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The Last House On The Left (DVD)

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Genre: Horror / To Be Announced / Features of the DVD: PAL

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      09.11.2010 15:30
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      A worth-while watch with a decent plot & atmosphere, though it could have been more thrilling

      I watched this recently after seeing some positive reviews for it on Amazon. As a big horror/thriller fan, I was looking forward to this but didn't have too high hopes for it. I'm glad I watched it though because it was better than I had expected; atmospheric, brutal and yet down-to-earth to make it gripping.

      This film is based on the 1972 Wes Craven movie, which I haven't seen so unfortunately can't comment on the differences between the two. Last House On The Left is loosely based around the dark, unhinged motives of a group of adults who seek their thrills from acts of depravity. We're quickly introduced to the Collinwood family, consisting of a John (a doctor) and Monica, and their teenage daughter Mari. The family are off to their holiday home in a secluded area of a town near the river, which is, as per the title, the last house on the left.

      Mari takes her parents car to meet her friend in town, and they bump into Justin; forming an awkward relationship with this seemingly timid boy, they go back to the hotel room his family are staying in whilst they're away to smoke pot (as you do). However, the scene of teenage fun soon comes to an abrupt halt as Justin's father and co return.

      What happens next is brutal and mindboggling as to how anyone can commit such acts against another human being. After Mari's friend is viciously attacked, Mari herself is subjected to rape and makes attempts to flee. Leaving Mari for dead, the gang of killers have no car and the bad weather means they take to the nearest house to seek refuge. By this time, much action has occurred, escape attempts have resulted in blood and pain and yet none of the gore throughout the film felt as if it was just thrown in; each action and event has a purpose and works well to build atmosphere. As much as a coincidence as it is, the group then arrive at Mari's family holiday home, and her parents unknowingly help the killers of their daughter.

      I wont give too much away, but the film unravels the evil that can lurk behind the seemingly 'normal' surface, and the lengths a parent will go to fight for their child.

      Some of the names include Tony Goldwyn as John Collingwood and Monica Potter as his wife Emma, with Sara Paxton playing daughter Mari. The gang of psychopathic sadists included a creepy couple (Krug & Sadie), another man (Francis) and the creepy couple's teenage son (Justin). Cast names include Garret Dillahunt, Aaron Paul, Michael Bower... I hadn't really heard of any of the cast before, but they all played their characters really well, being believable and easy to watch.

      The downsides for me were mostly practical ones; the sense that some of the incidents were very unlikely to happen and thus the degree of believability and atmosphere was comprimised. It could have been more thrilling, too, because whilst it was well directed, I still wanted more edge-of-your-seat tension and goosebumps (I don't think I've had those from a 'scary' film since I was a kid watching The Exorcist, but I can live in hopes that a really chilling horror will be made eventually!). It also didn't go into the psychology of why people did what they did, which was a shame in my opinion.

      Overall, I thought the film had a good mix of story, psychological thrill and gore to make it at atmospheric and gripping film (even though it could have been more so), so I would recommend.

      2009, rated certificate 18 for scenes of sexual and physical violence. 106 minutes, RRP £19.99 but selling on Amazon (extended version) for £4.49.

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      06.09.2010 21:05
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      An ok film but not worth investing.

      My husband has a habit of putting scary films or slasher films onto our lovefilm rental list but then spending most of his time watching it through half open eyes or through his hands and whimpering, me? I like nothing more than a creepy film and thrive on watching them!

      The Last House on the Left is a remake of the 1972 film by Wes Craven, the same man who brought us Nightmare on Elm Street all those years ago. As an early Freddie Krueger fan I was excited about this film and when it landed through our letterbox I couldn't wait to watch it.

      The film begins with a cop car containing a prisoner and 2 cops transporting him to a high security prison. The car comes to a stop at a level crossing and as the train crosses a large RV rams into the cop car causing them all to shunt forward and seriously injuring the two cops at the front of the car. The prisoner himself is safe and we soon realise that this is a plot to release him.

