Let the Right One In

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Let the Right One In

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Redigeret: dec 22, 2008, 2:29pm

Since the film Let the Right One In is making a lot of 'Best-of 08' film lists (including Ebert's, which I saw today on his website), I thought I'd check out the English translation of John Ajvide Lindqvist's novel. Turns out it's only one of the very best vampire novels - make that best horror novels - of the past few years.

The story? Bullied and lonley 12-year-old Oscar makes a connection with his next-door neighbor, Eli, a girl of roughly the same physical age. Turns out that she's a vampire. The best part of this scenario is that, despite the grim story and buckets of grue, it shapes up to be an emotionally affecting love story.

The film got buried while multiplexers were tossed addle-brained crap like 'Twilight'. Don't let the same happen to this novel - check it out!

dec 22, 2008, 2:58pm

I actually read a review of the film in Fantasy and Science Fiction magazine a few months back. I am fairly sure they stated there would be an american remake of the film coming out next year. Does anyone else know about that?

dec 22, 2008, 3:12pm

Only that in more than one review I've read, it's urged that you "see it now before it's ruined by an American remake"!

The dvd comes out in March, so that shouldn't be too difficult.


dec 22, 2008, 8:04pm

The movie is in my (saved) Netflix queue. I didn't realize the novel had been translated. Thanks for the heads' up!

dec 22, 2008, 8:46pm

wow they made a movie of this? I enjoyed the book quite a bit.

dec 23, 2008, 9:13am

One thing I'm really enjoying about the novel is the very Scandinavian feel that it has, from the settings to the humor (something touched on by the Swedish vampire film 'Frostbiten', if you've ever seen that). I wish I could read 'Låt den Rätte Komma In' in its original tongue! As good as the book is, I have to wonder how much of the author's voice gets lost in translation.

I'm not sure, but I think the original title of the novel might have translated simply as "Let Me In", but was changed to "Let the Right One In" for the film's release. A very good idea, I think.

dec 23, 2008, 12:03pm

The title refers to the Morrissey song "Let the Right One Slip In" (featured on the Viva Hate special edition album) but also to the aspect of vampire lore which says that vampires cannot enter a house unless invited.

The American version is called Let Me In because the publishers requested that Lindqvist change the title as they believed it was too long - which is why I had trouble finding it.

dec 24, 2008, 2:17pm

I've never heard of the book or movie before, so thanks for the heads-up, Ken. I'll be sure to look for both. :)

dec 31, 2008, 4:39am

Looks like I have to give it a try. Got the book ages ago, but couldn´t be bothered. Låt den rätte komma in translates literally as "Let the right one come in", so I think any of the above translations would do nicely. His middle name Ajvide, by the way, is not a name at all but a prehistoric burialground on the island of Gotland in central Sweden. Fitting.

jan 28, 2009, 10:12pm

Our library finally put an order in for the movie, so I've placed a hold on it. I can't wait to watch it! :) Thanks again for the recommendation. I've been looking for good horror movies lately.

jan 29, 2009, 1:50pm

Our library just ordered this one, also. I haven't been able to get a hold of the book yet, but I'm looking forward to seeing the movie. I too, am in desperate need of a good horror movie.

jan 30, 2009, 12:47pm

Pretty cool libraries! I work in an academic one. Maybe the NEH grant would come in handy... :)

jan 30, 2009, 9:15pm

All this talk about Let the Right One In, I had to stop off at Borders on the way home and pick it up (along with Infected, another one with lots of positive word of mouth).

jan 31, 2009, 11:04am

Oooh, I read Infected last fall. That book made me wince more than once!

jan 31, 2009, 11:06pm

I've had Infected on by TBR for a while now and am also eagerly looking forward to Let the Right One In. I see both are now available as trade paperbacks. I also went by my local Border's during my lunch break and balked at the $15 initially. But I'm weakening and will soon find myself back at the bookshelves.

