mentions that Owen is rather embarrassed at how scrawny he is.
  • Good with Numbers: A possible case with Owen, when asked about his age he immediately answered to the exact day "12 years,8 months and 9 days" implying he calculated the exact figure almost instantly in his head which would be rather impressive for a 12-year-old or sadly it might be that he hates his life so much he keeps a count of how old he is until he turns 18 and can leave his home behind.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: In a deleted scene, it's revealed Abby's uncle was a vampire who turned her after apparently raping her.
  • Growling Gut: Abby experiences this whenever she goes without drinking blood for a period of time.
  • Hands-Off Parenting: Owen's mother is clearly completely detached from his life due her own alcoholism and despondency over her failed marriage. She is completely unaware that Owen is being physically and emotionally tortured by bullies every day at school and is developing psychological quirks at home due to his sheer loneliness. She thinks everything is just fine and dandy with him. Owen's father, meanwhile, hasn't even seen him for an undetermined amount of time and is also oblivious to his plight. It's an ironic point that Abby, a vampire, shows more genuine concern for Owen's well-being than either of his parents. It makes Owen's decision to leave with Abby at the end of the film completely understandable.
  • Hair-Contrast Duo. Abby's hair is blonde, while Owen's hair is black. Interestingly, the stereotypes are switched around. Owen, despite his raven black hair, is the gentle-natured one being shy, innocent, kind and curious. While Abby is the darker character by far, almost totally apathetic to the outside world, she's absolutely ruthless in her pursuit of blood.
  • Hate Sink: Kenny, he is by far the most disgusting and evil character in the film. To the point he makes Abby a vampire who kills many innocent people throughout the film look sympathetic. For starters he bullies Owen horribly, hurting, degrading and humiliating him as often as he possibly can for no reason other than cruelty. Instances of this include whipping Owen bloody with a metal antenna, threatening to rape and drown him at a frozen lake, and attacking Owen until he wets himself. He's a coward who never attacks Owen alone despite the fact he's about twice his size and when Owen stands up for himself he needs the support of his older brother before he goes near him again.
  • Hero Antagonist: The police officer is only doing his job in investigating what looks like a serial killer, but the film is from Owen and Abby's POV, so the audience sees him as a threat to their relationship.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Thomas, when his attempt to kidnap another man for Abby goes wrong he ends up crashing the car he was in and people start to close in on him, knowing he's about to be caught, and not wanting to be interrogated or ID'd as it would risk exposing Abby, he proceeds to empty a bottle of acid on his face.
  • Horror Hunger: Abby is shown to get ravenously hungry for human blood, to the point it overwhelms her better judgement. She kills and eats a human jogger when she gets hungry enough without thinking to hide the body afterwards. Later in the cellar scene with Owen, after he tried to initiate a friendship pact by cutting his thumb she immediately looks at him like a predator spotting prey and nearly kills him.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: The human bullies are shown to be just as much of a monster as the vampire who regularly eats people, worse even as Abby only kills people to survive while Kenny regularly abuses Owen for no reason other than sadism. Matt Reeves even commented that he wanted the bullying scenes to be just as intense and filled with dread as the scenes where Abby attacks people.
  • Iconic Outfit: Owen's thick silver jacket. He wears it in nearly every scene he's in, including the hot, humid changing area of the swimming pool, where wearing it would be rather uncomfortable. This suggests the jacket works as a kind of comfort blanket for him.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: At the start of the film, Owen is desperately lonely and spends the majority of his time outside of school playing with puzzles on his own at the courtyard of his apartment complex. When Abby warns him that they can't be friends when they first meet Owen looks absolutely heartbroken. Throughout the film, despite it being obvious there's something odd about Abby (i.e. walking barefoot through the snow, the loud arguments she has with Thomas) Owen doesn't care as long as he has companionship in his life.
  • I Do Not Drink Wine: During their first date, Owen excitedly offers to buy Abby some of the sweets he loves so much. Abby, knowing it will make her sick, declines as politely as she can. However, seeing that this hurts Owen's feelings she accepts to please him. The very next shot in the film is of Abby being violently ill in the car park of the shop.
  • It's All About Me: Both of Owen's parents, they're both incredibly self-absorbed and show no consideration towards their own son.
