Jorge S. (jorgito2001) from WESLEY CHAPEL, FL Reviewed on 10/7/2009...
I can best describe this movie as Last House on the Left meets Texas Chainsaw Massacre! The 70s "grindhouse" vibe is VERY evident complete with lots of reaction "zooms" those movies were notorious for! Lots of gruesome kills, so don't eat while watching this one! This movie has a little something for everyone...even has its "sentimental" scenes. Highly recommended for fans of the no-holds-barred, gritty 70s style horror!
3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
The Last House in the Woods.
David Alan Richards | 03/02/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Basically a somewhat serious, psychological story of an insane family of murderer-cannibals and a number of their victims. Sometimes, ridiculously over-dramatic, but it has staying power. I'm upset!
I hear the english dubbing isn't so great, but I watched it today in italian, (with subtitles), so I wouldn't know. The Ghosthouse Underground DVD gives you a choice.
Not the most mature work in the world, but very sick and unusual. Also, considerably more depressing then most of the gaillos and 70's horror movies that the filmmakers say inspired it. Silly in a sense, but it really goes all out. Kind of a combination of a junk horror movie and what a particularly, emotional Tennessee Williams play might seem like on drugs.
Not without merit. Also, not a good movie for little kids."
Italian retro splatter: Delizioso!
JJ LoveBeast | The House Beside the Last House on the Edge of Dea | 01/19/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A would-be safe-haven becomes a gore-soaked nightmare in this deliriously nasty and incredibly fun throwback to the glory days of bloody Italian slashers. Chainsaw dismemberment, cannibal kids, exploding boils, slashings, disembowelments and more!"
Echoing The Eurohorror Boom...
David Zuzelo | Dedham, MA | 10/30/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"If you want to get me excited, drop the name Sergio Stivaletti into a conversation. I know his special effects are not always perfect, but he believes in getting his hands VERY dirty and his physical effects always satisfy my lust for Eurohorror thrills. So, I was shocked to see the recent Ghost House Underground DVD, The Last House In The Woods, includes his name as not only effects man but also as a producer. I needed to see it...just as soon as someone returned the sole copy at the rental shop. I lucked out and grabbed this up, and I can say that it certainly does warrant a rent from any Italian horror fanatic. A classic? No. A splatterfest? At times... A throwback to the glory years? A bit.
Il Bosco fuori (The Forest Outside) starts off in classic euroTRASH fashion as a family gets trapped on a lonely road, only to end up getting smashed (literally) and pummelled to death. Dad and mum go down in front of their son...but what happens to the little boy that sees the Giallo Killer? It ain't pretty...
After the engaging start, things meander as we meet our protaganists, Aurora and Rino. She is pretty and likes to draw with crayons while Rino gives her the what for. Sure. Rino however...well, he comes off as a fairly pathetic loser that can't get his head around the inevitable break up. The pair go off on a lonely road to talk and have more senseless, and off screen, sex.
Of course, while crayon gal and Mr. Please Take Me Back are chatting we meet three idjits that tripped over a few decades and fell out of Demons. They are just looking for some action and find our emotionally conflicted friends. They try to rape the girl, but are stopped as a passing motorist threatens to kill them. The motorists seem so nice...they offer to help the pair out. Rino got a beating and needs a little rest.
A shame that their house is way out in the woods. And their son is wearing the kid dentures from Phenomena!! Oh, and the pair are ooky...really ooky. AND...they keep some deformed dudes with chainsaws on the property.
Now, we could go on with the plot, but once you get to the chainsaws I'm both sold and happy. Director Gabriele Albanesi has his heart in the right place and his blood bib firmly secured so that Stivaletti gets to work plenty of his particular magic. The gore flows as chainsaw dismemberments, gunshots and stiff beatings are passed around. And this is all good, just the Stivaletti contributions make the film worth watching. However, and perhaps this is a throwback to a large portion of 80's eurohorror, the pacing is way off. It is really slow (instead of suspenseful) for a good stretch. But all is forgiven by the end of the 88 minutes.