      The film then skips to a family the Collingwoods, mother Emma, father John and their daughter Mari who are having a break at their lake house. The family seem to have recently overcome a trauma and a break at the Lake house seems to be what they all need. As they arrive at the Lake House Mari asks to stay in the guesthouse, leaving her parents in the main house. Emma is planning a nice meal for the three of them that evening but Mari is desperate to visit her friend Paige who works in the local store and asks her mother if she can take the car to go and visit Paige, her mum is not too keen as she wants them to have a family meal but John, her father convinces Emma to let her go.

      Whilst catching up with Paige at the store, Paige and Mari meet Justin a young boy shopping for some basics in the store, he asks for some cigarettes but when Paige asks for ID and he is unable to provide any he offers her a switch, some marijuana which he has back at his motel and the girls agree to give him a lift back there and do the switch.

      Whilst at the motel the girls relax and begin to enjoy Justin's company, he seems a quiet, withdrawn boy and is glad of a bit of friendly company. The girls attempt to give him a bit of a makeover when Justin's family arrive back early, his father, uncle and father's girlfriend arrive back early and the trouble really begins as we withness some serious slashing, a distressing rape scene and pure angst of wondering what will happen next.

      The parents play a huge role in the film and its only halfway through the film that we discover Mari is pretty clever in trying to come up with 2 ways to escape and despite suffering a pretty aggresive rape scene the pure determination of her has you wanting her to make it through the film.

      The film itself was a bit of a disappointment as it was described as being a horror there really was not all that much "horror" action in it. I found the rape scene very distressing although it was not too graphic it went on a little bit too long and some of the gory scenes really were gory and left you flinching as you watched the scenes unravel in front of your eyes.

      The only recognisable star in the film in my opinion was the actor playing John Collingwood as he starred in Ghost as Carl.

      The perfomances of the parents were really heartfelt and not at all false and the terror on the Mari and Paige's faces during their kidnap was very realistic.

      The story was a little suprising and I did think that it would be more of a haunting horror than a slashing horror but all the same it was worth the watch.

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      07.06.2010 14:32
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      Recommend to watch if your a fan of the genre

      Originally released in 1972 by director Wes Craven. At the time it was shocking and disturbing so was it wise to make a remake of a film thats already in the history books?

      In 2009 director Dennis Lliadis released the remake. I was very skeptical about this film, after seeing the first one i didn't think he would be able to capture the same kind of fear that Wes Craven managed to do all those years ago. However, I was wrong...and here is why!

      *PLOT*
      A criminal, Krug, is on his way to prison when a truck crashes into the police car. We find out that it is his 'family' that are saving him, but he had planned it all beforehand. From the beginning, we can see that the character has no feelings and this to me is a scary thought in itself.

      Meanwhile, a family are on there way to stay in there summer home, in the middle of nowhere. Once they are settled the daughter, Mari 17, asks to go into town to see her best friend Paige. The mother is reluctant to do so but her father lets her. Its her car that they drove up there in so he decided that he couldn't really stop her.

      We then join Paige and Mari in the shop where paige works. When Krug's son comes in to buy cigarettes he says that he has some weed at his place and they could head out there and have a mini party. The girls agree and they begin to get 'high' in his motel room. After the early arrival of his father, things begin to get disturbing. The 'family' all take part in the mental torture and physical rape of the girls. The son just stands by and watches in horror.

      When there car crashes they take refuge at Mari's parents house. The son realises who these people are and begins to feel really guilty. So, he leaves Mari's necklace on the counter. When everyone is settled into the guest house, the parents hear a knock on the door. They find there daughter almost dead on the porch. Soon the parents piece together everything that happens. Violence ensues, in the name of justice and revenge. If bad people hurt someone you love, how far would you go to hurt them back?

      *WHAT TO EXPECT*
      Sadly, in this day and age, we aren't shocked by things anymore. We have developed a type of immunity to it...In response to this films just get bloodier and gorier all in the attempt to hit is with the shock factor. In my opinion this film tries to do this and for me it succeeded.

      I didn't think it would be as graphic as it was and the violence that ensues afterwards is rather gruesome. It was a surprise that I actually thought that this was a very good remake and would recommend it to anyone with a strong stomach.

