Don’t Let The Wrong One In : Re-inventing the Femme Fatale

*Please Note – This Piece is Full of Spoilers*

There are ideas that seem to be of a certain place and time.  Call them icons, if you will.  One of the most powerful icons of the early to mid twentieth century is the femme fatale.  Born of a cultural climate where gender was not divorced from sex and where women were expected to be virginal and submissive, femme fatales rejected this essentialist vision of gender by being sexually aggressive, socially independent and more than willing to use their sexual wiles to render men subservient to their own desires and goals.  Decades after the arrival of the contraceptive pill and miles down the road towards sexual equality, you could be forgiven for thinking that a society such as ours has outgrown the need for bold cinematic challenges to our understandings of gender.  Indeed, nowadays the femme fatale seems like little more than an anachronism; as out of place in the modern world as a cockney spiv might be in pre-Credit Crunch London.  However,  even the most liberal of societies falls into lazy thought patterns, habits of conception that need to be re-examined lest they go stale, rot and become oppressive dogma.  Swedish Vampire film Let The Right One In (2008) is a film that rides out not only against popular theories of gender, but also against the commonly held belief that children are innocent, pliable creatures who need to be protected from adults.  It does so by rejuvenating and reinventing that most iconoclastic of icons, the femme fatale.

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