Renowned horror director Wes Craven returns to the scene of the most notorious thrillers of all time in this darkly disturbing reimagining of The Last House on the Left. After kidnapping and ruthlessly assaulting two teen ... more »girls, a sadistic killer and his gang unknowingly find shelter from a storm at the home of one of the victim's parents-- two ordinary people who will go to increasingly gruesome extremes to get revenge. Loaded with shocking twists guaranteed to leave you on edge, it's the ominous film critics call, "One of the best horror remakes ever made" (Scott Weinberg, Fearnet.com).« less
William J. (billystan3) from AUBURN, NY Reviewed on 12/9/2014...
This is very likely the best remake I've seen in a looooong time. It goes beyond the original Wes Craven film and turns it in to a film you'll enjoy especially with the Mrs. or the Mr. on the coach next to you.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Callie K. (ballofglitter) from GRAND ISLAND, NE Reviewed on 8/15/2014...
This movie could've been really great except the added some things that they really didn't need to and it brought the movie down for. Good story line though.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Chad B. (abrnt1) from CABERY, IL Reviewed on 3/10/2011...
This film had me very confused when I first heard about it. How does one remake one of the most extreme rape/revenge flicks from the 70s? Along with I Spit On Your Gave & Thriller: A Cruel Picture Last House is considered to be one of those films that quite a few people find very hard to watch. The original is best known also for being the first film directed by Wes Craven and is a true classic of the horror genre.
The remake doesn't hold up to the original. The problem is the happy ending. By allowing two characters to live who die in the original (the daughter & druggie son), the remake fails to capture the true horror of the situation and seems to be a cop out. The death by microwave sequence is also really lame.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Derek B. from LINDSBORG, KS Reviewed on 2/22/2011...
This movie was kind of out of left field to me. As somebody who never saw the original I was excepting this to be like "The Strangers" with Liv Tyler. This movie was nothing like that though. This movie is very in your face with a lot of horrible imagery. Everything from a girl being stabbed in the stomach to an outright rape. The movie does a great job of building the characters and the acting is solid with the exception of Paige (Martha McIsaac) and Sadie (Riki Lindhome). The thing that actually bothered me the most was the very last scene. The move had a very solid ending and it fades to black only to come back on a microwave and the villain. I'm not here to spoil it to you but it was one of the only useless moments that was only in the movie to pad running time and add gore. Overall this movie is pretty solid and well worth a watch.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Angie M. (McDanielA01) from CONSTANTINE, MI Reviewed on 8/24/2009...
This movies was great. It had me on the edge of my seat during the whole movie. The ending just made me drop my mouth open. It had me so taken, that all I could say was "oh my gosh". Really reconmend this movie.
2 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
James B. (wandersoul73) from LINDALE, TX Reviewed on 7/4/2009...
I really enjoy this bloodbath. Much better than the '72 cult classic!
3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Microwaves pop more than just popcorn
Monkdude | Hampton, Virginia | 06/28/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Wes Craven's The Last House on the Left was released in 1972 and I heard from many people who were old enough to see it when it first came out (like my dad) that it was the most shocking thing anyone had ever seen. To this day the original is still a raw and often disgusting piece of cinema, so being that in 2009 films can push the envelope even more, I didn't know how far this thing would go.
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."
Best re make in years
Nitesh Ghavri | sri lanka | 06/23/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Watched this picture a few days ago and it is simply facinating in the mood it creates.The original was in all fairness brilliant for it's time but a re make for the new generation was long overdue and boy did they get it right.The rape scene is extremely tough to stomach and the gore factor is certainly not easy on the eyes but the revenge driven parents are a joy to watch for fans of this genre.Very satisfying ending.For the few out there who have not seen the original i would reccommend watching this version and please keep an open mind.To summarize...this picture can be extremely disturbing from time to time but the end result makes the ride worthwhile.Keep a special place in your mind for this style of horror/thriller as it won't leave you easily.Definitely one for the books."