    • Owen's mother, she's a self-pitying alcoholic who doesn't notice or care that her son is deeply miserable and is being horribly abused at school and shows him no concern or attention throughout the film.
    • Owen's father, the movie implies he hadn't physically seen Owen in months. When Owen discovers Abby's a vampire he calls him for advice, only for his father to assume he's being manipulated by his mother and starts berating him for listening to her. It could be argued that he's genuinely concerned for his son's well-being and worried about his care under his mother, considering she's an alcoholic and religious fundamentalist and he mentions she has "issues" but that just raises the question of why he isn't the one taking care of Owen.
  • Innocent Blue Eyes: Owen, despite developing several psychological quirks due to the loneliness and abuse he endures, is the most innocent, gentle-hearted character in the film and he has light greenish blue eyes.
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain:
    • Thomas, despite the film implying that he's been harvesting people for Abby for decades, isn't terribly good at his job. In his first scene, he knocks over the bottle of blood he had just gathered and nearly gets seen by a driver. Justified possibly, in that Thomas himself mentions he's tired of murdering people and he's not sure whether he wants to get caught or not.
    • Abby herself counts, despite being a vampire for centuries. Notably, when she kills the jogger she just leaves the body there in the open to the extreme frustration of Thomas. The detective who was investigating her murders was able to find where she lived very quickly. Justified by her Immortal Immaturity, Abby is stuck with the mental/emotional maturity of a 12-year-old.
  • Informed Flaw: The bullies chosen insult for Owen "Little girl" and "she" doesn't make a lot of sense. Nothing Owen says or does throughout the film indicates that he's particularly effeminate.
  • Impossible Task: The sadistic test the bullies put Owen through in the pool. If Owen, a scrawny boy, can hold his breath for 3 minutes they'll simply cut his cheek, if he fails they'll gouge one of his eyes out. Although judging by how Kenny's brother very strongly held his head down under the water, it seems more that Jimmy's intention was always just to drown him and presenting Owen with a "test" was simply a way to mentally torture him before he died.
  • Immortal Immaturity: Abby isn't a fully grown woman in a girl's body, like in most vampire media, but rather a child whose mental development was put in stasis when she became a vampire. In her own words "I'm twelve, I've just been twelve for a very long time".
  • Karma Houdini: While she does have sympathetic qualities Abby still kills multiple innocent people throughout the film and she gets away with absolutely everything by the end. Her situation has even improved as she has an adoring new boyfriend.
  • Kubrick Stare: Abby does one while feeding on the man in the tunnel.
  • Knife Nut: Averted with Owen. While he certainly is fond of knifes and is frequently seen playing with them, and using them in his revenge scenarios, including one scene where he frantically stabs a tree, he's never shown to be especially talented with them. In the end of the film where the bullies begin their final attack on Owen, he runs to his locker to get his pocket knife. When they corner him he doesn't use it.
  • Kick the Dog: Virtually every scene Kenny is in. For example:
    • In his first scene he sexually harasses a girl at the swimming pool.
    • He whips Owen in the eyes with a wet towel before attacking him until he wets himself. Then sings about it as loudly as possible to humiliate Owen.
    • When he sees Owen writing a letter for Abby, he follows him into the bathroom. He then demands Owen shows him the letter, when he doesn't he proceeds to whip Owen with a metal antenna so hard then it leaves a bloody scar on Owen's face.
    • On a field trip he plans to throw Owen into a frozen lake. When Owen picks up a stick to defend himself Kenny threatens to rape him with it.
    • At the end of the film he enlists his older brother help to attack Owen. While Kenny shows hesitation when it became obvious that Jimmy was planning on actually killing him, he was gleefully taking part in the assault beforehand. Dragging Owen roughly over the tiles of the pool area as he screamed in pain/terror.
  • Lighter and Softer: Ironically in the same film that didn't mind showing more blood several characters are less morally murky in this film than the book and Swedish film. Owen is still a bullied kid who has a knife who thinks about attacking his bullies, yet he doesn't do a fraction of the stuff book Oskar did, like shoplifting or setting a fire at his school. Thomas is separated out from Hakan by dropping all the pedophile storyline in favor of him having met Abby similar to how Owen did when he was younger.
  • Morality Pet: Owen to Abby. Throughout the film, Abby shows herself to be an extremely ruthless character, willing to send Thomas out to kill people, treats Thomas like a slave and is willing to kill people herself to stay alive but she is kind and protective towards Owen.
