(Tomas Alfredson, 2008)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Sandrew Metronome
Video:Magnolia Home Entertainment
Disc Size: 24,843,799,728 bytes
Feature Size: 23,713,351,680 bytes
Average Bitrate: 27.59 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: March 10th, 2009
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Video codec: VC-1
DTS-HD Master Audio English 2240 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2240 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio Swedish 2157 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2157 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
English, Spanish, none
Extras (all in SD):
• Four Deleted Scenes (5:53)
• Behind the Scenes (7:37)
• Photo Gallery (21)
• Theatrical Poster Gallery (6)
Description: Oscar, a 12-year-old fragile and bullied boy, finds love and revenge through Eli, a beautiful but peculiar girl he befriends, who moves into his building. When Oscar discovers that Eli is a vampire it does not deter his increasing feelings and confused emotions of a young adolescent. When Eli loses the man who protects and provides for her, and as suspicions are mounting from her neighbors and police she must move on to stay alive. However when Oscar faces his darkest hour, Eli returns to defend him the only way she can.
The enduring popularity of the vampire myth rests, in part, on sexual magnetism. In Let the Right One In, Tomas Alfredson's carefully controlled, yet sympathetic take on John Ajvide Lindqvist's Swedish bestseller-turned-screenplay, the protagonists are pre-teens, unlike the fully-formed night crawlers of HBO’s True Blood or Catherine Hardwicke’s Twilight (both also based on popular novels). Instead, 12-year-old Oskar (future heartbreaker Kåre Hedebrant) and Eli (Lina Leandersson) enter into a deadly form of puppy love. The product of divorce, Oskar lives with his harried mother, while his new neighbor resides with a mystery man named Håkan (Per Ragnar), who takes care of her unique dietary needs. From the wintery moment in 1982 that the lonely, towheaded boy spots the strange, dark-haired girl skulking around their outer-Stockholm tenement, he senses a kindred spirit. They bond, innocently enough, over a Rubik's Cube, but little does Oskar realize that Eli has been 12 for a very long time. Meanwhile, at school, bullies torment the pale and morbid student mercilessly. Through his friendship with Eli, Oskar doesn't just learn how to defend himself, but to become a sort of predator himself, begging the question as to whether Eli really exists or whether she represents a manifestation of his pent-up anger and resentment. Naturally, the international success of Lindqvist's fifth feature, like Norway's chilling Insomnia before it, has inspired an American remake, which is sure to boast superior special effects, but can't possibly capture the delicate balance he strikes here between the tender and the terrible.Excerpt from Kathleen C. Fennessy at Amazon located HERE
I was probably less impressed with the Blu-ray image than I was with Hoyte Van Hoytema's wonderful cinematography that captured a Giallo-ish Euro-feel (actually made in Sweden). The frame usage and mis-en-scene produced so many interesting visuals. Technically the Blu-ray had decent moments supporting this style with camera focus drifting in and out of character focus. Pastel colors appeared tight and true and close-ups had some impressive moments. The image transfer produces some depth with no glossiness and contrast was precise. I saw no DNR or other flagrant digital manipulations. The image quality gives a strong presentation, obviously far superior to SD-DVD, and supporter the film's beneficial 'feel' to a very high ideal. I have no evidence to support that the film looked any better theatrically and it seems faithful. Technically it seems competent being single-layered with the feature taking up over 23 Gig. Bitrate is reasonable - being well over 25 Mbps. Outdoor scenes and open spaces tend to look the best but overall the image quality works well with this cool, brooding vampire flic. This Blu-ray image never explodes in unrealistic superficial colors - in fact it has a kind of 70's feel which ingratiates Let the Right One In's essential charm and appeal.
NOTE: It has come to our attention (thanks Josh) that Magnolia has altered the subtitles from those used in theatrical version and their DVD screener copies to an alternate translation. I'm unaware of which, or how much, dialogue was altered.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
The availableDTS-HD Master tracks (original Swedish and an English DUB) at somewhere over 2000 kbps a piece aren't going to blow your windows out. The film has a tension-filled sparseness with an appropriately chilling original score by Johan Söderqvist. There is some minor separations that seem to jump in at key moments. Bottom line - this is not audio demo material but works quite adeptly for this particular film. I watched it a second time with the DUB (which the disc defaults to) and liked it a lot as it felt even more Giallo-like. Nothing was gravely out of place but it added to the charm and nostalgia I was feeling about Let the Right One In. There are English or Spanish optional subtitles. This disc is reported to be region free.
NOTE: Kevin tells us in email" "In case you
haven’t seen this, here’s a link discussing the subtitle changes on “Let
The Right One In”. Apparently they are significant (see
HERE) and according to “The Digital Bits”, Magnolia will be
doing future pressings with the correct subtitles (no exchanges though).
You can read about it in their 3/24 post (see
HERE). - Thanks Kevin!
Nothing worth writing home about - deleted takes and a shortish "Behind the Scenes..." with some appropriate footage and brief discussion. There is a click-thru photo gallery and some neat posters for those interested in viewing.
March 1st, 2009
About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 7500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.
Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who
focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I
find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction. So be
it, but film will always be my first love and I list my
favorites on the old YMdb site now accessible
Sony BDP-S300 1080p Blu-ray Disc Player
Gary W. Tooze