Let The Right One In
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765 of 812 people found the following review helpful
on March 25, 2009
Do not buy this movie yet. Magnolia butchered the subtitles and will be releasing a version with the theatrical subtitles in the near future. Magnolia will not replace this disc with the fixed one, so hold off on your purchase. You will know the correct version when you see "subtitles: English (theatrical release)" in the specs on the back.
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466 of 497 people found the following review helpful
on March 24, 2009
I was very disappointed with this DVD. So much so that I'm returning my copy of it. I saw the movie in theatres, and found it masterful. The amazing tone is part of the beauty of the film, and the subtitles on the US DVD release are a travesty. They remove most of the subtlety from the tone and characters (see [...] for examples). The movie I saw in theatres was a masterpiece; the movie on this DVD (using subtitles) is a mediocrity. If you are going to buy this DVD, either download and use the theatrical subtitles or use the mediocre dubbing track. As for me, I'm going to look for another region's copy or wait for a re-release.

In the end, this DVD is a masterclass on why good subtitle translations are critical in foreign films.
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495 of 543 people found the following review helpful
on March 23, 2009
THE DVD SUBTITLES ARE POORLY, POORLY TRANSLATED AND RUIN THE MOVIE!!!!
Magnolia/MAGNET refused to pay for the original translations and hired there own in order to cut costs. I encourage you to write Magnolia/MAGNET and demand a re-issue with the correct subtitles, and a refund for your defective DVDs and Blu-rays
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122 of 140 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon December 7, 2008
Let the Right One In is poignant, sad, weird, different, elusive, as well as being a fine movie. Oskar is a blond 12-year-old who lives with his divorced mother in an apartment complex in Stockholm. He's bullied incessantly at school. Neither his mother nor his father seems to have much time for him. He's a quiet kid who dreams of getting back at his tormentors. He doesn't seem to have any friends. Then an older man and a child move into the apartment building. Her name, we learn, is Eli. She's 12 years old, too, pale, and at times looks haggard. Oskar meets her one evening in the playground in front of the apartment complex. Snow is deep on the ground. The weather is freezing. The cold doesn't bother Eli. By now we know Eli is a vampire. Oskar realizes this later.

Let The Right One In is a strange fusion of coming-of-age and horror, but the result is something else. Don't ask me what. It doesn't fit in any film genre I'm familiar with. Calling it `horror" is too facile. Calling it "coming of age" is too shallow. In the course of the movie people will die, drained of their blood. Eli's...what?...protector?...partner?...the older man named Hakan she lives with...will kill for the blood he and Eli must have to survive. He'll die a terrible death himself. Eli will tell Oskar that they can't be friends, yet Oskar yearns for friendship. He asks Eli to be his girl friend before he knows she is a vampire and she asks him if he would like her if she weren't a girl. When he asks her age, she tells him she is 12 and has been for a long time. Oskar's innocence may be part of his protection. Eli is not innocent, but at times she seems as fragile as Oskar. Like the man she lives with, Eli will kill for blood. She must.

Kare Hedebrant plays Oskar and Lina Leandersson plays Eli. I understand that at the time of filming Hedebrant was 12 and Leandersson was 11. Both were nonprofessionals. They are unnervingly natural. Neither makes a single false step. Hedebrant is exactly what a lonely, bullied 12-year-old could be. Leandersson is able to imply things we may not want to know just be being still. I wound up hoping for the best for both Oskar and Eli...but what the best might be could go in a number of directions.

This is a film, adapted from his novel by John Ajvide Linqvist, which invites discussion and interpretation. Not everything is kept clear, and, for me, that increases the sense of elusiveness. Lat Den Ratte Komma is a wonderful film.