      Also expect quite a bit of swearing...though if you are watching this i reckon it is the least of your problems. It isn't as much a scary film but more psychologically messes with your mind. When the film is finished you find that you are debating with yourself, what would I have done in there situation? Are they just as bad? and for this reason alone it is a brilliant film.

      *CHARACTERS/ACTING*

      Tony Goldwyn - John Collingwood
      Monica Potter - Emma Collingwood
      Garret Dillahunt - Krug
      Aaron Paul - Francis
      Spencer Treat Clark - Justin
      Riki Lindhome - Sadie
      Martha MacIsaac - Paige
      Sara Paxton - Mari Collingwood

      I was pleasantly surprised by the standard of acting in this film. I was doubtful that Sara Paxton could evoke the right emotions and be convincing. However, she managed it perfectly and was very convincing indeed. Monica Potter stole the show with her great performance as the protective, a little bit hysterical (with all reason to be) mother. Garret Dillahunt, as the main antagonist in this film was very believable. I hated him from the beginning and genuinely believed he was as evil as who he was portraying

      The rest of the acting was of a good standard and really helped to keep this film from going under.

      *FILM INFORMATION*
      Cerificate 18 - sadistic brutal violence including a rape and disturbing images, language, nudity and some drug use
      Run Time - 110 minutes
      Director - Dennis Lliadis
      Release Date - 12 June 2009
      IMDB rating - 6.7 out of 10 (20457 votes)...To me this should be higher.

      *IS IT FOR YOU*
      If you like the original then i suggest you watch this. You will not be disappointed! Also if you have a strong enough stomach i would recommend to anyone...However, some things are very sickening and so i will say, be prepared for the worst.

      Overall a great surprise for me, a great remake and fantastic acting makes this a one to watch!

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        31.05.2010 09:08
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        See review

        Yesterday we watched the film Last House on the Left on Sky Plus so this review is about the film and not the dvd itself,

        The story is about a family who go away to their country house and when they find their daughter has been attacked they set about revenge.

        The film seemed to be quite promising at the start and I was enjoying the story, it was exciting and scary at the same time, you knew what was going to happen by the subject matter they give you about the film when you read it but you didn't know how it was going to happen or where. I enjoyed it up the bit where the girls family started their revenge then it all went a bit stab fest with lots of blood spattered everywhere as if it was just trying to shock you with how gory they could make the film.

        The story had taken so long to get to this part of the film that it felt like they had run out of time and were rushing the ending to fit it in, I thought it could have been done a whole lot better and kept it with the suspense a bit more as it wasn't scary at all and there were plenty of moments where they could have made it more scary and less blood. Especially the relationship between the young lad in the baddies gang and the girl who got attacked, you were led to believe that something was going to happen with this that went towards the ending but it didn't really materialise and I was a bit disappointed.

        The main characters in the film and the actors who played them were

        Tony Goldwin as John Collingwood
        Monica Potter as Emma Collingwood
        Sara Paxton as Mari Collingwood
        Garret Dillahunt as Krug
        Aaron Paul as Francis
        Spencer Treat Clark as Justin
        Riki Lindhome as Sadie
        Michael Bowen as Morton
        Joshua Cox as Giles

        The film was rated an 18 in the UK and it lasted for 110 minutes. The director was Dennis Iliadis.

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        16.03.2010 18:05
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        A decent remake of an infamous 1970's nasty...

        The Last House on the Left is a 2009 Horror film which is a remake of the classic 1972 film of the same name. Produced by Wes Craven and Sean Cunningham with a UK certificate rating of 18 this is my film only review of this title.

        Plot

        Mari and her parents are spending their summer vacation at their holiday home situated next to a lake. Deciding to catch up with an old friend Mari takes the car and heads off to town where she meets up with Sadie who is working in a convenience store. When a young guy comes into the store asking to buy some cigarettes Sadie offers to make a deal with him; she will sell him cigarettes in exchange for some weed and he agrees taking both Mari and Sadie back to the cheap motel he is staying at with his father, uncle and his dads girlfriend.

        Staying longer then they anticipated and whilst fooling around their fun is interrupted by the return of the young guys family. What Mari and Sadie don't know, but will soon find out is that the father - Krug is a violent murderer who is on the run. Sadie and Mari soon find themselves plunged into a nightmare where events take a nasty turn, however what goes around comes around and Krug and the others will find out what awaits them when they stumble across 'The Last House on the Left'...