In some ways, better than the 72 version.
Tony's reviews | 08/21/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The 72 version was good, but this one was darker, the rape scene was less graphic, the outcome was better-not getting the police involved was a nice touch and the revenge tactics were graphic but not nauseating, strangely enough, I expected somewhat worse, the actors do a nice job, the script is good, but I can't recommend either version to under 18 year olds."
Solid remake, but fails in some areas
Dave. K | Staten Island, Ny | 08/21/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT
**** Out of 5
Release Date- March 13th, 2009
Running Time- 114-Minutes
Screenplay- Adam Alleca & Carl Ellsworth
Director- Dennis Iliadis
Starring- Tony Goldwyn, Monica Potter, Garret Dillahunt, Aaron Paul, Riki Lindhome, Sarah Paxton, Martha MacIsaac, Spencer Treat Clark
In recent years with movies like Hostel and I suppose even the remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre the new wave of exploitation flicks have arrived the biggest difference is now they are major Hollywood releases rather than playing at the Drive-Ins and Grindhouses. For the audiences not really all that familiar with 70s exploitation flicks the newer ones are shocking and disturbing, but those of us who are fans of 70s exploitation flicks the newer ones leave a lot to be desired even if some aren't bad films in their own right. A lot of people don't really understand the appeal of these movies and label the fans as wannabe rapists with mental problems.
I always found that funny since these very same people are a lot of the times fans of slasher flicks and while rape is a truly disgusting and vile act it's not like murder is something small. People who watch these movies have problems, but watching a movie with innocent people brutally killed is ok. I never understood that logic and those who make those comments can never really seem to back them up. And let's not forget back in the 80s when the slasher flick was at the height of its popularity critics were saying these movies were made for people who hate women and wanna see them die. We all know that isn't true and all the things said about people who watch movies like Last House is also not true.
For me the appeal of movies like this are quite simple; the villains aren't people who die and keep coming back and take an amazing amount of punishment. The villains in these movies are real people and we hear about stories like this all the time of people being tortured and killed. Though since it's only a movie it's still a safe scare, but close enough to reality. While I do enjoy the Friday the 13th and Halloween flicks movies like those in general don't scare me; I might find them entertaining, but not really scary, besides the originals to both movies none of the sequels can really happen (and even with the originals you have stretch your belief a bit). While some of the early installments were maybe a little creepy again the idea of a killer who cannot die just doesn't cut it for me where as movies like this are grounded in reality, but still a safe scare.
The original Last House on the Left released in 1972 and marked the directorial debut for Wes Craven has stood the test of time as a shocking and disturbing movie; all these years later you'll be hard pressed to find something as sadistic as Last House on the Left. The power of the original film was due to the film being sloppy and the inexperience of the filmmakers, but all of that together is what made the movie so powerful. From a visual standpoint Last House on the Left was by no means a nice looking movie and it is a little sloppy in terms of filmmaking, but that is what makes the movie so raw and so real.
The remake of Last House on the Left in terms of simply filmmaking is by far the better of the two movies, but that is also what makes it inferior. Last House on the Left 09 is a little too Hollywood stylized and lacks that raw and gritty feel that made the original such a powerful piece of exploitation cinema. Remakes have been around for a long time now, but I guess it was the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake that started the remake craze. Due to the seemingly non-stop slew of horror remakes being released there has now become a major backlash. While as a horror fan I do find it a bit annoying, but I can accept it. I don't understand why so many people are willing to accept sequels, but balk quickly at a remake when in all honestly the idea is the same cash in on the success of whatever movie.
The original Last House on the Left is a tough movie for me to rate; while the movie completes its goal that it sets out to do, it was also very flawed. For me, the comedy aspect with the two cops really brought the movie down. It was just too silly and really felt out of place. We have these really twisted scenes, but than some really silly scenes and for me it just didn't mix well and like I said brought the movie down a bit for me. So when I heard of a remake I was actually quite interested, but seeing as it was a Hollywood release I was also a little nervous and the end result was a mixed bag.