  • Man on Fire: Virginia again, although this remake shows it more gradually compared to the other versions.
  • Mood Whiplash: Due to the film being a mix between a Puppy Love romance tale and a brutal horror story this happens frequently. Notably, there's the cellar scene which changes from an awkward date scene to an extremely tense scene, where Abby goes from excitedly waiting for a kiss from Owen to almost killing him.
  • Moment Killer: After Owen vents about how much he wants to leave town, Abby tenderly takes his hand, and it seems it might be heading toward a kiss... when Owen's mother calls out to him. Owen's reaction really sells it.
    • The scene in the cellar, it looks like Owen and Abby might kiss each other on the lips, only for Owen himself to ruin it by trying to turn the moment into a friendship pact due to his being too shy to kiss her and waves his bloody hand at Abby, a vampire. Whose instincts kick in and she very nearly kills Owen.
  • Muscle Angst: Implied with Owen. When looking out into the apartment complex through his telescope, he spots a muscular man lifting weights. He then proceeds to look down at his own very scrawny chest looking rather ashamed. At the end of the film when Owen goes swimming while walking through the locker room in his trunks he looks very self conscious at having his scrawny body bared around the much more muscular, athletic students.
  • Must Be Invited: The movie universe takes this rule very seriously. When Abby violates it, the results are very bloody. Also, vampires have to specifically get a invitation every single time they enter a home, Abby had already gotten Owen's permission to enter into his apartment earlier when she sneaked into his room but she had to ask again.
  • Nightmare Face: Played deadly straight with Abby. Thomas's face is also horrifying to look at after he pours concentrated acid over himself.
  • No Nudity Taboo: Abby doesn't seem to understand why Owen's startled when she strips naked before going into his bed to cuddle with him.
  • No Social Skills: Abby, due to centuries being an undead vampire living in isolation with only her familiar Thomas, whose implied to make most of their living arrangements, as company. She doesn't recognize major pop culture items like a Rubix cube, she's very cold and standoffish to Owen when they first meet. She also doesn't seem to recognize how odd her behavior is, she walks around in her bare feet in the snow despite how odd it makes her look, after Thomas dies and she goes to Owen's room for comfort she sneaks into his bed after stripping naked and doesn't understand why Owen is shocked.
  • Non-Answer: Abby gives rather vague or cryptic answers when Owen asks her questions. When Owen asks her what her true age is, she only responds that she's been 12 for a "long time". When Abby tries to tell Owen they can't be boyfriend and girlfriend because "she's not a girl" i.e. she's a vampire, not a human, Owen understandably gets confused and asks her what that means. Her response is to claim she's "nothing", which backfires on Abby as Owen thinks she's just making excuses to not go out with him and gets upset.
  • Non Human Lover Reveal: A puppy love version. When Owen and Abby are cuddling in bed, Abby tells him she's not a girl, as in she's not a human but a vampire, which just confuses Owen. Later when they're in the cellar, Owen finally sees what Abby is when he tries to initiate a friendship pact which causes Abby's Horror Hunger to kick in. She assumes her demonic form and throws herself to the ground to lick Owen's blood off the floor with a elongated tongue, to his horror.
  • Not Now, Kiddo: A tragic version. After realizing what Abby is Owen goes to his parents for comfort. Only for his mother to be passed out drunk and when he calls his father he completely ignores Owen's questions to make it about his divorce.
  • Not Using the "Z" Word: The word "Vampire" is used exactly once in the film. After Owen figures out that what Abby is he asks her whether she's a vampire. She herself doesn't seem to recognize the term and replies that she needs blood to live.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: Abby's slaughter off the bullies. During the entirety of the scenes the cameras focused on Owen's emaciated back covered in blood but you can hear whats happening. From the bullies screams of terror and the sounds of their flesh being ripped apart and thrown into the pool, to Abby's own inhuman roars. Throughout the scene you can hear the sound of wings flapping, Abby was never shown to have wings when seen in vampire form so the audience can only guess what she looks like as she kills the boys. Most disturbingly at the end, when Owen has recovered from his near drowning Abby's bare feet, drenched in blood appear and she picks him up by his head to look at her. When he does he looks to be in awe and fear, which could just simply be through the trauma of almost dying, but Abby's face is never seen once, so what exactly could Owen be looking at?