Excuse me, however, if I reach for a barf bag. The director of Cloverfield, Mat Reeves, has evidently signed to make an English language version for Overture Films and Hammer Films. The chance that something unusual, unsettling and restrained will be turned into butcher shop leftovers is just about, I'd guess, one hundred per cent. See this movie while you can. Since it probably will be shown in only a handful of American theaters, I recommend you buy it sight unseen when it comes out on DVD. It's that good.
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62 of 73 people found the following review helpful
on March 25, 2009
I too bought this film from amazon and wish that Magnolia had disclosed a change in the subtitles from original release of the film. This change completely worsens a great foreign film.

Buyers beware of this problem with the release. Hopefully we can expect Magnolia to own up to their decision and replace what i consider defective copies.

MY thoughts echo another commenter:

Unbelievable. Just read the comment saying that they WILL REISSUE the disc but that they WILL NOT HAVE AN EXCHANGE PROGRAM for those who purchased their DEFECTIVE PRODUCT. So let me get this straight; those of us who love this film, preordered it, then pointed out their mistake, thereby saving others from a mutilated film end up being PUNISHED because of it? Magnolia, you're a real class act.
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41 of 48 people found the following review helpful
on March 26, 2009
I love this movie. I've watch this movie eleven times at theatres including festival screenings. I couldn't hear the swedish language but I liked to hear them, and the subtitles were more than good enough to understand the meanings of the lines as well as the subtle diffence of the original language.

BUT, this dvd has totally different subtitles. Problem is that the translation is terrible. The worst. Totally Irrelevant to the lines or situations. This ruined the beauty of this movie.

The theatrical translations are dubbed into English voice. What the hell is matter with Magnolia? Why didn't they just put the same translations into subtitles? Magnolia Home Entertainment, You disappointed lots of fans of this movie.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Let the Right One In (Tomas Alfredson, 2008)

When trying to convince my sister-in-law and daughter, both thirteen, to watch this fantastic film, at one point I got tired of trying to do so with my usual critical terms and just said, "it's Twilight, but good." Which, of course, scandalized them both, but when it comes right down to it, there are a great number of similarities between the two films' themes, but the execution is almost polar opposite. Film buffs will detect, for example, hints of Kieslowski in Tomas Alfredson's location choices. I defy anyone to say that about Twilight (and be able to back it up).

The plot should sound familiar, if you're in America (since it seems everyone in the country has either seen Twilight, read the book, or both): a young human falls in love with a young vampire, who returns that love, but realizes that a true match between them is impossible. Where Stephenie Meyer's sparkly vampires, on the one hand, want to be RomEmo and Juliet, it seems as if John Ajvide Lindqvist (adapting his own novel) simply said "hey, how about we write your basic love story, but give it an undead twist?" Ironically, the one that doesn't try so hard is the one, if either of them does, that will end up the classic. Oh, yeah, and Eli (Lina Leandersson in her first film role)? She don't sparkle. However, similar to Twilight, there's a scene where the human finds out what happens to the vampire during one of those times that are traditionally supposed to be bad for vampires. And, like Twilight, that scene is one of the movie's most memorable. But trust me, there ain't no sparkling.

I don't even know where to begin saying great things about this movie, so I'll start with the obvious: the two young actors playing Eli, the vampire, and Oskar (Kåre Hedebrant), her human friend. I absolutely, positively cannot believe neither of these two has acted in professional movies before this. They are absolutely perfect in every way. Oddly, they remind me of Jude Law and Elina Lowensohn in The Wisdom of Crocodiles, though the roles are reversed (and yes, I do mean to imply there's tension of a romantic nature between them), and despite my love of The Wisdom of Crocodiles, Leandersson and Hedebrant are simply flat-out better in this film.