To your average filmgoer I'm sure most will probably be shocked and maybe even offended by the content of the movie, but for those who have seen a lot of what this genre has to offer you might feel that the movie is a bit tame. The Last House on the Left 09 isn't a rehash of the original film. While the basic concept is the same it has enough going for it that it isn't just the same movie with different actors. But of course one cannot help, but compare the two movies. In the original the violence against the two girls are downright shocking and disturbing. While Last House may not be the most disturbing movie ever made for me its one of them though. The mental and psychical torture inflicted on these two innocent girls is very unsettling and in a sense when they die it's sort of a relief. You aren't glad they are dead, but glad that their pain is finally over; there's this saying there is a fate worse than death and I think that very much can be applied to the mental and psychical torture the two women go through in the original Last House.
With Last House 09 it never quite reaches that level of brutality and humiliation that the characters are forced to go through. What happens to the two girls in this one can be a bit unsettling, but it never reaches that downright sadistic nature of the original and is actually a bit tame at times and I feel when making a movie like this you really have to go as far as possible even if pushing the limits of poor taste. Like I said before to your average filmgoer this movie will probably work well and have them feeling shocked, but the rest of us might find it a bit tame.
The screenplay by Adam Alleca & Carl Ellsworth is fairly well written and does attempt to do more with the characters than the original, but at the end of the day the characters here were developed about the same as the original. Mari Collingwood (Sarah Paxton) had a brother who died, but besides a passing mention it seems as nothing more than a filler since nothing really ever comes about with that and Krug (Garret Dillahunt) having a son was an interesting idea, but never really goes anywhere and didn't really have much of an impact on the plot. Alleca & Ellsworth write an interesting script and had some good ideas, but nothing ever really comes about; the screenplay really could have been a lot deeper and powerful, but it just sort of misses the mark. Like I said the script was well written overall, but it could have been a lot more.
Director Dennis Iliadis crafts a well made, but slightly uneven movie; one of the major problems I had was the pacing, which wasn't really bad, but it can be a bit slow at times. I suppose most of these problems could have been fixed with some tighter editing. While Last House never really drags a lot of scenes do feel like filler scenes and some editing here and there might have helped. One thing Dennis Iliadis does very much get right is he keeps his villains just that. I often find the biggest problem with these movies are the villains often are too likeable as weird as that may sound. As much as I liked Zombie's House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil's Rejects the villains were too likeable and I actually found myself rooting for them, which maybe is sometimes the point. But the movies that really work the best is when the villains are just that and have no redeeming qualities and thankfully that is the case with Last House on the Left.
The biggest problem though is while Dennis Iliadis handles the assault on the Mari and Paige well, they did feel a little too tame. When compared to not only the original Last House, but other movies like this it does come across as too tame and not wanting to go too far. While watching the original it made me feel sick at what I was seeing happening to these two girls, and while the violence in Last House 09 did bother me I never got that feeling like I did with the original. The one scene in the original that really stands out for me is when Krug makes one of the girls pee herself; that was just so humiliating and degrading and makes the victims that more sympathetic and the villains even more vile and disgusting. While the villains here are just that, but I never had that hatred for them that I did with those in the original.
The one area where I really think Last House 09 improved on the original and other horror flicks in general is Mari and Paige aren't just victims; these two girls fight like hell every chance they get rather than being simply victims. I always like it more when the victims fight back for their survival rather than given in and just being victims. Mari and Paige weren't the best developed characters, but seeing them fight back every chance they got does add a lot to their characters.
After the attack on the two girls when Krug and his gang end up back at Mari's house I personally felt started to drag a bit. There was some good tension with the build up, but I felt it just went on a little too long and I did find myself losing a bit of interest. But once the parents seek their revenge the scenes are quite brutal and slightly make up for the some what slow pacing. The infamous microwave scene is one of the coolest scenes, but feels really out of place with what came before. It seems better suited for a splatter flick, but despite the silliness of it the scene was still kinda cool.
