Ask anybody; one of the best horror films of last year was Let The Right One In. The film chronicled the coming of age of a young boy named Oscar who just so happens to live next door to young girl vampire named Eli. The film in it's original version is at once touching and terrifying as it shows a friendship forming between an innocent boy and a monstrous killer. Well if MTV is to be believed, a lot of the nuance that put this film head and shoulders above the rest of the vampire crowd has been lost in translation when comparing the original version to the US DVD release.
Icons of Fright writer RobG, who seems to be a worthy “Let the Right One In” expert, offers an ample amount of screengrabs from both the theatrical print (via an advance screener RobG received last year) and the new DVD from Magnolia Home Entertainment to illustrate some of the differences between Ingrid Eng’s original subtitles and the new “cheap” translation. “Sure, the basic gist of what the characters were saying was kind of there,” writes RobG, “but missing completely was the dark humor, subtleties and character nuances which made the movie so powerful and a favorite amongst audiences last year.”
This isn’t, of course, the first time there have been problems with foreign film subtitling; in fact, it’s an issue that’s been ongoing since the beginnings of cinema. Another recent foreign film of note, “The Class”, has some significant vocabulary that is lost in translation between the original French dialogue and the English subtitles, though for that film the translation problems actually work with the film’s theme of cultural misunderstandings. With “Let the Right One,” the problem is that it downgrades the quality of the film, as if Magnolia believed it to be just a straightforward vampire flick that might sell to fans of horror and “Twilight,” whom the distributor may think to be more simpleminded.
I think the implication that the dialogue has been deliberately dumbed down so it won't confuse teenage fans of vampire fluff such as Twilight are probably unfounded. What I think is much more likely is that a small foreign release is not getting the respect it deserves by the big American studios and has simply been translated lazily. (It certainly wouldn't be the first time that has happened)
I find it ironic that the studios complain bitterly about losing revenue due to piracy when their own product is so shoddy that watching a bootleg provides a more complete experience.
What do you guys think? Do you care that you might not be getting the full story if you pick up the DVD? Or are you going to wait for the US remake anyway?
Source: Icons of Fright