A Few Words About A few words about...™ Let the Right One In

Robert Harris

Archivist
Reviewer
Joined
Feb 8, 1999
Messages
12,813
Reaction score
16,522
Points
9,110
Real Name
Robert Harris
The liner notes quote filmmaker Guillermo del Toro as calling Tomas Alfredson's Let the Right One in "a chilling fairy tale," and while I agree, I find it a bit darker.

On its surface, this delicate little film is the story of two twelve year olds, both outsiders in their own ways, who form a bond, and in their innocent way are at least in "like."

Once one recognizes what is occurring, it becomes apparent that conceptually, it isn't all that far off from Mr. Stoker's original 1897 classic.

Lina Leandersson plays a young girl who, aside from occasional problems with personal hygiene, makes a most supportive best friend.

While I'm viewing far fewer releases in standard definition these days, this transfer seems to hold up on a large screen, with no obvious deficiencies, and while it looked to be good of its kind, I still wanted to know what the bleak landscapes would have looked like with a 600% boost in resolution. After checking out a BD version, we'll find out.

Probably in many ways the antithesis of Interview with the Vampire and its 50+ million dollar budget, as well as that film's elegant little Claudia, Let the Right One In is worth the two hour commitment.

My single troublesome complaint regards the sub-titles in all their huge pixel, generated glory. While at least in the image area, which will please some, this is a classic case of over or at least odd translation, which as opposed to under translation found on films of the 1930s, I find just as annoying.

When a character says the word "Momma" we know what it means and don't really need the translation, which in this case is "Mom." But while I can pass on thing like that, I can't abide translations such as a verbal exhale being translated on screen as "Whew!" or other verbal noises translated as meaningless dribble.

UPDATE: Since the distributor has announced that a new (alternate) subtitled version will be coming, with proper titling, and that they have made a conscious decision NOT to place an exchange program into play, I must update this release to unacceptable, and thusly...

Not Recommended

The decision by the distributor not to replace product is extremely short-sighted, as when precisely the same program has been instituted by Warner, Sony, Disney and others, the return rate has been miniscule. The message from Magnolia seems to be loud and clear: We have no concerns about our customer base, and will allow you to repurchase.

Stupid, stupid, stupid! Apparently, while hiring those who make these decisions, they Let the Wrong One In...

RAH
 

Jim Peavy

Supporting Actor
Joined
Aug 12, 2002
Messages
725
Reaction score
1
Points
110
This does have proper English subtitles and not just subtitles for the hearing impaired, right? 'Cause your description sounds kind of like the latter.

Picture-wise this sounds like a nice disc, though. Terrific movie! I'm gonna get the DVD and avoid the (inevitable) American remake. Thanks for the review!
 

OliverK

Producer
Joined
Feb 1, 2000
Messages
4,246
Reaction score
2,169
Points
4,110
Robert,

as you mentioned it in your review:
The Blu-Ray is already out by now, it was released this week or the week before.

Oliver
 

chas speed

Second Unit
Joined
Jan 28, 2007
Messages
438
Reaction score
43
Points
0
Real Name
jeff
I just saw the film for the first time and had no problem with the subtitles. I didn't even notice them and that's always a good sign. The subtitles that I can't stand are the type (see Criterion's Knife in the Water) where they don't bother to subtitle 5% of the movie. It's like Polanski didn't think that line or two was very important and didn't bother to translate it.
 

Ronald Epstein

Founder
Owner
Joined
Jul 3, 1997
Messages
55,565
Reaction score
11,278
Points
9,110
Real Name
Ronald Epstein
One thing I did not realize until I watched the special features…



The old man with the wool hat who was obtaining blood for the girl probably met her when he was 12 years old and fell in love with her.
That would explain why she lovingly touched his face before he died. The film comes full circle at the end as the boy is now taking his place.


Great film!
 

David Deeb

Screenwriter
Joined
Nov 17, 2005
Messages
1,031
Reaction score
146
Points
1,610
Real Name
David
I didn't realize that either Ron. That's an interesting spin.

Watched the Blu-ray last night. It looks fantastic & I highly recommend it (the BD version). Had no problem with the subtitles. I liked the movie.

I read somewhere last week this is getting an American remake. I'm already worried.
 

WadeM

Supporting Actor
Joined
Aug 11, 2006
Messages
964
Reaction score
54
Points
0
I'll have to finish watching those special features. Nice insight.
Blu-ray was great!
 

Ronald Epstein

Founder
Owner
Joined
Jul 3, 1997
Messages
55,565
Reaction score
11,278
Points
9,110
Real Name
Ronald Epstein
I hope they don't remake this film.

It is done so well as is.

Been thinking about it ever since yesterday's. For me, it has
lasting impact long after its viewing. Just loved this film!
 

Dave_P.

Supporting Actor
Joined
May 20, 1999
Messages
983
Reaction score
0
Points
0
The Blu-ray of this was my greatest blind buy ever. This movie is so beautiful and disturbing at the same time. The "come in uninvited" scene gives me the shivers every time I see it.
 