Redigeret: feb 1, 2009, 12:44am

#15 - went by my local Border's during my lunch break and balked at the $15 initially

Yeah, me too. I walked into Borders and looked at both books, trying to decide which one to purchase. I even called a friend who isn't a big reader and had him look up the books on Amazon to see which he would prefer. As you can see I just bought both. LT is a blessing and a curse. Now who said that?

feb 3, 2009, 2:03pm

I'm pretty excited; I was finally able to obtain a copy of Let the Right One In from one of the bookswap sites I belong to.

feb 4, 2009, 10:10pm

#17: Nice. :) I never buy new books, so you're lucky to have found this one. Hope you like it!

feb 4, 2009, 10:15pm

I liked the movie a lot, but I haven't read the book yet. Look forward to it, though-what is it about childhood that makes it fertile ground for so many good works of horror? Its vulnerability? Its freedom from the fear of fear?

feb 11, 2009, 4:29am

Cool! I have both books and haven't read either, yet. Looking forward to both.

mar 11, 2009, 1:06pm

ARRGH!!! I should not have read the novel before seeing the movie. The (beautifully-shot) film pales in comparison, although the kids playing Oscar and Eli are superb. I realize that the film-makers were working within time constraints as far as overall film length, and they may have chosen to focus exclusively on the central relationship, but entire characters, motivations, and subplots were left out. Most of the novel's basic framework is there, but what's missing prevents LTROI from becoming the vampire-film-for-the ages-that it could have been.

I generally loathe remakes (especially of recent vintage, although I realize that "recycling" has been the Hollywood way since the very beginning), but I'm hoping that maybe the American remake will at least include the missing stuff!

mar 11, 2009, 3:28pm

#21: See, I'm exactly opposite. I almost never read a book that I've seen on film, but often look forward to watching a movie based on a book I've read. I always go in knowing you get so much more from a book that you will ever get from a film adaptation. I would much rather be dissappointed in the film adaptation than to ruin my enjoyment of a good book. And LTROI was a very good book.

BTW, I have the DVD waiting at home for me to watch tonight. I have a strong feeling that there are some elements of the story that won't make the movie. After all, there are some pretty disturbing story points that I'm not sure many would want to see on film. Not me of course, I'm a sick bastard. But many would get up and walk out if some of the scenes made the movie.

mar 11, 2009, 3:58pm

timdt, let me know what you think of the movie. While the basic framework is mostly there, I was pretty shocked by what was left out, including what is arguably the scariest scene of the novel. Since Lindqvist wrote both the screenplay and the book, I suspect that it comes down to time constraints and/or the director's vision. I'd love to see the original screenplay.

mar 11, 2009, 4:28pm

I've heard this comment before. I haven't read the book yet and I probably won't read it before I watch the movie. It will definitely be a change for me.

mar 12, 2009, 10:50am

Ken10, I saw Let the Right One In last night and was very impressed. I was also surprised at the amount of the story that was left out of the film, but the film is very faithful to main storyline, which is the relationship between Oskar and Eli. Beautiful cinematography and first rate acting (especially by the child actors). And the pool scene was classic.

I'll certainly see the American remake. I doubt it will be as faithful to the book which is first and foremost a story of friendship. But the addition of more scary and disturbing scenes will give the American audience what it wants most. I'm cool with that. I like to be scared.

mar 13, 2009, 10:57am

Thanks for the comments on the film, timdt. I'm not one who believes that every movie deserves to have huge package of extra features, but LTROI really would have benefited from a director/screenwriter's commentary and maybe some cast interviews. As it is, make sure to at least check out the last of the "deleted scenes" - cute!

mar 13, 2009, 12:13pm

Thanks. I'll make sure to watch those. I haven't had a chance yet and it's due back on Sunday. I also don't spend much time with the extras. I was going to watch those last night, but ended up watching an absolutely horrible movie on fearnet called The Graveyard. I thought it was Gravedancers. I just need to stick with my plan and try the extras.

Redigeret: mar 13, 2009, 4:23pm

I also have to add that I admired the fact that they didn't bother to wipe Oscar's very runny nose during some of the frigid outdoor scenes! It definitely added a touch of realism.