  • Odd Friendship: Owen and Abby's relationship, she's a ruthless vampire while he's a meek, timid boy.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Abby doesn't age, she's strong enough to rip a human body to shreds, she's capable of putting people into trances and invading their minds, she's strongly implied to be able to fly, sunlight instantly causes her skin to blister and burn, she's bound by extremely strict rules regarding her need to get someones permission to enter her home (she needs verbal permission each individual time and if she doesn't she starts bleeding to death), if she goes without eating she starts to smell, she doesn't feel the cold, she can't consume any food without making her sick, she seems to enter into a sort of hibernation rather than sleep when she rests, she had a demonic form she assumes when her bloodlust overwhelms her. Also, in this film vampiric bites are extremely infectious all that's required to turn someone is to bite them, which means when Abby kills she usually snaps her victims' necks so they won't turn.
  • Older Than They Look: Besides the obvious example of Abby, whose centuries years old but stuck in the body of a twelve year old, there's Kenny and his friends. Despite being in the same class as 12-year-old Owen they look like they're years older than he is. The school might allow split-grade classes (which some schools do) or they may have been held back.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: The bullies were in the process of drowning Owen before Abby breaks in and kills them. While some gave some very weak protest to Kenny when it became clear he was actually going to kill Owen they still gleefully went to the pool with the intention of assaulting and torturing Owen. Needless to say they deserved everything Abby did to them.
  • Parental Obliviousness: Owen's mother. She is completely ignorant to her own son's life. She doesn't notice how horribly he's being abused by bullies despite the fact he shows up with scars at their apartment and is obviously miserable and desperately lonely. Notably, after Owen's called to the principal's office after defending himself against Kenny, all she can state is that he's "a good boy", never bothering to inquire why exactly her gentle, quiet son would attack someone.
  • Paper Tiger: Kenny, who acts like he's tough despite the fact he and his friends are ganging up on a boy who is considerably smaller than he is but the first time Owen stands up to him by hitting him with a stick he goes down crying like a small child. Notably, he leaves Owen alone for the rest of the film until he has his older teenage brother backing him up.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Thomas counts, he gets extremely jealous of the attention Owen receives from Abby. When he leaves a note for Abby, it's misspelled, saying "Im sory Abby", and the writing is in a very childish scribble. Justified, as the film heavily implies he's been her familiar for decades since he was a child and with no contact with anyone besides someone stuck as a 12 year old, he didn't have a lot of opportunity to mature.
  • Puppy Love: The main plot of the film, concerning the growing relationship between a lonely 12-year-old boy and a girl who's been stuck mentally and physically at age 12 for centuries. Despite the film being a very dark and brutal horror film, their relationship is portrayed as very sweet and innocent.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Kenny's friends, Mark and Donald. While they enjoy hurting Owen nearly as much as Kenny does, they still have the sense to try to restrain themselves so they can get away with it. They notably point out to Kenny how stupid it is scarring Owen's face when his mother will want to know what happened to him, they tell Kenny to leave Owen alone when they know Mr. Zorić is watching them harass him and in the pool scene they both start to panic when they realize that Jimmy is planning on killing Owen.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality. Due to the Adaptation Distillation of this film this affects the story even more than the original.Whereas a lot of Abby's victims in the book had distinct personalities and backstories here they're mainly extras so the audience finds it hard to care when they die at her hand. This coupled with the increased focus on Owen and Abby's relationship makes her seem more sympathetic than she really should be. Owen, for the most part, seems to realise her killing people is wrong, judging by his phone call to his father. However, he quickly accepts Abby's nature because she's the only person who's ever been kind to him.
  • Protagonist Journey to Villain: A very tragic case with Owen, despite being a kind, innocent boy he was already showing signs of snapping from the abuse he was enduring at the hands of Kenny (i.e. fantasizing about killing him constantly, even re-enacting it with a knife) and Abby's appearance in his life just accelerated it. By the end of the film no matter what Owen's fate is with Abby, becoming her familiar or being turned into a vampire by her, he's going to end up killing people for the rest of his life.
  • Pastiche: Reeves cited E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial as a stylistic influence on the film.
  • Prequel: The comic Let Me In: Crossroads, which John Ajvide Lindqvist did not want to be made (he unknowingly sold the comic rights.)
