Movies

A 'Let The Right One In' Subtitle Update, Or: What Blogs Do Well

We told you yesterday about the controversy surrounding the subtitles for the Swedish film Let The Right One In, which underwent some kind of bizarre bowdlerization between theatrical release and DVD release. Over the course of about a day, this became a very big deal for those of us who see RSS feeds of blogs all day, and it became increasingly clear that some kind of response or explanation would be required.

Now, Magnet Releasing (which is handling the DVD) has responded to the controversy by agreeing to change the subtitles and use the theatrical subtitles for copies manufactured from this point on — but, they are not offering exchanges for people who purchased the "bad" version. Or they're not...yet. Let's see if that holds up.

(You have to admire Magnet's pluck in referring to the cacophony of Internet outrage as "several fans.")

This is a great example of the power of blogs used for good: at their best, they can weaponize the short but intense bursts of attention that a story like this can draw and multiply it across popular sites to apply pressure that very quickly becomes overwhelming. If that sounds like a double-edged sword, it is: the same thing can happen whether the story is right or wrong.

But in this case, speed appears to have been on the side of the angels, and there was no way the wave of wretched publicity could be allowed to continue without a response. DVD sales are immensely important to acclaimed films that many people don't get an opportunity to see in theaters, and film purists make up a good chunk of the crowd; it's hard to imagine a movie that could less afford to have this happen to it.

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