Made with very little funds, you can obviously see everyone putting an extra effort in to making it a worthwhile film. It is weird that most reviews of this film I've stumbled across relate this to a Giallo. It is in no way like a giallo. This is straight up Eurotrash, more a hybrid Texas Chainsaw Massacre by way of Andrea Bianchi would be more suitable. Maybe that sounds like a backhanded compliment, but that is high praise from me. So, I can't complain.
Well, I can complain about one thing. I can't believe this was released, but THE TORTURER, directed by Lamberto Bava and even gorier than this film, is just sitting on a shelf (and Russian dvd). Somebody point Tapert and Ghost House that way please!
I did learn a lesson about the place of music in Italian horror. I can overlook many many small problems with a movie. I can overlook many big ones, such as the dubbing on the film. But MUSIC is a key ingredient. Dario Argento's horror films would not have been as good without Goblin in my mind. No way, no how, would a classical horror score helped Suspiria become the eurohorror classic it is. Even in the often maligned 80s I can name several composers that I will happily buy up on CD. Carlo Maria Cordio, Al Festa (yes, Fatal Frames guy) and Stefano Mainetti are always in my musical playlists. So, can Filippo Barbieri and Federico Bruno pull this part of the equation off? Sort of. I loved this score-I want it on CD. Fantastic in some parts and eerie in others-it is almost a trance version of a deranged 80s horror soundtrack. However, it fails the film. The movie isn't spooky...ever. It is over the top and when you place this music beside the visuals it detracts from the intensity of the images. A shame, because the two elements stand apart very well-but don't come together for me.
So...go rent it. Enjoy seeing Sergio Stivaletti bring the pain as he usually does and take it as a tribute to an era that has perhaps gone by. I don't think I'll be going back for more, but as a one shot viewing, this is an entertaining chainsaw throwdown."
It is not the house or the forest that is going to get you,
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 10/29/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)
"When I got "The Last House in the Woods" in the mail it turned out the description on the sleeve was not for this Ghost House Underground movie but for a different one, namely "Room 205." Since that one is about a college student moving into a haunted door room and this one has parents driving with their young boy out in the country, it was easy to tell this was not that movie. After watching "The Last House in the Woods" I was wishing this had been the other movie, because despite my limited knowledge of the laws of probability I have to believe it is way better than this one, which currently has the distinction of being the worse of the six GHU films I have checked out on DVD so far this month.
Rino (Daniele Grassetti) has broken up with Aurora (Daniela Virgilio), but as he tries to get back on her good side the unlucky couple are attacked by a trio of thugs. The good news is that the parents with their son come along, rescue the couple, and take them back to their house. But since this is clearly the last house in the woods, this is really bad news. Ultimately, what I am remind of are some of the exploitation films from the 1960s I have seen, like "Wizard Of Gore," in that "The Last House in the Woods" is trying to provide a similar level of blood and gore. The problem is that we are almost a half-century past that approach, so I have to wonder what is the point? If you have never seen a good old fashioned exploitation film with buckets of blood, then this one will get you back up to speed. But at least exploitation films were always trying to come up with some distractions, no matter how weird or inane, to justify all the blood and gore. This one just has a single-minded "kill, baby, kill" mentality that is so rudimentary it is ultimately boring.
Written and directed by Gabriele Albanesi, this film's original title in Italian is "Il Bosco fuori," which translates as "The Forest Outside" and makes no sense as the title of this particular horror film since almost all of the horror takes place in, well the last house in the woods and not outside in the forest. The PAL version of this movie actually calls it "Italian Chainsaw" and that is ultimately as good a two word encapsulation of this 2006 film as you can have, and as soon as that is said I have to assume that everybody has seen better chainsaw movies, whether we are talking an original or a remake. Yes, it is probably absurd to accuse a chainsaw movie of being inelegant, but even bad artistic pretensions are better than none.
In terms of DVD extras, the cupboard is not completely sparse here. Albanesi provides a commentary track along with his short film "L'Armadio" ("The Closet"), where how the little kid acts after the "punch line" is revealed does not jive with his actions prior to that point. You also have a backstage featurette and the trailer (the trailers for all of the other seven Ghost House Underground films are at the start of the DVD, and it is more interesting to go back and look at them after you have seen the movies to judge how well (or not) they set up these films (at which point you will learn that what they thought would be the hook for this one was something other than "chainsaw")."