        Opinion

        When it was announced that Wes Cravens infamous 1970's horror was to be remade I can't say I was waiting in anticipation for its arrival. The original version of the film was one that I had to wait years to see as the DVD was banned in the UK and classed as a 'video nasty', and, when I finally did get a chance to watch it I understood why. It *was* a nasty, exploitation horror film that was gritty and relentless in its content, the killings were brutal and the revenge section at the end was extreme. Assuming that a 2009 remake wouldn't be able to live up to the original or be as brutal or shocking I purposely avoided the film until I finally relented and bought a copy from HMV when it was reduced in their January sale.

        Even though I bought the film back in January I only got round to watching it last night as I was still not all that bothered about seeing it. However I did and I have to say it wasn't that bad and it actually ended up exceeding my expectations much to my surprise.

        In some ways this version was actually better than the original with the plot moving on a lot quicker than the 1972 version, we are introduced to Krug and the others a lot sooner and Mari and Sadie are put in jeopardy a lot earlier on in this film than the other. There are obvious similarities between the two films, it is a remake after all, but this version did feel different and whilst it wasn't as brutal as the original it still was extremely nasty.

        Without revealing too many spoilers I do think I should point out that there is an extended rape scene in the film which is harrowing to watch. It did need to be in the film to demonstrate just how evil Krug actually was but saying that it does make for uncomfortable viewing and was in a lot of ways far nastier than any bloodshed that followed. If you can stomach such scenes then the rest of the film is worth following as the bad guys do get their 'comeuppance' much to the satisfaction of those viewing the film.

        In comparison between the two the violence in this film is a lot tamer and more toned down, key scenes from the original are ommited (Krug does not carve his name into one of the victims stomachs for example) and there is a fundamental change which I wont mention as it is a spoiler. Filming sexual violence is always going to be controversial and rather than reshoot an exact copy of the original which caused a massive outcry which saw it banned in the UK this time the film is not as exploitative as the other. It is a horror film though with an 18 certificate so do expect plenty of blood and inventive kills at the end which should satisfy gorehounds and fans of the genre.

        All the actors are competent enough in their roles with no real standout performaces overall and for the most part the film is just another horror film that fits nicely amongst the countless others. It rides on the coat-tails of the original and for me was an uneccessary remake even though it *was* good. Those who have not seen the original may view it differently of course as there are not that many 'revenge' films to compare it to, so new fans of the horror genre may rate this higher than me.

        Apart from the rape scene that I have already mentioned the only other part I wasn't that keen on was the very end of the film that seemed to have been tagged on. If you have seen the film yourself you will know the scene that I am referring to, as well as feeling tagged on it just defied logic even though a brief explanation was mentioned earlier in the film. That part spoilt the ending for me and what had been a quite enjoyable film was ruined slightly at that point, so for that reason I will be deducting a star off my overall rating.

        In conclusion then I would recommend the film to any Horror fan, do heed my warning over the rape scene if you find those sequences harrowing to watch (I fastforwarded it as it was too much, even for me) You will probably enjoy it more if you haven't seen the original, although if you have the story change in this does benefit the plot. It wasn't the worst remake I have ever seen (hello, Rob Zombie's 'Halloween') and I did enjoy this one apart from the very end scene.

        A good 3\5 dooyoo star rating from me, it would have been 4 but I have marked it down as mentioned above. Available for around £6.00 online which for that price is a small invetment for what was a decent horror film.

        Thanks for reading my review!

        n.b my headline, for those who don't know is a reference to the promotional blurb that surrounded the 1972 film, its tag line mentioned that filmgoers at that time were so shocked at the film that to prevent them from fainting they were advised to repeat "it's only a movie, it's only a movie" to themselves...

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          05.03.2010 01:05
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          Great movie you've got to watch it.

          Introduction:

          2009 revenge/thriller directed by Dennis lliands and written by Carl Ellsworth and Adam Alleca and Wes Craven as a co producer, it is a remake of the Wes Craven's 1972 film of the same name. The film is starring Tony Goldwyn, Monica Potter, Garret Dillahunt, and Sara Paxton.

