"A REALLY INTELLIGENT INTERVIEWER." -- Lance Henriksen
"QUITE SIMPLY, THE BEST HORROR-THEMED BLOG ON THE NET." -- Joe Maddrey, Nightmares in Red White & Blue

**Find The Vault of Horror on Facebook and Twitter, or download the new mobile app!**

**Check out my other blogs, Standard of the Day, Proof of a Benevolent God and Lots of Pulp!**


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Oh No! The American DVD of Let the Right One In is F***ed!!

Y'all know by now how much of a supporter I am of Tomas Alfredson's brilliant vampire film Let the Right One In. Last year's finest horror movie for my money, the Swedish picture was finally released here in the U.S. of A. on DVD just a few days ago. Kick-ass, right? Wrong!

The irrepressible Justin Bishop of Send More Cops tipped me off yesterday to the unfortunate fact that the new DVD has apparently been thoroughly lobotomized as a result of one of the worst subtitling jobs of all time. Unlike the excellent English subtitling done for early screeners of the film that leaked on to the web prior to its official international release, this new version appears to have been translated by Sloth from The Goonies.

Have a gander. First the screener we've all grown to love...


And now the American DVD...


Original...


American DVD...


And finally--screener...


Brain-dead version...


For more examples, check out the original story over at Icons of Fright. Apparently, the person who subtitled the screener so well, one Ingrid Eng, got stiffed by Magnolia, the company distributing LTROI on DVD. It would appear that rather than pay her again for the use of her subtitles, they went a much cheaper route, and got some seriously lazy, slipshod subtitles as a result.

This is a travesty. Extremely disappointing. Having grown to love this film, I can't in good conscience recommend the new American DVD to those who haven't seen it yet. So much of the nuance, subtle humor and delicate character moments seem to be gone in this version. Hopefully, if enough of an uproar is raised on sites like Icons of Fright and this one, something can be done about this. Otherwise, I would advise you to find another way to see this flick the way it was meant to be seen.

FYI: Magnolia's website.

11 comments:

Justin B. said...

Looks like Bill Hunt over at The Digital Bits was able to get in touch with Magnolia, and they're apparently well aware of the uproar. Here was their response (which I found via Bloody-Disgusting):

“We’ve been made aware that there are several fans that don’t like the version of the subtitles on the DVD/BR. We had an alternate translation that we went with. Obviously a lot of fans thought we should have stuck with the original theatrical version. We are listening to the fans feedback, and going forward we will be manufacturing the discs with the subtitles from the theatrical version.”

But are they going to replace the copy that *I* spent $20 on? And how will people know what version they're buying? Well...

“There are no exchanges. We are going to make an alternate version available however. For those that wish to purchase a version with the theatrical subtitles, it will be called out in the tech specs box at the back/bottom of the package where it will list SUBTITLES: ENGLISH (Theatrical), SPANISH.”

This is pretty infuriating when someone's paid their hard-earned cash for a DVD expecting to receive the same film that was shown in theaters. So now I have to buy it AGAIN and give Magnolia more of my money as an award for their incompetence? Not to mention the fact that this minor detail that identifies the DVDs with the corrected subtitles does little to help those who primarily purchase their DVDs from online outlets like Amazon. It's just a crapshoot, I guess.

BJ-C said...

That is an absolute, complete, and utter TRAVESTY.

Chunk would be displeased.

B-Sol said...

Sorry you blew your cash, Justin. Still its good news that the distributor is actually listening to the complaints of consumers. More than I expected. I'm assuming that the earlier release will simply be phased out in time in favor of the theatrical version.

Mr. Cavin said...

While it's true that this is a little upsetting, I'd like to point out that the reasons offered as to why they went with a different set of dialog on the disk, re: fiscal agreements with the original translator, are really only supposition. While they are a realistic supposition, they are still only that.

It would be just as easy to suppose Magnolia used an alternate translation to make the movie more easily legible to a less text-friendly home market accessing the movie on a smaller format. Note how the new text is much, much easier to read. The US market (and traditionally the horror market) is frequently resistant to any subtitles at all. A play to make more money by pandering to those with poorer eyesight, smaller televisions, or a distaste for watching movies they have to read, well that makes sense for a company producing a film with such a niche impact, sure. Maybe it's even greedy. But it will also, in the long run, help the filmmakers.

Anyway, that's my more friendly, more charitable supposition.

Eventually, I really want to hear from someone who speaks Swedish, too. We are, of course, only favoring the version that we came into contact with first. And while I agree that the theatrical subtitles seem to make up a more satisfying version, and the one I will opt to shop for, I really have no idea which, if either, more closely resembles the actual original dialog.

Al Bruno III said...

I'm glad to hear a corrected version is now available. Several of my friends have already bought and/or rented the current DVD and were still enchanted by the picture so there is that at least.

However they all agreed that the English dub was awful.

I am glad to see that the corrected version will be available eventually. I appreciate that they adressed this.

FYI the novel version of LET THE RIGHT ONE IN is one of the best vampire novels I have ever read.

B-Sol said...

If it were only changed to increase the size of the subtitles, that would be one thing. But meaning has been damaged here--the film has clearly been dumbed down, resulting in a lesser quality product. If they had wanted to help the bottom line, this was not the way to do it.

Al Bruno III said...

Do they know what the street date is for the new discs?

Ralph said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Ruth

http://systemmemory.info

Becky said...

Thank you so much for putting this up. I saw the DVD at Target and was prepped to but it after my next paycheck but now I know to wait for the better version. Thanks B-Sol!

B-Sol said...

You're very welcome, Becky!

SLASHer said...

You're absolutely right on this one. I'm from Sweden, and the theatrical subtitles look far more correct in this case (except maybe for the top one - Eli actually says "You have to start here" at that moment, at least if you want it verbatim). Great film, very good book, and its really good to see that people are not bypassing this gaping error, and better yet - not watching it dubbed or remade!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...