  • Pretty Boy: Owen, he has extremely fine features, a very slender build, big blue eyes and full lips. In the directors commentary, Matt Reeves even mentions that Owen's face is "beautiful". Unfortunately, this works against him. Owen's looks coupled with his small statue are what gets him attention from bullies. It's also probably the main reason Kenny calls him a "little girl".
  • Pop-Cultural Osmosis Failure: Abby due to her nature as a vampire living a nomadic life for centuries is shown to be very ignorant of modern culture. She doesn't know what video games are and despite loving puzzles, she doesn't know what a Rubix cube is to Owen's shock and confusion.
    Owen: What? This? It's a Rubix Cube. You don't know Rubix cube?!
  • Rapid-Fire "No!": At the end, Kenny can be heard pleading with Abby in this fashion before she kills him off screen.
  • Reality Ensues: Owen pulls his knife on the four bullies when they corner him in the locker room... which does absolutely no good, as it's too small to do much damage. The bullies laugh it off, overpower him and throw him into the pool anyway. Also, Owen has been abused by them constantly, and he's already utterly terrified off Kenny, so it's only to be expected that he completely freezes when cornered by all 4 of them.
    • In the original, the pool scene is depicted as a Symbolic Serene Submersion moment with Oskar remaining completely calm while being held underwater before breaking through calmly without so much as blinking while smiling lovingly at Elia. In this version Owen is visibly struggling and terrified before Abby saves him, and as soon as the bully holding his head dies he immediately rushes to the surface and he spends almost a minute gasping and recomposing himself while covered in blood. When he looks up at Abby he looks like he's in shock before he forms a trembling, very slight smile. However relieved he is to have been saved and how happy he is to see Abby again he's just been through an extremely traumatizing experience.
  • The Renfield: Thomas procures blood for Abby. An interpretation of the story is that Owen is destined to assume this role in the future.
  • The Runaway: By the end of the film Owen decides to run away with Abby. Considering how horrible his life was in Los Alamos and Owen mentioned how deeply he hated living there and wanted to leave you can't really blame him.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Owen's expression in one scene plays off this trope. He worries he is being groomed to be this once he sees a picture of Thomas and Abby together when he was younger.
  • Roaring Rampage of Rescue: Abby slaughters Owen's bullies in order to save him from being drowned.
  • Rule of Symbolism: Owen's bedroom has a space theme, with posters of outer space and a space shuttle prominently displayed. According to Kodi Smit-McPhee, this is to symbolize both Owen's sense of isolation and his desire to escape from his surroundings. He also said that Owen's silver jacket is meant to look similar to an astronaut's spacesuit.
  • Sadist: Kenny, he goes beyond being a simple schoolyard bully to this trope. It's obvious he loves causing Owen as much pain, mental and physical, as possible and as frequently as he can.
  • Screaming Warrior: When Owen is being drowned by the bullies Abby comes to save him. The first sign that she's there is the scream of primal rage she emits before she breaks through the skylight. She continues to scream throughout the entirety of the massacre.
  • School Bullying Is Harmless: Completely averted. School bullying is portrayed as just as seriously as any other form of abuse and it's obvious Owen's traumatized from enduring constant assaults and humiliations every day at school with no authority figure protecting or helping him, to the point he's developing several psychological quirks: he wets himself at age 12, he fantasizes about killing his bullies constantly and it's implied he doesn't eat very much.
  • Suicidal Sadistic Choice: When Owen's ambushed by Kenny and the bullies in the swimming pool they present him with two choices either he should hold his head under the water until he drowns or let one of his eyes be destroyed.Although, judging by how Kenny's brother, Jimmy, was forcibly holding his head down it seems that he was always planning on just killing Owen.
  • Sadistic Choice: The climax involves a sadistic contest of Owen being held underwater; if he can spend 3 minutes below the surface he just gets a cut on his cheek but if he can't spend 3 minutes below the surface, he gets his eye gouged out. Mind you he is also being held down by a bigger teen's hand which could also drown him instead. Ultimately it's subverted through a third option, as Owen's vampire lover comes to even the score.
  • Super Strength: Abby due to being a vampire. At first she's shown to be strong enough to wrestle a muscular man to the ground before snapping his neck but by the end of the film you see how strong she really is. She rips Kenny's brother's head clean off his shoulders and she literally rips the other bullies apart.
