Bier Magazine
Home » movies

Last House on the Left

Submitted by on March 23, 2009 – 8:46 AMNo Comment
Bookmark and Share

last_house_on_the_leftRating: C –

The Last House on the Left was considered one of the most controversial horror films of our time. Wes Craven’s tale of four convicts on the run who encounter two teenage girls, savagely rape and murder them in the woods, and unexpectedly seek shelter at one of their home’s still sends chills down audience’s spines. Almost 40 years later, the notorious drive-in feature gets the revamped treatment and manages to leave a more gaudy taste than the original did.

After a murderous escape from the authorities, the homicidal Krug (Garrett Dillahunt), alongside his demented siblings, are on the run from the law. On the other end, we have another wholesome family on their vacation at their lake house—Doctor John Collingwood (Tony Goldwyn), his wife Emma (Monica Potter) and daughter Mari (Sara Paxton). Daddy’s little princess joins her friends Paige (Martha MacIsaac) and Justin (Spencer Treat Clark) and head to the local motel to feed their marijuana needs.

The girls soon find themselves crossing paths with Krug and company, who Justin has an affiliation with. After making an escape from the hotel room and being captured in the woods, Paige is murdered, while Mari is raped and left for dead in a river. With a deadly storm approaching, the foursome find shelter at the least likely of residences: The Collingwoods lake house. John provides medically treatment for his guests, but shockingly discovers his wounded daughter outside near the porch.  Once putting the pieces of the puzzle together, the Collingwoods turn the tables on their guests and are out for blood.

The Last House on the Left is nearly identical to the original, but with minor tweaks. With the remake treatment comes a more recognizable cast and stronger performances. Double the kills and more gore this come around provide the necessary thrills that the original was missing. But as the film expands on what the original lacked, it ditches other concepts that made Craven’s version more memorable.

While the remake is still an unnerving film, it’s nowhere as disturbing as the original. The more graphic material (ala rape scene) has been dumb down for today’s audience and the gritty cinematography of director Dennis Illiadis is nowhere near Craven’s vision. Once past the first 20 minutes of the film, the predictable plot twists emerge and the bland script begin to take its tool on your attention span.

At best, The Last House on the Left is a mediocre horror movie. The remake treatment has proven to fall short on numerous occasions and is just added fuel to the fire. Hey, if you’ve seen one then you’ve seen them all.