Some of the creative team behind the hit, magic-filled play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child have crafted a new stage adaptation of the 2008 Swedish horror film Let the Right One In, and it has just arrived at Berkeley Repertory Theater.

Maybe the most enduring thing about the myth of vampires is its adaptability. Vampires can be sly, sexy creatures living the bayous of Louisiana (True Blood), urban drug addicts and deviants (The Addiction, The Hunger), baroque aristocrats (Bram Stoker's Drakula, Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles), angsty teens (Twilight), and goofy, bored suburbanites engaging in petty fights with other supernaturals (What We Do In the Shadows).

But Swedish director Tomas Alfredson’s gothic vampire romance Let the Right One In wowed vampire fans when it came out fifteen years ago. Alfredson centered the story on a 12-year-old boy living with his mom outside Stockholm, and the budding romance he forms with a strange creature in their apartment complex named Eli, who appears to be a girl around his age but who says they are neither girl nor boy, neither old nor young.

Enter director John Tiffany and his Cursed Child collaborator, associated director and movement choreographer Steven Hoggett, who joined up again with Cursed Child writer Jack Thorne to create a stage adaptation. Previously only seen in the UK, the production opened Wednesday night at Berkeley Rep. And it is very much a creepy descent into a snowy, yet oddly innocent-feeling world in which one sweet-faced character has a very intense hunger for blood.

Diego Lucano stars as Oskar, and he brings some great, subtle acting chops to the role of the awkward, lonely tween. He encounters Eli (the beguiling Noah Lamanna) in the courtyard of the apartment complex, and the two begin talking and intriguing each other around a metal play structure.

Noah Lamanna (Eli) and Diego Lucano (Oskar) in the West Coast premiere of the National Theatre of Scotland production of Let the Right One In. Photo by Kevin Berne

The snow-dusted set by designer Christine Jones (who also designed Cursed Child), is a mostly static array of floor-to-rafter birch trees, some equipped to be climbed and perched in by the cast, but it includes at least one secret element that is only revealed near the show's end.

Also part of the team and also from Cursed Child is special-effects designer Jeremy Chernick. Though fans of the over-the-top wizarding magic of the Harry Potter play may be a bit disappointed — the effects in Let the Right One In are mostly small and subtle, and relegated to Act 2.

The play succeeds in sketching the awkward coming together of two young people, and presents a gender-fluid character in Eli who is different from the original. And it also succeeds in bringing some of the cinematic dread and stark framing from the screen to a proscenium stage setting — I'm not sure I've ever seen a horror film adapted to the stage, and on many levels it works.

The genre of film allows a bit more room for ambiguity, typically, and for filling in gaps in narratives — which the audience is similarly asked to do during the second act of this adaptation. For some audience members, that vagary combined with the sheer amount of blood that ends up on stage could be a turnoff.

There is also a fairly clichéd storyline around Oskar being bullied by two classmates at school, something that may work in the context of a horror film that relies on clichés like this — bullies upon whom violent revenge must be inevitable — but plays tend to interrogate such plots a little bit deeper than what occurs here.

But there is no denying that Let the Right One In evokes creepy moods — and a few genuine scares — that one doesn't often get the pleasure of in live theater. And that feels like a bit of magic in and of itself.

'Let the Right One In' plays through June 25 at Berkeley Rep. Find tickets here.