The performances were mostly solid, but as I mentioned the villains do lack a bit. Garret Dillahunt steps into the role as Krug who was originally played by the Iconic David Hess. Garret Dillahunt gives a terrific performance, but he never gets to be as downright terrible as Hess was in the original. From an acting standpoint Dillahunt is very good and I thought he was excellent as Krug, but he just never got to be as mean and vile. Riki Lindhome steps into the role of Sadie and I really liked her performance. In the original Sadie was played by Jeramie Rain and Sadie may have been the most ruthless of all the villains, but here while she is by no means likeable she isn't as disgusting as the original actress, which like Dillahunt has nothing to do with the actors, but with the writing and directing. Both Dillahunt and Lindhome are solid, but I only wish the actors would have been able to reach that vile level Hess and Rain did.
Tony Goldwyn as John Collingwood is probably the strongest actor in the movie; I've always liked Goldwyn and he's an actor with a lot of range and I haven't seen him in much for quite a while and it was great to see him in such a strong role. Monica Potter as Emma Collingwood is good, but some of her scenes felt a bit forced. Sarah Paxton as the ill fated Mari Collingwood shows a lot of potential; a little more was attempted with her character than in the original, but in the end it really doesn't go anywhere, but Paxton does a fantastic job; while her rape scene wasn't the most brutal it was still unsettling thanks to her acting, which made the scene a little more powerful than maybe it should have.
The Last House on the Left was one of the better of the recent slew of remakes, but it just never reaches that truly shocking and vile nature of the original and that for me was the biggest flaw. It was a little too Hollywood stylized, but it still works well. I'm sure this movie will meet its goal with the more mainstream audience, but the rest of us might feel as if the makers held back, but in the end the movie works well, but again could have been a lot more.
The Blu-ray release was pathetic! The picture quality is excellent however and the sound was alright, but the extra features were pathetic! There are some deleted scenes in SD and despite the box listing a behind the scenes feature it's actually just the full length trailer inter-cut with brief interviews with producers Wes Craven and Sean Cunningham and director Dennis Iliadis. The only reason to buy the Blu-ray is for the excellent transfers, but if you are looking for features look elsewhere. Just a pathetic release from Universal."
Good Remake of the SCUZZBALL Classic!
Woopak | Where Dark Asian Knights Dwell | 08/20/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Perhaps I should have re-watched the original "The Last House on the Left" before I saw this re-imagining of the violently, brutal horror classic, but I think I can remember enough to write a balanced review. The original had that unrelenting graphically violent nature that is rooted around the premise of the lost of innocence, that left its mark 37 or so years ago. Wes Craven was still trying to find his style during the time, and now, he has been trying to revamp his past brainchild such as "The Hills Have Eyes" and even has a remake of "A Nightmare on Elm Street" in the works. This remake, while not as exploitive and stomach-turning as the original, is a decent entry in the books of horror.
Reeling from the death of their son, Ben, the Collingwoods made up of John (Tony Goldwyn), Emma (Monica Potter), and swimmer daughter Mari (Sara Paxton) decide to go up to their lake house for a little renewal and "family bonding". 17-year old daughter Mari, however, has her different idea of fun as she hooks up with her friend Paige (Martha MacIsaac) that ends up with the two meeting up with a young man named Justin (Spencer Treat Clark) in a small motel. It turns out Justin is the son of a recently escaped convict named Krug (Garret Dillahunt), who along with his wicked girlfriend Sadie (Riki Lindhome), and Francis (Aaron Paul) plan to get out of dodge as soon as possible. Things turn for the worst as Mari and Paige is taken hostage and something truly horrific happens. Later on, Krug and his crew find themselves stranded and they seek refuge in the last house on the left...the very house owned by Mari's parents.
