Bound by Blood in Let the Right One In

Based on a Swedish horror hit, Let the Right One In is a vampire saga with a twist

Based on a Swedish horror hit, Let the Right One In is a vampire saga with a twist

Although Swedish cult film Let the Right One In is considered by its ferocious fans a near-perfect example of modern horror, screenwriter Andrew Hinderaker felt that if anything could be added to the story of an eternally 12-year-old vampire who forms a friendship with the boy next door despite the obvious concerns of her aging human familiar, it was heart. So when the creator of Netflix space drama Away had an opportunity to do yet another version of John Ajvide Lindqvist’s novel (which also had an American big-screen version), he made it a family affair. Now, the core relationship is between dedicated father Mark Kane, played by Oscar-nominated actor Demián Bichir, and his vamp-infected daughter, played by 11-year-old America’s Got Talent alum Madison Taylor Baez. “I was really interested in exploring addiction and exploring what a parent will do for a child when they are struggling with addiction,” says Hinderaker. “It felt like this incredible gift, to take what was in the foundations of the film and create an entirely new story that would be centred around Demián’s character Mark and Madison’s character Eleanor, and explore the lengths that this father would go to keep his daughter alive.” 

The twosome returns to New York City after a decade away, hoping that the overcrowded metropolis will allow for their blood supply needs to go unnoticed. But their lives get complicated when they realize that their new neighbour Naomi Cole (Anika Noni Rose) is a homicide detective trying to solve a series of gruesome murders, likely linked to the same predicament that ails Eleanor. And the living situation becomes way too close for Mark’s comfort when Eleanor develops a close friendship with Naomi’s young son Isaiah (Ian Foreman).  Let the Right One InCrave“The original had the relationship between Eleanor and the boy next door, but that relationship felt more predatorial than the genuine friendship that forms between Eleanor and Isaiah,” explains director Seith Mann. “Having the foil of Anika’s character, Naomi, who is dealing with a regular child with regular child problems, and seeing that the stakes for each of them is tied to each other, was really beautiful.” Let the Right One InCraveUnbeknownst to either Kanes or Coles is that not so far away, scientist Claire Logan (Grace Gummer) has recently been thrown into her own unexpected medical pursuit, working on a cure for vampirism to save her brother. “My character is not in the original movie, so Andrew, Seith and I did a narrative of who this woman was, so I could really get a sense of where her goodness, her heart, her anger and her pain lies,” Gummer explains. “This show is always toeing a line between what’s good and evil and who is doing the right thing and who is doing the wrong thing. As you keep going with this show, you will see she’s very complicated, and she does very questionable things to save her brother and to find a cure, which makes her a pretty good adversary to Demián’s character.”  Let the Right One InCraveWhile vampire lore has been around for centuries, the showrunner was keen to root his story in science—as best he could. “One of the things I did very early on was to talk to a virologist about the idea, ‘If this were an infection, how would it work?’ and he talked about the part of the brain that very specifically manages pigmentation in the skin, which acts as a shield for UV radiation from the sun, being the same part of the brain that deals with the flight-or-fight mechanism and the mechanisms that would shut off the body to accept anything but oxygenated blood,” says Hinderaker. “What emerged from that was the set of rules that speak very directly to the character that Grace plays, who is a scientist working on a treatment for her brother, and to Demián’s character, who is desperate to find a cure for his daughter. But it also has these other layers, like needing to be invited into a home, that suggests that science alone can’t tell the full story.” 

Let the Right One InCraveThough a fan of the original 2008 film, the Mexican actor says he chose his latest project based on his teammates, likening his new collaborators to a football team. “Most of the projects I say yes to, they have to do with a human experience. Producers and directors don’t know, but whenever they audition us, we audition them,” says Bichir. “I was very curious to see what Andrew has done to transform two beautiful hours into 10, and I was just amazed at how he kept adding beautiful layers and different characters. And then they gave me the cast—and that’s when I get emotional, when I see these three beautiful ladies. That’s what you want. I’m only as good on the field as when I have a beautiful team around me.”  

Let the Right One in airs Sundays on Crave1