Parents' Guide to

Let the Right One In

By Jenny Nixon, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Blood-splattered drama manages to make vampires dull.

TV Showtime Drama 2022
Posted art for the Showtime series Let the Right One In, depicting a brown-haired man with stubble embracing what appears to be a child, they are seen from the shoulders up. He has dirty, bloodstained hands and is looking into the distance plaintively.

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The original Swedish film that inspired this series has remained a uniquely memorable experience and one that this new iteration, like the American film reboot before it, fails to top. This Let the Right One In takes specific elements from its predecessor and uses them as a jumping-off point, which is a perfectly acceptable thing to do if the changes made and the narrative built around this framework add something new or interesting. Unfortunately, the show's efforts to distinguish itself only result in it collapsing under the weight of its own ambitions.

There are just too many storylines going on here at one time, too much awkward exposition shoehorned in via drawn-out speeches, and an overall lack of focus. It's not a great sign when a horror series can also double as a cookie-cutter network crime procedural, a banal medical drama, or a family-centered tearjerker. Regarding the emphasis on family, the choice to make Eli's caretaker her actual father is a misguided one that comes across as corny, retaining none of the magic and mystery of the source material. The writers seem to have taken a throw-it-all-at-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks approach, which gives the show a lethargic, messy vibe that really isn't worth sticking around for.

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