Directed by Dennis Iliadis, this re-imagining captures the main premise of the 70's original with some small and some major differences in the screenplay. While the original was utterly violent and exploitive; it was a fine product of the times unleashed to an unprepared audience much like "I Spit on Your Grave" which gave it an image/title of "exploitation classic", this new remake does try to give certain more fleshed out aspects; such as morality and vengeance, as well as a cautionary tale for teenagers. I find bloody vengeance films a lot of fun to watch, and "The Last House on the Left" is all about set ups, as we see destiny plays its hand in order to mess with both our good guys and bad guys.
While the original was quick and painful, this remake decides to take its time. The film tries to transcend the usual horror clichés, overload of special effects and torture sequences in favor of subtle characterization and careful composition in its storytelling. The raw intensity of the original is lost, and what we see in its place is some subtle tricks in its photography that meanders and dwells on some emotion as we become privy to Mari's ordeal. Director Iliadis tries to lean towards artistry in place of raw brutality--don't get me wrong, the film is pretty brutal, it just follows a different approach. This remake is also less sadistic than the original, but it does definitely generate more sympathy through characterization rather than through its horrific scenes with grand displays of anger and rage. The brutality represented in the original was pure unrelenting violence that displays humanity's sadistic side; it may prove a bit surreal that may distance some viewers from its emotions. The rape scene in the film is as disturbing and savage as in the original with no touches of crude humor. (No inept cops)
What is also interesting is the fact that Krug and his crew are brutal but they are brutal when provoked; it feels like they were just doing the brutal deeds out of necessity of the situation. When Mari and Paige tried to escape, their reaction is violent, and without regret. I'm still certain that the two would still be killed after all is said and done; but the script does try to bring some questions as to what would have happened if they just cooperated? However, the direction and screenplay gives no room to feel some sympathy towards Krug and his crew; they are vile, evil and despicable. They really deserved what is coming for them, which allows for the viewer to root for John and Emma all the way. The only one worthy of sympathy would be our mislead character Justin, and not entirely by much. The antagonists this time around are no mere caricatures and they feel a little more real. Krug is presented as a lethal, calculating bad guy who may have just left the Collingwoods after a night's rest, despite the temptations of their baser killer instincts but then again, you`d never know since Francis is somewhat taken by pretty Emma.
Purists are bound to be a little upset as even the trailers have shown Mari surviving the rape and while I do somewhat agree with their complaints, Mari's death proved to be the major catalyst for the parents' lust for brutal revenge, this time around the script tries to incorporate a different reason for Emma and John to take the offensive. They have to fight for their barely alive daughter's survival, so they have the added motivation to lay waste upon Krug and his crew of despicable characters. Clues as to how they discover that they were the offenders that attacked their daughter are also handled well. I also enjoyed the scenes when the killing becomes easier for Emma and John after their first kill--all they became concerned about is getting their daughter to safety and woe unto anyone who would stand on their way.
Now this remake isn't perfect. I did not like the last scene in the film's end. I thought it was a little tasteless and pointless left as a cheap device to satisfy lovers of blood and gore. That microwave bit just didn't match the tone of the rest of the film. Also, some scenes may leave some viewers scratching their heads, that some scenes felt too convenient. (I found it a bit hard to believe that Krug's crew didn't leave a `sentry') This unrated edition of "Last House on the Left" is 4 minutes longer. I read that the rape scene is longer, no so much as more violent but the camera lingers more to generate the effects of Mari`s attack, which proved more unnerving than the theatrical release. There are some extended scenes of shattered necks and stabbing to satisfy fans.
More methodical with characterization and a bit more `artsy', this remake stands as one of the best horror remakes of an American film. Rampaging parents in the quest for revenge who become cold-hearted killers is pure fun, and it sure helps when the victims are ugly, unsympathetic bad guys. Iliadis took the film's main premise and made it his own. No, it isn't better than the original, but it's almost like Rocky Road and Chocolate Brownie ice cream--both chocolate, but different flavor. It is a different film that can stand on its own.