Let the Right One In Review 2022 Tv Show Series Cast Crew Online
Once again, the great cycle of culture has come back around to vampires. This year, TV has seen a new season of FX’s “What We Do in the Shadows” as well as the debuts of AMC’s “Interview With the Vampire,” Peacock’s “Vampire Academy,” and Netflix’s “First Kill” — all of which were based on existing intellectual property. It follows, then, that the latest entry into the genre would be drawn from a story that was big during the last great vampire craze.
“Let the Right One In,” a 2004 Swedish novel that became a Swedish film in 2008, just in time for “Twilight”-mania — and followed by an American adaptation called “Let Me In” in 2010 — now inspires a Showtime series executive produced by Andrew Hinderaker of “Away” and “Penny Dreadful.” In its early going, the show is intriguing: Its central story, of the tremulous, growing bond between a young vampire (Madison Taylor Baez) and her socially isolated peer (Ian Foreman) is sweetly drawn. But the show falters in illustrating the world around its characters. Though the kids are at the heart of the show, their interactions tend to lack stakes.
The setup is pleasingly uncomplicated: Baez’s Eleanor is infected with a little-understood disease that her father avoids acknowledging directly; its consequences include a nocturnal lifestyle and an appetite, exclusively, for blood. Dad, played well by a sad-eyed Demián Bichir, feeds her with his own blood when he must, but is struggling to keep her sated and under wraps. The collision with a neighboring family — Foreman’s Isaiah and his cop mom, played by Anika Noni Rose — means that suddenly, Eleanor risks being brought into the light, something a vampire has good reason to fear. From here, though, we gain little knowledge in the show’s early going about how people become vampires, why the disease seems not to be particularly communicable, and what the repercussions of its spread might be for a New York that feels lifeless and two-dimensional. It’s not necessary to give the game away up top, but “Let the Right One In” seems studiously vague about what its characters are going through — the better to punch themes of isolation and loneliness.
Which are well-taken; Baez and Foreman are charming young performers, and sell the nascent feeling of being, potentially, understood for the first time. (Eleanor doesn’t have friends for obvious reasons; Isaiah is a somewhat socially awkward aspiring magician.) But often, as Bichir’s Mark talks around his daughter’s condition, I found myself wondering how much of his vagueness was because the show hadn’t yet decided what it wanted vampirism to do or be.
At one point, in a separate and less successful plotline involving an epidemiologist’s attempting to help a family member with the vampire disease, it seems a metaphor for substance addiction; Grace Gummer’s Claire keeps insisting that the taste for blood is the disease talking. Elsewhere, though, it simply seems like a mechanism to get Eleanor appropriately isolated enough for her first new friendship to be meaningful. That’s lovely, but a show that also depicts, for instance, Rose’s cop character trying to solve what’s really going on in a city that seems rife with after-dark menaces can’t quite get its arms around its own story until it has a clearer idea of what this sort of horror means, or would practically look like. (At times, the show simply seems unsteady; a major character’s disappearance after the pilot is basically shrugged off by those who knew him.)
There’s stuff here that makes one root for “Let the Right One In,” but the show unfortunately does not stand out in a crowded marketplace for vamp dramas. It fails to connect its premise and the emotional work happening to its horror elements; the sweetness of its story and the nightmare of what’s occurring on the margins seem like they’re happening on different shows entirely.