Book Versus Movie: Let Me In
Spooky Month is Here!
It's October which means Spooky Month is finally here! To celebrate Spooky Month, I thought we would have another themed month where each week we talk about All Things Spooky.
What better way to kick it off than with another Book versus Movie post! Of course, I had to pick the horror genre because what can get scarier than that? After doing some research, Let Me In seemed to fit the bill when it came to horror and spookiness.
Let's see how scary it really is!
When a body of a young boy is found completely drained of blood in a nearby forest, instead of being frightened, Oskar, a 12-year-old boy, must cut out the newspaper clippings and add them to his murder book. Fascinated by the workings, Oskar wonders what it would be like to kill his middle school bullies and make some friends for once.
When new neighbors move in next door, his fascinations turn towards the little girl who only comes out to play at night and reeks of death. As more bodies start to pile up, Oskar wonders what he should do when she comes to the door asking to be let in.
Let Me In, also known as Let the Right One In, is a 472-page novel published in 2004 by Swedish author John Ajvide Lindqvist. The novel, not only focusing on the horror genre also highlights the concept of a mysterious vampire which was deemed popular during the time of release.
Unlike other popular vampire series, where love triangles are the main focus, Let Me In is taken up a notch focusing on mostly male characters in a time period where high tech would allow the plot to play out. Instead of spotlighting the monster itself, the author takes a new approach by bringing to life the inner demons the human race faces. From bullying, murder, to child pedophilia the horror is truly seen when the monster isn't even there.
The inner workings and odd characteristics of the characters keeps your attention wondering what will happen next. Seeing the good and the bad from the characters makes the reader indifferent to whether or not they have a favorite character as the scenes play out.
The more characters are introduced the harder it is to discern which characters are talking as the author jumps from one scene to the next without any indication. This can be frustrating and hard to keep up with as you are often ripped from one intense scene to a boring conversation the next page. The more you read the more you are bogged down with details. Every movement and thought is laid out not giving the reader time to imagine the scenes or characters for themselves.
As the story proceeds the more the reader wonders 'Where is this going?" "Why are these characters important?" and towards the end you realize a good edit of 'kill your darlings' would have made for the same story but at a faster rate.
What keeps readers clinging onto the story is the hints of the vampire's past. Throughout the book hints are dropped, but once the reader is given what they want with the larger chunks of backstory, the ever-detailed book becomes vague and confusing. Inconsistences also emerge the more vampire traits are discussed.
By the end of the book the reader is still left wondering who truly is the monster and what was the purpose of the book that didn't really have an ending?
Let Me In was directed by Matt Reeves and released in theaters in October 2010 with a run time of 115 minutes. It stars known actors including Chloë Grace Moretz, Richard Jenkins, and Dylan Minnette who have grown in popularity over the years.
The movie opens with an action packed seen of police driving dangerously to the hospital through a winter storm. Even though this scene is supposed to leave the watcher wondering what will happen next, you are instead curious why the director chose New Mexico, a notoriously hot state, for this to take place.
Rated R, this movie quickly gets to the point showing gruesome images but as the movie plays out you are left wondering why it couldn't have been rated PG-13 as the horrors are downplayed or shown off screen to give the illusion of something more than it really is.
The main characters are introduced right out of the gate with common stereotypes you see through other moves. Owen, a small, young boy who gets picked on and doesn't have any friends, Abby, the new neighbor girl who is mysterious and quickly gets the boys attention, dead beat parents and teachers who don't pay attention which allows the children to do as they please.
Unlike other movies, there are no flashbacks to tell the viewers of Abby, the vampire girl's background, only giving hints here and there through dialogue or old pictures to push the story forward which made it harder to connect with her.
Even though the storyline of the bullying taking place in Owen's life shows his kindness and weakness for companionship it could have been removed entirely to focus solely on his and Abby's relationship which would have resulted in a better understanding of the choices he made towards the end and maybe allow more screen time of flashbacks and horror.
The way the movie was shot did give an eerie feeling along with the choices for the kid actors who stand out in more of an odd sense. The dialogue and acting felt real making the watcher wonder what will happen next.
When the end credits roll, viewers are left satisfied with the conclusion but sadly not scared to fall asleep that night.
This was an interesting Book versus Movie as it took over 17 hours to read the story (I downloaded Aubile for this one) which was filled with ideas and concepts the movie clearly couldn't fit in. Even when the book was filled with horror, the book lulled for large portions and the ending left me wondering what actually happened compared to the movie which made it very clear through the relationships it formed.
For this Book versus Movie, I'm going to give the winner to Movie! I'm surprised considering all the horror it could have fit in to take it to the next level.
What book to movie adaptation should I have face off against each other next? Let me know in the comments below! Read my last Book versus Movie, Death on the Nile to see which format won me over.