First came the Swedish film, then the English remake and now a TV series called Let the Right One In.
All are inspired by the 2004 novel of the same title by John Ajvide Lindqvist. who also wrote the screenplay for the first movie which is hailed as a modern classic.
The original film tells the story of a bullied 12-year-old boy who develops a friendship with a strange child in Blackeberg, a suburb of Stockholm — in the early 1980s.
In the English adaption the setting moves to Mexico while the TV series takes place in present day New York, with a shift of focus to a father who must do what it takes to care for his daughter after she becomes a vampire.
The story revolves around Mark Kane (Demián Bichir) and his daughter Eleanor (Madison Taylor Baez), whose lives are changed forever 10 years earlier when she is bitten by and turns into a vampire.
Frozen in time at age 12, Eleanor or Ellie lives a cloistered life, able to go out only at night, while her father does his best to provide her with the human blood she needs to stay alive.
Returning to their hometown of New York, Kane is desperate to find a cure, to find the monster who did this to his daughter . . . but it turns out they’re not alone.
If you like a good vampire flick, then you’re going to love Let the Right One In which manages to put a new, sophisticated spin on a very old theme.
There’s 10 episodes of the series so far, each of about 60 minutes.
What elevates this series beyond the banal is its focus on the desperation of the father and the growing love between the two children, and the lengths to which the conflicted Kane will go to save and protect his daughter — even if it means killing for her.
As the action unfolds we find Kane sitting on a train, a large trunk next to him, which we later discover hides his young daughter Ellie.
She’s in the box because she’s a vampire and the pair are on their way back to New York where they once lived 10 years ago.
Although Ellie looks 12, she’s actually 22 years old because vampires don’t age.
As Mark arrives at their apartment, he runs into his new neighbours Naomi Cole (Anika Noni Rose) and her young son Isaiah (Ian Foreman).
And, guess what? Naomi is a cop and she has just started work on a gruesome murder in which the victim was literally drained of blood.
Maybe it’s the breakthrough he is looking for, Kane thinks.
In parallel to all this scenario, we are also introduced to Arthur Logan (Zeljko Ivanek), a disgraced scientist who is experimenting on chimpanzees in an effort to find a cure for his son Peter (Jacob Buster) who — you guessed it — is also a vampire.
The terminally ill Logan believes he has finally succeeded but almost ends up killing Peter when the young man catches fire as he stands ready to greet the morning sunrise in the garden.
Logan finally succumbs to his illness, but not before asking his estranged daughter Claire (Grace Gummer), who is also a brilliant scientist, to take over when he is gone.
Without her help and the help of her father’s helper Matthew (Nick Stahl), who is ex-military, he will almost certainly die.
Claire reluctantly agrees as Peter lies recovering from his horrible burns.
Let the Right One In will surprise and delight you.
It’s well written, well acted and will have you coming back for more.
The producers have dispensed with most of the vampire paraphernalia, apart from super strength and athleticism and of course the need for blood.