Let the Right One In
Though it shares the same name as Thomas Alfredson’s critically adored adaptation of John Lindqvist’s novel, the version of Let the Right One In now streaming on Paramount Plus is a completely different beast – and not for all the right reasons.
Switching the sombre Stockholm setting for a wintery New York City, the series sees Mark (Demián Bichir) move into a new apartment with his daughter, Eleanor (Madison Taylor Baez). His new neighbour is homicide detective Naomi (Anika Noni Rose), who’s struggling to balance solving a new string of gruesome murders with raising her bullied and magic-obsessed son, Isaiah (Ian Foreman). Amongst all of this is the emergence of a new street drug that gives the user vampire-like abilities, which may have something to do with a terminally ill man harbouring some secrets of his own.
Whereas the original story is a beautifully bleak romance about two troubled outcasts who find solace in each other’s company, this series looks to be expanding upon various aspects of the source material while drastically altering others. The most notable change is there is now a greater focus on both Ellie and Isaiah’s family life. Ellie and her father, in another change, are now actively searching for a cure to her affliction, whereas Isaiah, who (at this point) isn’t interested in revenge against his bullies, has a more developed home life this time around.
Baez and Foreman click well together in the few scenes they have, with these alterations serving to build upon the central characters to weave a grander and more complex tale. Bigger doesn’t always mean better, though: by pushing the core relationship into the background of a much more expansive plot, the danger is the series will dilute the essence of what made its namesake so effective.
Despite the change in scenery, the show nevertheless deploys sublime cinematography that makes full use of the setting. Unfortunately, this is hampered by some baffling tonal choices when it comes to the soundtrack, with the closing scene of episode one being the worst offender. While the series doesn’t get off to a great start, there’s still enough time and potential for this iteration to build upon the source material in interesting ways.
Let the Right One In is released on 8th October 2022.
Watch the trailer for Let the Right One In here: