Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Review: Let The Right One In - Movie and Book Combo

I am not sure where I first became aware of the book Let the Right One In and the movie of the same name. I believe it was through Goodreads. I immediately like the title, and put it on the top of my list to read books. I even purchased the paperback new when I generally only buy used books and could not get the book at the local library. They did have the movie though so I placed a hold and read the book while I was waiting. I do not like to watch the movie before reading the book. 41v6aLUB-1L._SL160_

  • Book Stats:
  • Author: John Ajavide Lindqvist
  • Paperback – 472 Pages
  • US Paper back – Oct 28, 2008 St Martin’s Griffin (first published in Sweden 2004)
  • ISBN: 031235529

Book Review:

As Americans we "love" vampires. So much that in fact what was once horrific has become almost an "icon". Specifically, there are vampire novels of every thinkable sub-genre. We have romance, erotic, mystery, young adult, and classic vampire novels to name a few. Because of this, for an author to write a truly horrifying vampire novel that is out of the ordinary he/she would have to take a look at the novels available and find an element which has not been used extensively. Which is what I believe John Ajvide Lindqvist did. He took what is commonly accepted as one of the most disgusting things we as a culture see to be happening secretly in our neighborhoods and used it to change the typical vampire story line. He did so effectively, all the while taking the reader's horror to different level. This element will be disclosed at the end of the review.
This was an enthralling read. It scared me. It disgusted me. I was shocked. Which is the point of horror. I want to be truly scared. There should be gore....not a lot, but some, which was the case in this story.
Fortunately, the story went beyond the shock to include interesting and colorful characters and day to day events which balanced out the shock and gore. It has an easy to follow format with small chapters divided into smaller sections which made it easy to pick up and put down. Which is welcome when your scared.
The translation was excellent, which if it is not, can make the story difficult and unreadable. I felt I was reading a book written by a native speaker including enough of the Swedish culture to make it feel like it took place in another country. Personally, I would have liked to have read a bit more of the Swedish customs within the story, but then I like cultural information.
The only things negative I can say about the book is that the ending was fairly predictable, I found several typos, and I am a lousy editor, and it also had some ridiculous Zombie connections which I could have done without.
As for recommendations, I think that this book may offend some people - truly horrifying things often do. So if a hint of homosexuality, more pedophilia, and appropriately placed gore bother you then this may not be a book for you. I however, enjoyed it and thought it was "fun" if one can truly call being scared and disgusted fun.

My Rating: 4 Stars

Movie Review

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  • Movie Stats
  • Rated R
  • US release – March 10, 2009
  • Top Honors at Tribeca Film Festival

The Good:
The movie was good, really good as horror movies go - there are so many poor horror movies that watching one with some depth is a pleasure. The choice of actors to portray the characters was great.It did not follow the book and parts were understandably left out.The dubbing was well done, as where the subtitles. Your given several choices with both options. My suggestion is to listen to the original Swedish dialog with English subtitles. We watched it with the dubbed version and with subtitles. Although very well done, I think you miss some emotional inflection that is not present in the dubbing.
The Silly:
There was one scene which was ridiculous... I will not post it due to spoilers, but the rest of the movie was great. But I imagine when you see it you too will laugh.
They are also making and American version of the movie. Here are two links with the original version as well as the American remake of the movie which will be renamed Let Me In. Please see info with the links below:

io9 - science fiction blog has two links here posting some information on the remake of the movie as well as a link regarding the choices for actors in the main role. Eli which will be changed to Abby. Unfortunately she will not have the almost genderless appearance as the lead in the original - too bad.
Link 1 is a short posting about the American version of the remake.
Link 2 is longer and contains a link where the public can vote for their choice of actor the think will be the best choice for the role. I am not sure if the voting is still open.

My Rating: 4 Stars – highly recommended

Below are the Amazon links for the US - the Novel and then the dvd.

Let the Right One In: A Novel Let The Right One In

Below are the Amazon UK book link, movie link and then the Amazon Canadian book link and movie link, respectively.

Let the Right One in Let The Right One In [DVD] [2008] Let the Right One In: A Novel Let the Right One In

6 comments:

Amanda said...

Completely and totally NOT FOR ME! This sounds like way too much. I don't like vampires in the first place, and I think this would make me terrified of them again like I was as a kid.

Shellie said...

Oh dear...A couple of my female friends from goodreads didn't like it too much either... they both have sons. I don't have too many of this type of book and movie to share... but yes its scary!
You like A Forest of Hands and Teeth though...hmm. Zombies ok Vampires not. lol

Linda said...

I really enjoyed the movie. A little slow but very interesting. I'll keep an eye out for the book.

Shellie said...

Linda - I think the American version will be a bit more hyped and faster moving. We tend to like a lot of action and it reflects in many of our movies. It will be curious to compare them.

Jessica (BookLover) said...

Excellent review! I have added this to my wishlist. :)

Shellie said...

Thanks Jessica. :)

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