|Carolyn Stoddard (2012)|
Collinsport, Maine, USA
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Carolyn is the second youngest of the four living Collinses in 1972 (when the film is predominantly set) and is the daughter of Elizabeth Collins Stoddard, the niece of Roger Collins, and the older cousin of young David Collins. She expresses teen-aged disdain for David's claims to have conversations with the spirit of his mother, and is similarly dismissive of the supernatural and anachronistic quirks of her undead, newly unearthed vampiric "cousin" Barnabas Collins. But Carolyn has more in common with them than she wants to acknowledge.
The film portrays Carolyn as a somewhat typical (some might say stereotypical) "rebellious" teenager of the Vietnam War era, a time when the war, military draft, dramatically shifting social and cultural attitudes, exposure of government corruption, and other factors had produced a "generation gap" between many young people and their parents (as well as other traditional authority figures). Like many teenagers of the era, identifying with what was then considered a "counter-culture" partly defined by rejection of prior generations' values, Carolyn responds to virtually everyone in the Collins household with a sneering, eye-rolling disrespect. However, when her family is threatened, Carolyn joins with them to fight back, in her own unique way.
In her first on-screen appearance, when introduced for the first time to Victoria Winters, Carolyn expresses momentary enthusiasm about Vicky having come from New York. Seemingly in part to bait her mother, Carolyn reveals her plan - which Elizabeth dismisses as a "fantasy" - to relocate to Manhattan as soon as she turns 16. Despite Vicky's attempt to be friendly, Carolyn discourages her with the observation that none of David's prior teachers at Collinwood (whom she describes as being hired to "babysit the loony") has lasted more than a week. Before Vicky can respond, Carolyn promptly slams her bedroom door, revealing a metal "Keep Out" sign posted on its exterior.
Though it has little relevance to the events of the film, we get little or no indication of Carolyn's own education. At 15, she is still of school age and the October, 1972, time-frame is certainly set during a conventional school term, but clearly Vicky only tutors David, not Carolyn.
During Vicky's first meal with the Collins family, Carolyn puts on an LP record in the dining room and dances trippily to the song "Season of the Witch" (performed by Donovan Leitch ) until her Uncle Roger angrily demands she turn it down. She switches it off and slumps into a chair, as if hopelessly bored, at the far end of the long dining table from everyone else. Carolyn, perhaps annoyed by the attention being paid to him, makes an unkind remark about her cousin David, and he casually retorts, "Carolyn touches herself. She makes noises like a kitten." Carolyn reacts, calling him a "little shit", before Elizabeth orders her to leave the table when Carolyn once again makes a rude remark about David's mother. Carolyn storms out, complaining that the family "tiptoes around" David, but "no one cares about how I feel!"
After Barnabas Collins arrives at the mansion, Carolyn seems no more impressed. Finding his 18th century mannerisms hopelessly uncool, she looks up from examining her Bobby Sherman teen pin-up magazine and scornfully mutters, "Are you stoned or something?" It doesn't help that he assumes from her modern manner of dress that she's a prostitute("I'm pretty sure he called me a hooker) She tells her mother when she discovers Barnabus's return. Later, she complains, "He's not going to stay with us forever, is he?"
Despite Carolyn's clear disdain (he is, after all, the epitome of past generations' outmoded attitudes), Barnabas nonetheless turns to her for advice in his attempt to woo Victoria. Visiting Carolyn's bedroom - apparently within the circular tower of Collinwood - Barnabas perches upon Carolyn's beanbag chair and counsels her that, at 15 years of age, she may soon be left a spinster if she doesn't soon mate ("put those birthing hips to good use"). Carolyn understandably snarls "You're weird."Carolyn's bedroom is outfitted with typical teenage bedroom décor of the era - psychedelic rock music posters featuring Bowie , Hendrix , Iggy Pop and others; a lava lamp (which the out-of-touch Barnabas describes as a "pulsating blood urn"), shag carpeting , a rattan swinging "egg" chair , etc. (Earlier in the film, Barnabas has encountered and been puzzled by a plastic, fuzzy-headed "troll doll " which could potentially belong to Carolyn and an Operation game that may be hers or David's.)
Though Vicky is closer to her own age than any of the other adults at Collinwood, Carolyn tells Barnabas, "She [Vicky] likes to think she's all rock'n'roll, but she's definitely a Carpenter's kind of chick." (While she clearly means this as a putdown, Carolyn herself is shown watching a performance of The Carpenters ' "Top of the World" on a television console during a montage scene earlier in the film. On the other hand, Dr. Hoffman does point out in a separate scene that Collinwood only receives one television channel.)
As a result of Carolyn's counsel to "hang out with some regular people" in order to seem less "weird" to Victoria, Barnabas spends an evening around a campfire with a marijuana-smoking tribe of smiling hippies whom he then, remorsefully, kills for their blood.
It is also Carolyn's (sarcastic) suggestion that leads Barnabas to hire Alice Cooper ("the ugliest woman I've ever seen!") to perform at a party at the newly refurbished Collinwood mansion. (Barnabas initially refers to the party as a "ball," but Carolyn insists that it's a "happening.") As the party gets underway, Carolyn smiles and expresses uncharacteristic appreciation to Barnabas for his efforts.
During the party, Carolyn speaks into a stage microphone the introductory words of Alice's Cooper's "The Ballad of Dwight Fry": "Mommy, where's Daddy? He's been gone for so long! Is he ever coming home?" The camera quickly cuts between Carolyn and her mother, Elizabeth, exchanging a tense glance. (While the film makes no other reference to Carolyn's paternity, the scene is probably an allusion to the classic TV series storyline in which Elizabeth Stoddard was blackmailed in the belief that she had murdered Carolyn's father, Paul Stoddard.)
During Barnabas' decisive exchange with Angelique in the main front room of Collinwood, Carolyn mysteriously slips away, disappearing into the dark hallway. As Barnabas and Angelique's dispute exposes the supernatural "monstrosity" of both to the townspeople, then escalates into a supernaturally-empowered all-out battle, Barnabas uses his vampiric strength to hurl Angelique through the ceiling and into Carolyn's room above. There, the reason for her withdrawal from the scene on the front steps is revealed: Carolyn has transformed into a werewolf. "Get. Out. Of my room!" she yells.Moments after expelling Angelique, Carolyn leaps down from her room to defend Barnabas from the witch. Carolyn's mother Elizabeth expresses horror and concern at her daughter's sudden transformation, to which Carolyn responds with typical impatience: "I'm a werewolf okay? Let's not make a big deal about it!" Then, preparing to renew her counter-attack upon Angelique, she playfully snarls, "Woof."
Like the other adults at Collinwood, Carolyn proves no match for the witch, who triumphantly gloats that she had sent a werewolf to bite Carolyn years before, "in her crib," accounting for the young woman's lycanthropy. (It is not explained how this monster attack on an infant within the house had escaped the notice of the family.)
Following Angelique's eventual defeat, Carolyn - having resumed her human form - stands with other survivors of Collinwood's destruction in her final scene in the film, watching as the mansion burns. "What'll we do now?" her cousin David asks. Her mother responds, "What we have always done -- Endure."
- Actress Chloe Grace Moretz previously played a vampire in the motion picture Let Me In.