17. Let The Right One In, by John Ajvide Lindqvist (2004)

Swedish author John Ajvide Lindqvist is one fortunate guy: Unlike most writers, whose novels have been sullied by inept filmmakers, Lindqvist’s excellent vampire story Let The Right One In is the direct inspiration for two outstanding movies, Sweden’s same-named 2008 version and America’s Let Me In (2010).

Give most of the credit to Lindqvist himself, whose original novel is so tightly rendered and emotionally potent that you’d have to be lobotomized to screw a book-to-film incarnation up. For those who’ve never seen either flick, Let The Right One is about a bullied grade school kid, Oskar, who finds a friend in the new girl (or, in Lindqvist’s book, a little he-she), Eli, who also happens to be an undying blood-drinker. The bond they form gives birth to a beautiful love story, while Eli’s nasty extracurricular activities provide the unflinching horror.

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