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Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Let the Right One In - DVD has dumbed down subtitles

LET THE RIGHT ONE IN, the Swedish independent film has ben favoured by critics and fans alike. It is most definitely a cool cult movie. Director Tomas Alfredson has done wonders for the vampire tale. I' m hoping to catch it on the big screen soon.
Now Icons of Fright have discovered that the subtitles on the DVD release have been redone to the detriment of the feature. They have lots of examples and I've included a couple to give you an idea (original version at the top, DVD version below it).

Over to Icons of Fright for more on what is quite a shocking story for fans of film.
I personally decided to host a screening of the DVD with a handful of friends that had yet to experience LET THE RIGHT ONE IN. (Mind you, I'd already had an advance early screener copy of the movie for months and had seen it twice during it's limited theatrical run, so it's safe to say that I knew the film rather intimately. We were all excited to watch a top quality DVD version though in the comfort of my own home.)

About 20 minutes into the screening, I was absolutely horrified.

The subtitles had been drastically changed since the last time I saw it, and dare I say... had been completely dumbed down? Sure, the basic gist of what the characters were saying was kind of there, but missing completely was the dark humor, subtleties and character nuances which made the movie so powerful and a favorite amongst audiences last year. I tried to carry on and ignore it, hoping that only a few of the translations were off... but... I was wrong. Just about the intent of every single line of dialogue was completely off and ruined the movie.

Here's a theory: The original screener attributes that the subtitles were done by Ingrid Eng. (Multiple kudos to Miss Eng for doing an amazing job.) My guess is that in order to re-use them for the American version of the DVD, Magnolia/MAGNET probably had to pay Ingrid again for her services. Rather then do that, perhaps they hired someone else to do the translations for real cheap.

And cheap they are!
I don't think I will be getting it on DVD until I know I'm getting the proper translation. How do you feel about the news?

Leave a comment on this post below.

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pamela fruendt said...

when the subtitles are changed the film is changed...how can it even have the same title? did they think no one would notice? i certainly won't be forking over my money anytime soon. thanks for the heads up. i was looking forward to the dvd release of this film. damn.

Alex Mandar said...

But the film hasn't changed!! it still is the same story with actually more literal translations of the original dialogue! I don't understand why all these people are so upset about this???!!!