Novelists who have their works made into films often have contentious relationships with the resulting Hollywood products. Anne Rice called the casting of Tom Cruise as her Vampire Lestat “bizarre” and that he was “no more my Vampire Lestat than Edward G. Robinson is Rhett Butler.” She made an about face, however, after seeing the film, praising Cruise to the point of saying “Tom’s Lestat will be remembered the way Olivier’s Hamlet is remembered.”
Stephen King was so unhappy with Stanley Kubrick’s version of “The Shining” that he produced his own made for TV version with Steven Webber… we’ll just leave that at that. The point is that novelists have a very personal relationship with their novels. They are the sole creators of a universe on paper. Films, on the other hand, are a collaboration of hundreds of people, each one with their own internal vision contributing to the final work on celluloid. This often renders that novelists universe unrecognizable to its creator. It is very rare that a writer wholeheartedly embraces a film version of his or her book, and even more unusual for them to embrace two.
John Ajvide Lindqvist, the Swedish author of the novel “Let the Right One In” did just that. His book was first made into a Swedish film in 2008 by director Tomas Alfredson. An American version, titled “Let Me In” directed by Matt Reeves (Cloverfield) was released last week to good reviews, but disappointing box office. The novelist had this to say about the American film, and how it compared to the Swedish version.
FROM JOHN AJVIDE LINDQVIST:
“I might just be the luckiest writer alive.
To have not only one, but two excellent versions of my debut novel done for the screen feels unreal.
Let the right one in is a great Swedish movie.
Let me in is a great American movie.
There are notable similarities and the spirit of Tomas Alfredson is present. But Let me in puts the emotional pressure in different places and stands firmly on its own legs. Like the Swedish movie it made me cry, but not at the same points.
Let me in is a dark and violent love story, a beautiful piece of cinema and a respectful rendering of my novel for which I am grateful. Again.”
The film also received kudos from the master of horror himself: Stephen King.
FROM STEPHEN KING:
“‘Let Me In’ is a genre-busting triumph. Not just a horror film, but the best American horror film in the last 20 years. Whether you’re a teenager or a film-lover in your 50s, you’ll be knocked out. Rush to it now. You can thank me later.”
Besides his puzzling stance on “The Shining” Mr. King knows what he’s talking about when it comes to horror, having him call this the best American horror film in 20 years is pretty major. These two accolades may put some wind back into the struggling films sails.
Seeing “Let Me In” a few nights ago, I was impressed by how different it is form it’s Swedish sibling. It is far from the “shot for shot” remake that some accuse it of being, and truly stands on it’s own. Performances are excellent all around and each actor owns their character and changes it in their own way. Below are a few clips that may convince you to check it out and decide for yourself.
Please don’t see that boy again
Is There Evil?
More clips and the trailer are available in the video section
“Let Me In” is now playing
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