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Book vs. Movie: Let The Right One In., posted by sam

Books that get adapted for the silver screen usually get a bum deal.

Books that are written based on a movie are even worse off.

Let’s look at how Let The Right One In faired.

I read John Ajvide Lindqvist’s novel before I watched Tomas Alfredson’s movie. I do this with most the books that get adpated into movies because I usually prefer the book to the movie. The only movie I’ve enjoyed more than the book was Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. The book was fantastic, but the movie was just enthralling on a level that the book couldn’t match.

Basic plot of Let The Right One In: a 12-year-old boy who gets picked on befriends an apparently 12-year-old vampire girl. Hijinks ensue. But in the slow, dramatic sort of way. No one throws a pie.

The Book: A slow paced horror. The translation was really odd in places, but I was able to look beyond that. The writing wasn’t very captivating but the story was interesting. The plot took place over about a month and brought in many groups of people who were bound together by random events. It was well done and all of it served to progress the plot.

The Movie: A slow paced confusing horror. The movie sort of assumed you had already read the book. They dropped many of the supporting characters or truncated their involvement in the main plot. The timeline of the movie was sped up to about a week and a half. There weren’t a lot of clues to be used to help you identify characters. The ending was the same as the book, which I really liked, but they cut out one of the largest points of conflict between the two children (ignoring the whole vampire thing) and only aluded to it with a bizzare vag-shot that made no sense without the context provided by the book.

So, Let The Right One In: better book than movie. Both were very good but very odd. Worth watching and reading, but I suggest picking one or the other and sticking with it.

(I’m told there’s a lot more dark humor in the subtitles for the theatrical release than made it into the DVD subtitles, but what are you going to do?)