Last night Icon of Fright’s Rob G. posted a carefully assembled rant piece about a dumbed-down subtitle problem on the recently released DVD and Bluray of Tomas Alfredson‘s Let The Right One In, the Swedish vampire film that was praised to the heavens when it came out last fall.
Magnolia Home Entertainment issued the DVD and Bluray on Tuesday, March 10th. The film was theatrically released in the U.S. via Magnet, a Magnolia division geared to releasing the “wild, unquantifiable and uncompromised,” according to a 9.11.07 press release. Well, somewhat less wild when it comes to home video.
In a series of screen-grab comparisons between the original DVD screener and the DVD, Mr. G. persuades that the subtitles “have been drastically changed since the last time I saw it, and completely dumbed down.”
Except he really means “subtly” rather than “drastically.” The “basic gist” of what the characters are saying remains, he says, but “the dark humor, subtleties and character nuances which made the movie so powerful” are “completely missing.” And pretty much “every single line of dialogue is completely off” in this respect, which more or less ruins Alfredson’s film for anyone who saw it theatrically and remembers it with any particularity.
The original screener says that the subtitles were done by Ingrid Eng. Rob G. has theorized that “in order to re-use the subtitles for the American version of the DVD, Magnolia probably had to pay Ingrid again for her services. Rather than do that, perhaps they hired someone else to do the translations on the cheap.”
I tried to post this last night but I was too fagged and shagged. I wrote a highly-placed Magnolia friend this morning to see what the explanation might be.
It’s been alleged but nor proven that the Canadian edition from Mongrel Media has Eng’s original English subtitles.