Ronald Epstein

Founder
Owner
Joined
Jul 3, 1997
Messages
55,565
Reaction score
11,278
Points
9,110
Real Name
Ronald Epstein
In reference to Dave's post above, it was good to see
that the film was faithful to Vampire lore.
 

gruagach

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Mar 17, 2009
Messages
124
Reaction score
19
Points
10
Real Name
Henry
I understand some Swedish, so I could see where they went a bit overboard with subtitles, when a briefer translation would have worked better for meaning. Not that the subtitles detracted from the film.

There wasn't any back story on Eli's keeper and where they came from to that western burb of Stockholm. Though he seemed careless in his blood collecting. Perhaps, they left it for the audience to speculate on. Growing old? Then comes Oscar, a likely replacement?

**After reading on these forums for such a long, long time, I decided to finally chime in.
 

EricSchulz

Producer
Joined
Jan 6, 2004
Messages
5,108
Reaction score
508
Points
9,110
Age
59

I watched the SD version tonight. I DESPISE dubbed versions (which is what the disc defaulted to), so I chose the 5.1 Swedish DD version...and THAT defaulted to the English Narrative Subtitles. I chose the plain English Subtitles version, and only thought the "tsk, tsk, tsk" scene was pretty annoying...
As to the film itself, it was excellent, but not really anything like what I was expecting. Let's just hope the American version dies on the vine...
 

Torgny Nilsson

Second Unit
Joined
Jan 8, 2003
Messages
255
Reaction score
1
Points
0
The subtitles Robert complains of are not the normal subtitles, but the narrative subtitles (for the hearing-impaired) which the DVD offers and seems to make the default. The normal subtitles do not have the problems mentioned and they are actually very accurate (I am fluent in Swedish and have only minor quibbles with them).

While I liked the movie overall, I had big problems with the plot as it requires you to suspend your disbelief more than most movies in that it glosses over some very serious plot gaps and plot problems. But worth seeing nevertheless.
 

Jim Peavy

Supporting Actor
Joined
Aug 12, 2002
Messages
725
Reaction score
1
Points
110
Thank you, Torgny!
 

Chris Roberts

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Jul 7, 2004
Messages
223
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Watched this over the weekend. I had the same issues with the subtitles as the OP. Didn't keep me from enjoying the movie though. I like how it doesn't spoon-feed vampire myth to you or wink at the camera everytime something vampire-y happens. It assumes the audience has actually seen a vampire movie or two before, which I really wish more American stuff would do.

The movie was also interesting in that it leaves parts of the book open to interpretation, perhaps to avoid controversy. I actually think the movie works better this way. For those curious what I mean.

In the book when Eli says she's not a girl its because Eli is a castrated boy, but in the movie you'd think she meant because she's a vampire/monster. I heard they auditioned both boys and girls for the role.

Also, the handler in the book was a homeless pedophile that Eli hooked up with a few months before. The movie gives the impression that he could be someone she met the same as Oskar back when he was 12. I think this works better as it makes Eli's motives towards Oskar more questionable as if she was maybe playing him the whole time.
 

Jim Peavy

Supporting Actor
Joined
Aug 12, 2002
Messages
725
Reaction score
1
Points
110
Just a heads-up: the Digital Bits is reporting Magnet (the co. that released the DVD and Bluray) is coming out with another pressing that corrects the subs to as they were in the theatrical version. No exchange for those who've already purchased, however. Check out the Bits for details.
 

Ed Moroughan

Second Unit
Joined
Mar 10, 2003
Messages
377
Reaction score
1
Points
0
Age
39
Location
Star Lake, NY
Real Name
Edward R. Moroughan
^I haven't bought the disc yet for this reason. Only thing missing is WHEN these new discs will pop up in stores. A couple months perhaps?
 

Bryan Tuck

Screenwriter
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Messages
1,783
Reaction score
311
Points
1,610
Real Name
Bryan Tuck
I only saw the film once in theaters, so my memory was a little hazy as far as specific dialogue goes, but The Digital Bits linked to a site with comparisons that jogged my memory: Icons of Fright News and Updates: Let The Wrong Subtitles In To LET THE RIGHT ONE IN?!. I do remember a couple of those examples now that I see them.

I don't understand Swedish, so it may very well be that that the DVD's subtitles (the non-narrative ones) are more "literal" translations of the dialogue, but the theatrical subtitles appear to have been interpreted a little more carefully, and as the above linked site points out, much of the subtlety and humor of the theatrical translation has been removed in the new titles.

At any rate, I think it's a HUGE mistake on the part of Magnet not to offer an exchange program if they are going to press new discs to replace the old ones. Other studios have done this for subtitle issues, and I would imagine the people who would purchase Let the Right One In within the first couple of weeks of its release are the type of people who would care about such things.

This seems to be the best address to contact them at: [email protected]. (Magnet Releasing is a division of Magnolia Pictures; the official website is www.magpictures.com).
 

Ronald Epstein

Founder
Owner
Joined
Jul 3, 1997
Messages
55,565
Reaction score
11,278
Points
9,110
Real Name
Ronald Epstein
I have already sent Magnolia/Magnet an email with our letterhead
expressing our outrage that consumers who bought DVDs and BDs
affected by their mistake are going to have to pay for it and not be
offered a replacement.

I hope that more members here send the same email to the company.

Perhaps we can convince them to offer an exchange.
 

Forum Sponsors

Forum statistics

Threads
343,733
Messages
4,688,412
Members
141,023
Latest member
movie_buff