Then there is Tomas Alfredson. Unlike his stars, this is not, by any means, Alfredson's first movie. Before getting showered with awards from around the world for this flick, Alfredson had already won both TV and movie awards, most notably for his 2004 film Four Shades of Brown. This is the kind of guy who would likely, were he in the American system, never even consider making a horror movie. But then, I'm not sure there's anyone like Alfredson in the American system. Who's the last director you can think of in Hollywood who made a TV comedy series, a movie spinoff, gritty dramas, and a horror film staring a couple of preteens? That sort of thing doesn't happen in America. And we are the worse for it. (And when was the last time you saw Kieslowski echoed in a horror film? Look at the building in which they live--if the two movies had been made in the same country, I'd swear it's the exact same apartment block that sits off to the side of the block where all the main characters live in Dekalog. And it's not just the building--it's the lighting as well.)

I've already mentioned John Ajvide Lindqvist's script, but I should do so again, because it doesn't matter how good your actors are, you have to give them something to work from. And this script? Genius. It's everything that, I think, Twilight wanted to be and failed, both book and movie, so miserably to be. Everywhere that Twilight is ham-fisted, Let the Right One In is understated. As a result, the relationship between these two characters feels far more real than that between Bella and Edward, for whom the world essentially stops in order for the two of them to emote. The big difference, naturally, is that Twilight is essentially a romance, and is written in the way Americans expect a romance to be written. Let the Right One In, on the other hand, is a drama that contains romantic elements. The love story is less important than the characters who are involved in that love story; Lindqvist's characters are gloriously three-dimensional. Lindqvist took a lot of care to bring his characters to life, and it paid off in spades. Eli and Oskar are two of the most endearing characters in modern film, to the point that when we see Eli doing the things she needs to do to survive, there's no real horror involved; we can sympathize with the vampire during the vampire's least human moments. (There's one scene in particular towards the end of the film where this is particularly powerful, but it would be the mother of all spoilers to tell you what it is. You'll know it when you see it, and like the scene I mentioned before, it's one of the film's best. The sympathy that Lindqvist has taken the time to build is, one hundred percent, the reason this scene works as well as it does.)

I could keep going. Once I'd made the Kieslowski connection in my head, I almost dug out my Dekalog review as used it as a template for this one. (This was the result of frustration; I've been trying to write this review for two months, and every time I've tried, it kept turning to mush. What finally made it gel was the other connection, to The Wisdom of Crocodiles. I can't believe it took me two months to see that.) It's one of the handful--at best--of movies I've seen since Dekalog that has had an effect anywhere near as profound. And the list of movies that would qualify contains a number of immortals (most notably Satantango). It's obviously far too early to consider calling Let the Right One In one of the best movies ever made. That hasn't stopped the machine that ranks the IMDB Top 250, where this movie sits at #190 as I write this. Time will tell if it becomes the classic it currently promises to be, but on a more local scale, I can remember few ten-best-of-2008 lists where Let the Right One In did not appear. The reason for this is evident; it is, in every way, a superlative achievement. In the time I've been reviewing movies, which now stretches over two decades, I have given a five-star rating to less than thirty films. This one joins the pack. *****
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Vampire movies tend to come in two flavours -- either they're gory bloodsucker actionfests, or celebrations of goth hotties tortured by their immortality.

But "Let The Right One In" is neither kind or story. Instead this haunting, atmospheric Swedish movie is a poignant look at a very unique friendship between a young boy and a vampire child. Brilliant acting and a sort of pale, ghostly directorial style make this a vivid experience, but the brilliance is in the story itself.

One winter night, Oskar (Kare Hedebrant) sees a car drop off his two new neighbors. He doesn't pay much attention at first, since he's always either ignored or bullied.

But as he vents his frustrations by stabbing a tree, he sees the ghostly, rumpled Eli (Lina Leandersson), who informs him, "Just so you know, I can't be your friend." She turns out to be as much of an oddball as Oskar -- especially since she only ventures out at night, smells a bit funny, and is unaffected by the winter cold. But despite her odd greeting, the two strike up a friendship.

At the same time, a series of brutal murders are taking place all around town -- and it's no great shock that Eli's companion Hakan (Per Ragnar) is harvesting blood for Eli. Being no idiot, Oskar realizes that Eli is a bona fide vampire, and doesn't intend to let that get in the way of their puppy love. Yet when Hakan's errands go horribly awry, Oskar finds himself to be the only person Eli can rely on.