  • Shirtless Scene: Owen's seen shirtless twice, at the beginning of the film where he's practicing his fantasy of killing his bullies in the mirror wearing only his pajama bottoms and later when he's changing into his swimming trunks.
  • So Beautiful It's a Curse: As noted under the Pretty Boy entry, Owen is very fine featured and beautiful. Sadly, this makes him a magnet for bullies.
  • Shrinking Violet: Owen's a rare male version due to the constant bullying he endures. As a consequence he's painfully shy, reserved, and quiet.
  • Stupid Evil: Kenny and his brother's attitude towards Owen. While the other two bullies enjoy torturing Owen, they at least temper their abuse so they can get away with it. Kenny, on the other hand, has no problem with scarring Owen's face or threatening to kill him when a teacher is watching. Kenny's brother is even worse, he was either going to drown or cut out Owen's eye if Abby hadn't intervened with no real plan of how they were going to get away with leaving a dead body or a mutilated, half-blind boy in a public pool.
  • Sweet Tooth: Owen, despite being very skinny, is shown to have an enormous appetite for sweets. Early in the film, his mother accuses him off spoiling dinner again, implying that his "now and later" sweets make up the majority of his diet.
  • Tears of Blood: If Abby enters a place uninvited, she bleeds from her eyes... and her nose... and her mouth... and pretty much everywhere else.
  • Teens Are Monsters: Jimmy, his sadism and cruelty even scared the other bullies. He was going to kill Owen for defending himself against his brother. Kenny and his friends might count, as they're in the same class as 12-year old Owen, but look older than he is.
  • Telepathy: One of Abby's powers as shown in a deleted where she shows Owen how she became a vampire. She gazes into his eyes as she puts him into a trance and he's shown the very violent attack Abby endured from the vampire who turned her. When Abby breaks it off Owen looks traumatized and clutches the exact spot on his neck where Abby was bitten heavily implying he literally felt what she went through.
  • The Fog of Ages: Abby, she genuinely can't seem to recall her own age. When Owen asks her age she says 12, "more or less" and later she says she's been "12, for a very long time" implying she's forgotten or lost track of how long she's been alive. That or she's just being evasive to not scare Owen.
  • The Good, the Bad, and the Evil:
    • The Good. Owen, an innocent, timid gentle boy whose victimized by nearly every other force in the film, from the bullies who assault him to his parents who neglect him.
    • The Bad: Abby, while she doesn't derive any pleasure from it and she requires human blood to drink to live, she still kills scores of innocent people throughout the film.
    • The Evil: Kenny and the bullies, they torture Owen every day for no reason other than cruelty.
  • The Quiet One: Owen is a very quiet boy. He usually speaks as little as possible. Such as when he's summoned to the principal's office for hitting Kenny and, when she's scolding him, he doesn't say a single word in his own defense despite the fact he's being very unfairly punished for defending himself or at the end of the film when a train conductor speaks to him he wordlessly presents his ticket to him and only gives a very gentle nod when asked whether Abby's trunk belonged to him. He is more talkative around Abby, so it could be he isn't naturally very silent, it's simply that Abby's the only person he's comfortable around.
  • Theme Naming: A lot of the titles on the soundtrack album are based on quotes from Romeo and Juliet.
  • Then Let Me Be Evil: A possible interpretation for Owen's decision to run away with Abby by the end of the film. Judging by his phone call to his father near the end of the movie it's obvious he's considering the possibility that Abby is evil and struggling with that fact. However, since most of the normal, self-proclaimed "good" world has been so cruel to Owen: his parents neglect him, he has no friends, and no one protects him from the bullies who torture him every day. Whereas Abby is kind to him, gives him attention and affection, and ends up massacring Owen's tormentors when they attempt to drown him. So, you can't really blame him for wanting to throw in his lot with Abby, despite the fact she's a vampire who kills people.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Owen and his "Now and Later" sweets. Comments by his mother indicates it's almost the only thing he actually eats, he's very excited about sharing them with Abby, and at the end of the film when he has run away with Abby he's shown to have taken the time to buy himself some more for the train ride.
  • Trial Balloon Question: After Abby is sick in the car park of the arcade, Owen immediately goes to comfort and hug her. Abby touched by this asks her if he likes her and Owen replies that he does, a lot. Abby decided to ask further about whether Owen would still like her if she wasn't a girl (i.e. that she's a vampire, not a normal human). Owen gets confused by this but confirms that he would still love her.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior:Besides Abby herself, there are other examples.
