The Last House on the Left [Blu-ray]
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The legendarily scuzzy 1972 shocker Last House on the Left gets all dressed up in this slick remake, which retro-fits the original storyline to an isolated lakeside cabin. This time out, unsuspecting teen Mari (Sara Paxton) makes the crucial mistake of going to buy some weed at a rundown motel room with a stranger (Spencer Treat Clark). It must have sounded like a good idea at the time. Soon Mari and her pal (Martha MacIsaac) are confronted by the stranger's diseased posse, and the real trouble begins. The set-up of the 1972 picture, which director Wes Craven borrowed from Ingmar Bergman's The Virgin Spring, is a blunt exercise in brutality followed by revenge, the twist being that the revenge is as savage as the initial transgression. This structure remains in the remake, although a few key plot points are changed, with little improvement. Monica Potter and Tony Goldwyn play Mari's parents, who at some point will be called upon to put aside their merlot and their civilized constraints and get to it; Garret Dillahunt, coming off his strong work in Deadwood and No Country for Old Men, is far too qualified to be playing the stock role of the creep-in-chief. There is something distinctly strange about watching a film that took much of its original power from its cheapness, an outlaw energy that is completely lost in this dressed-up, professionally made remake. Here the scenes of rape and murder are presented not as pulpy shouts from the subculture but as necessary ingredients in a respectable machinery, which somehow makes them more dispiriting and unpleasant to watch. That this film is a technical advance on the original film on every level--acting, writing, photography--does not make it a better film. --Robert Horton
Top Customer Reviews
It's shocking, brutal and gross, but it didn't just go the buckets of blood route. Yes, there is some gore, but compared to films like Hostel and SAW this is quite tame. What does get under your skin is the rape scene. I read that some people witnessed others leave the theater at this point and they never came back. I guess they didn't see the original or read up on what they paid to see before plopping in their seat. It shows little skin compared to the 1972 version, but it's a long scene that is painful to watch.
The cast is quite good, though most are actors whose names you won't know. The father, played by Tony Goldwyn, and the leader of the killers, played by Garrett Dillahunt were the standouts.
For a film as gritty as this one, the cinematography is polished and takes away a little bit of the raw power that the original had. I actually don't think Wes Craven's 1972 flick holds up well today and thought this remake was better.
Make sure you are in the right frame of mind before seeing this one. By that I mean, don't watch The Last House on the Left and expect to be in a good mood when you leave. While it's a pleasure to see the parents take out the villains one by one to avenge their daughter, you will leave the theater looking for the bright sun to make you feel clean again. Too bad it was raining when I got out. Don't worry, I think I'll be okay.
The storyline is every parent's worse nightmare. A teenager, Mari Collingwood, goes with her parents to their rural country house. She takes the family car to meet a friend in town. Unbeknownst to them, an escaped killer named Krug is on the loose with his rescuers. Mari and her friend hook up with a creepy but cute guy with whom they end up smoking weed with in his motel room. Then his father, his crazy girl-friend, and his uncle show up, and all hell breaks loose. They are none other than the escaped killer and his rescuers. Clearly, they are not going to let these two girls walk away. What happens next will chill the viewer.
This gritty and raw film has excellent production values, good cinematography, and the cast is a definite an improvement over that in the original. The controversial rape scene is brutal but probably mirrors the reality of such a crime, and the reality of it ain't pretty. Garret Dillahunt is definitely a standout as the ruthless escaped killer.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This movie is not another stupid B movie that wants to please male fantasy.
It has no graphic nudity or rape nudity scene.
It is a really well made thriller. Read more
This has to be one of the greatest movies made. I know it is a remake and back then all the scenes that were shown were considered taboo. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Ruth Hohstrasser
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