Magnolia Pictures, the company behind the botched US release of the DVD of Let The Right One In, isn’t backing down from its claim that the new simplified subtitles are just fine. In fact, this internal communication from a Magnolia rep to a Canadian distributor shows just how little they care about how their core fans feel.
Yes the bloggers are having a field day on this one. Normally they like to pick on the English Dub tracks, but in this case it’s the subtitles. Obviously online tend to get rowdy and bandwagon mentality without knowing all the details. The current subtitle track is not altering the context of the film at all, in fact it’s a more literal translation than any prior version of subtitles. It’s not a defective or faulty subtitle file. Just more literal and larger in size for the small screen. Both English and Spanish subtitle files were produced for this dvd release. Frankly it’s not all that uncommon to have the subs vary from prior releases, typically go unnoticed as subs are purely a translation of film dialogue. This wouldn’t have been a blip had it not been for one particular horror blog doing a side by side and claiming that they are wrong. They are not. We are not doing a recall or anything of that nature, again, these are not defective. Title came out two weeks ago and general public don’t notice and don’t care – bloggers are well known for jumping on something, making an issue of it and moving on. We have decided that based on the feedback that we will be making a running change, so that going forward (once inventories deplete), we will be making that subtitle version available. Options in set up will be; English Subtitles / English (theatrical) Subtitles / Spanish Subtitles”
So, that’s Magnolia’s attitude more or less. We’ll agree, stories in the blogosphere tend to spark like flashes of lightning, spreading dramatically very quickly and then instantly dissipating. That doesn’t mean they’re invalid stories, though; there are times when bloggers, Twitterers and commenters actually get worked up over valid issues.
The rep’s argument that this is a more literal translation is hard to believe. For example, in one key scene near the end, a character cries out “Eli!” (the name of another character). In the mangled translation—the one the rep says is more literal—the subtitle translates that to “I’m trapped!”
It may be true, as Magnolia’s rep asserts, that the general public “don’t notice and don’t care” about this issue. You’d think a small time movie distributor would have more respect for the passion of those core fans who are guaranteed to not only buy, but also promote (or in this case trash) your DVD.
Other fan comments in the same post suggest you can buy a region-free Blu-ray version from a Swedish site and bypass Magnolia altogether, but we couldn’t confirm that the Swedish version is truly region-free at the time we posted this.
“UPDATED: Let The Wrong Subtitles In To LET THE RIGHT ONE IN?!” [Icons of Fright]