    • Kenny and his friends torment of Owen goes beyond normal schoolyard bullying into truly disturbing moments of sadism, it even becomes somewhat sexual at times. The most disturbing of which is when Owen picks up a metal pole to defend himself at a lake and Kenny's only response is to promise him he'll rape him with it before drowning him.
    • Owen himself. He regularly plays with knives and rehearses his fantasies of killing his bullies. Sympathetic considering how horribly he's treated by them but still rather disturbing to watch.
  • Undead Barefooter: For the most part, Abby never wears any shoes, due to her not feeling the cold. She is seen wearing boots in one scene with Owen after she completes the Rubix cube but it seems she was just wearing them to make Owen feel more comfortable around her as he noted earlier how weird it was that she went barefoot in the snow.
  • Undead Child: Abby says she is twelve years old. However, she is twelve years old since a very long time.
    • Depending on how you interpret the end of the film, that could also be the future fate of Owen.
  • Unnervingly Heartwarming: Arguably the entirety of Owen and Abby's relationship. While they are two lonely children finding love and companionship with each other, there's still the fact their union will involve them living nomadic, violent lives. Specific example include:
    • When Abby visits Owen at night and they snuggle together. After she has just eaten her "father" with his blood still crusted on her lips.
    • Near the end of the film Abby hugs a very distressed Owen to comfort him, because she just ripped the detective who was investigating her apart in front of him while still covered in the mans blood. Afterwards she kisses Owen on the lips and gets the mans blood on him.
  • Vampire Bites Suck: When Abby is forced to attack people herself for blood the results aren't pretty. She usually mauls them like an animal until they die of blood loss or she finishes them off by snapping their necks so they don't come back as a vampire.
  • Villain Protagonist: Abby counts, she kills many innocent people without remorse. The only decent trait of hers is the kindness she shows to Owen.
  • Villains Want Mercy: Kenny despite gleefully abusing Owen physically and mentally for the entirety of the film and got his brother involved to attack Owen and only offered a very meek protest when he realized Jimmy was actually going to kill Owen has the audacity to beg Abby for mercy when she massacres the bullies while they were drowning Owen.
  • Violence Really Is the Answer: Abby certainly believes so, when she sees the cut on Owen's cheek she immediately suggests to Owen that he hits his bullies back, when he points out he's outnumbered by them she just replies to use weapons. She is vindicated when for the first half of the movie when Owen simply tried to avoid the bullies they tortured him endlessly but when he slams a metal pole into Kenny's head they leave him alone. They do come back for revenge later but it's only when Kenny has got the support of his much older brother to help him attack Owen. Then Abby ends the bullies torment of Owen permanently by killing them.
  • Violently Protective Girlfriend: Averted initially with Abby. At first, she wants Owen to stand up to his bullies on his own, although she promises him if that doesn't work she'll defend him. When he does so and the bullies retaliate by attempting to either drown or mutilate him, she literally rips them to shreds.
  • Weirdness Censor. A variant with Owen regards to Abby's behavior. He certainly notices how odd her behavior is, asking why she doesn't wear shoes in the snow, remarks how odd it is she never appears in daylight or knows very famous pop culture items like a Rubix cube and when he confronts Abby he immediately asks whether she's a vampire, implying he had already guessed judging by her behavior. It's simply that Owen's so desperately lonely that he's willing to overlook those traits as long as Abby will be his friend.
  • Window Love: When Abby crawls up the hospital and sits on the window ledge of Thomas room she gently places her hand on the glass.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Abby pulls one of these in order to lure in a victim, pretending to have been injured so that he'll pick her up, allowing her to feed on him.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: After he finally stands up to Kenny things finally look like they might be improving for Owen, he started a strength building course at school, his bullies are leaving him alone, and Abby has agreed to be his girlfriend. Then when he initiates a friendship pact with her, not knowing she's a vampire, she very nearly kills him by mistake.
  • You Talkin' to Me?. In one of Owen's first scenes, and one of the most disturbing in the film, takes part in an iteration of this trope. He stares shirtless into a mirror, while wearing a mask and wielding a knife, while repeating the insults Kenny uses against him.
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