It's no great exaggeration to say that "Let the Right One In" is undoubtedly the best vampire movie made in many years. While the movie has plenty of more violent moments and a snowy backdrop, director Tomas Alfredson is far more focused on the sweet, eerie relationship between two lonely, otherworldly young children. And actually, one of them is young in appearance only.

Alfredson paints the movie in white, scarlet and black -- pale, wintry light and snow that covers the world, occasional splatters of blood and deep shadows that seem to swallow everything up. And he handles the entire storyline gracefully. Every part of the movie has the same matter-of-fact, unflinching treatment, including the nastier parts -- such as a gruesome blood-harvesting murder by Hakan, or when Eli attempts to enter a house without being invited. Trust me, it's bad.

The most loving attention is devoted to the children's friendship, which manages to be as strange and beautiful as a rare dragonfly. Their nighttime meetings almost have the quality of a dream ("I might not be here tomorrow") and Alfredson keeps their blossoming relationship from ever seeming cutesy or contrived. And it has an innocent quality that transcends the sometimes bloody, disturbing storyline.

And trust me, "Let the Right One In" has no sentimental ideas about children (even vampiric ones). They can be more violent than anyone, because they are more vulnerable than anyone.

The stars of this movie are undeniably Hedebrant and Leandersson, and it's nothing short of amazing that they have never once acted before this movie. Both have the ice-pale faces and deep eyes of otherworldly creatures, making their friendship seem almost inevitable. Leandersson in particular is brilliant at showing the different sides of Eli -- one minute she's shyly asking about a Rubik's cube, the next she's bellowing at her creepy familiar.

"Let the Right One In" is a hauntingly beautiful story of children's friendship and love, wrapped in the most unique vampire stories in many years. A must-see.
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29 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on March 24, 2009
1) the translated English subtitles are changed and do greatly mutilate the experience that the theatrical subtitles provided. Magnet films has acknowledged this but will offer no exchange program and has refused to stop distributing this defective disc.
2) the disc is defective in that there is a subtitle selection other than English called, "narrative English" and it is completely blank. There is not a single subtitle on that track. Magnet released a defective product then said it wasn't defective just creatively manipulated because they didn't want to pay for the very well done theatrical subtitles. If you must own this movie now go buy the region free Swedish release. it has the theactrical subs intact.
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28 of 33 people found the following review helpful
"Let The Right One In" is without a doubt one the best films of 2008, bar none. Atmospheric, touching, chilling, disturbing, and haunting, it will remain with you for days after your first viewing experience.

That being said I was REALLY anticipating the Blu-ray release. Unfortunately, Magnet/Magnolia Pictures decided to REPLACE the theatrical subtitles with a new translation for home video. The result? A different film altogether. The egregious aspects of this are:

* There is NO indication anywhere on the product packaging that the subtitles on the disc differ from the theatrical subs.
* Magnet/Magnolia has acknowledged the problem in a press release and has stated publicly that future pressings of "Let The Right One In" will include the ORIGINAL theatrical subtitles in addition to the subs on the current disc.
* Magnet/Magnolia IS NOT OFFERING ANY KIND OF TRADE-IN OR REPLACEMENT PROGRAM FOR CUSTOMERS WHO PURCHASED THE CURRENT "DEFECTIVE" DISC!!!! In other words, if you own the "defective" release and you want the original theatrical subtitles, you'll have to spend an additional $20-$25 for the "new" disc to get them!!

Because this release has been significantly altered from its original theatrical form, AND because Magnet/Magnolia seems to have no respect for it's customers or any concept of what customer service means, I'm giving this release of "Let The Right One In" a single star. DON'T BUY IT. Send a message to the studio that treating their customers in this way has financial consequences. Maybe that's something they WILL understand.
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