I'll avoid THE GRAVEYARD, but I'd like to mention that I was unexpectedly taken with the film adaptation of Clive Barker's THE MIDNIGHT MEAT TRAIN. Not bad at all.

mar 13, 2009, 3:41pm

OK I can't take it anymore, I ran out and got Let the right one in, I'll be back after I watch it.

I feel such peer pressure with this group.

mar 13, 2009, 3:54pm

beeg - Hah, peer pressure is great. "You mean you haven't seen/read Let the Right One In yet? It is only one of the best vampire movies/books ever! And you call yourself a fan of horror."

ken10 - that's funny about Oskar. I noticed the same thing.

mar 13, 2009, 4:00pm

I'm watching it tomorrow morning!!!

mar 13, 2009, 7:17pm

Dude, I read the book last year, I AM a fan of horror.

The movie was good, but I hated the English dubbing, it was off, like a badly dubbed Asian film. I would have rather subtitles than being distracted by the voice overs. The actors they chose were excellent, they fit my mind's eye exactly.

Now I have Quarantine to watch, bloody peer pressure.

mar 13, 2009, 7:42pm

Ewww, it is dubbed on dvd? I saw it in the theatre and it was subtitled. I hope there is a subtitles version out there somewhere.

mar 13, 2009, 8:14pm

angelikat - you can choose dubbed or subtitled. The dubbing is a bit off though.

beeg - I always try and shy away from sarcasm on these forums as they never come across properly. I knew you had read the book from your earlier entry on this thread. I hope my attempt wasn't missinterpreted.

mar 13, 2009, 8:22pm

nah, no misinterpretation here, I was teasing as well.

It played dubbed for me, I never think about setup until after the fact.

mar 15, 2009, 5:37pm

I'm watching it now. The dubbing is quite annoying at first but you get used to it after a while.

I also watched Shutter--very good--and Dog Soldiers--just ok.

mar 16, 2009, 10:38pm

Watch it in its original language, with English subtitles.

Redigeret: jul 17, 2009, 5:39am

I actually thought the movie and book complimented eachother quite well. The movie was so beautifully shot, and I'm disappointed there is going to be a remake because I don't feel it needs one. Admittedly I would of been a bit confused in parts of the movie if I hadn't read the book previously. I'm recommending this book to anyone who will listen to me.

On another note has anybody read handling the undead by the same author? I saw it in a bookstore yesterday and was torn between it and Chuck Palahniuks new novel. (Ended up buying pygmy somewhat regretting it)

jul 17, 2009, 10:28am

#38. I enjoyed Handling the undead, nice fresh take on the zombie myth. I think I slighlty preferred Let the right One but only because on the Oscar & Eli. Cannot say how it compares to pygmy though!

okt 12, 2009, 7:29am

Just seen the movie, I'll have to look for the book now!

Redigeret: okt 3, 2010, 3:26am

Just thought I'd bring this thread back from the dead (fitting for this group) to see if anyone has seen the remake yet.

From what I've seen in the commercials, the remake looks pretty damned good.

okt 3, 2010, 1:59pm

Saw the remake this weekend and it is pretty damned good. Although I do believe the original version is a little better. The original followed the story line a little more closely and I felt the young girl in the original did a slightly better job. Both of those points are a bit nitpicky though as the remake was pretty darn faithful to the story and the American actress did a good job.

Redigeret: okt 3, 2010, 2:03pm

Good idea, jseger. I'm still surprised they would remake something so early. Why not wait 10+ years? Of course, I'll still watch the remake. :) Loved the original.

okt 3, 2010, 2:07pm

Since the remake was pretty faithful I'm all for it. It brings a really good, original vampire tail to US audiences who wouldn't otherwise watch a subtitled or dubbed movie. Although, If I ever want to watch again I'll rent or buy the original version. It was just a little better in my opinion.

okt 3, 2010, 3:54pm

Good to know, timdt. I just find it really sad that people won't watch movies in another language or ones that are really old.