          Plot:

          Two teenage girls, Mari (Sarah Paxton) and Paige (Martha Macisaac) are eagerly looking forward to their big night out. They meet cute scruffy boy Justin (Spencer Treat Clark) who offer them weed so they accompany him to a motel room. Their fun is cut short by Justin's father, Krug (Garret Dillahunt), along with his fathers girlfriend Sadie (Riki Lindhome) and brother Francis (Aaron Paul), these are dangerous people who killed two detectives when helping Krug escape from custody. The girls enter into a nightmare that results in murder and rape and eventually the ultimate revenge.

          My Opinion:

          I never watched Wes Cravens original or new anything about the movie or this remake but simply just assumed from the title that it had to be a horror. It is funny how when you watch a movie and you haven't heard any positive or negative hype it allows you to better form your opinion with a clear mind and the verdict was excellent. This film is advertised as a horror but is actually more of a violent crime suspense thriller a bit like Cape Fear. The movie has a very good story line that keeps you interested and builds up the suspense and anticipation with a good twist mid way through and finishes as the ultimate revenge movie.

          I warn you there are some graphic and shocking scenes of violence and quite a hard hitting rape scene that will make you feel very uncomfortable. Unlike the rubbish Halloween 2 that I watched recently the violence served a purpose and was an integral part of the film. The parents revenge at the end will have you cheering at the screen. If you're a parent the film will really tap into your ultimate fear.

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          23.02.2010 18:29
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          Great story and awesome acting, one of the best remakes I've ever seen

          I don't often go into blockbuster and look at the new DVD releases and randomly select a film without knowing anything about it, but this time I did, I fact the only thing I knew about The Last House on the Left was that it was a thriller or horror (or both) simply by the look of its cover. Picking this film was possibly one of the better decisions I have ever made for a Halloween film (a film to watch on Halloween) unlike last year when I watched The Shining, but let's not get off topic.

          I found that it is best going into this film not knowing what is going to happen or as little as possible about the storyline, so if you wish to watch this film and appreciate it whole glory and wisdom (well let's not get crazy), watch the film as open minded as possible, expecting nothing and getting a hell lot more than you could have expected. So if you want to experience the film as I did, skip the summary paragraph as you don't want to know anything about this film, for your own viewing experience.

          Quick Summary

          A family takes a vacation in a very hidden away house in a forest some place (hence the name The Last House On the Left). The daughter, Mari Collingwood (Sara Paxton) after persuading her parents, goes out taking the families only car to see her friend Paige (Martha MacIsaac), who is into smoking weed and drinking, unlike Mari, who has given up the teenager life to become a professional swimmer. The pair meets another teenager at random who they court stealing and promises than "the best weed ever", and they eventually go to smoke the weed with their new found friend, when unexpectedly the boy's family return, who you previously see at the very beginning off the film and it begins to get thrilling.

          Review

          To begin this review, I want to say that this seems like every other scary film made after the year 2000, that I have bothered to watch, but then again it is totally different. It has the same qualities you would expect in this type of film, but also brings something new and hidden to the table, maybe it's the way the film has a brilliant twist in middle, maybe it's the way the characters act and bring build up suspense, or it could quite likely be that this isn't another film where a bunch of teenagers get murdered in a forest and eventually fight off the murder (like Halloween and Friday the 13th), this film is different and for once, actually very gripping and interesting to watch.

          However, I must warn anyone who wants to watch this. Although the film is all sex, breasts and attractive girls getting murdered (once again just like Halloween and Friday the 13th), there is quite a intense rape scene, thought it isn't nudity graphic, in fact there is very little nudity in the whole film, except for the woman on the "bad side" (I don't want to spoil it), the rape scene is quite...emotional is the only word I can think of that describes how I felt about it, and it does mix in with the story and especially the ending, and is not just a random scene the director wanted to put in.

          The final thing I want to say about this brilliant film, is that unlike (once again) Halloween and Friday the 13th, the film has a great story and most importantly great acting from some known, but not blockbuster, actors who make this film that little bit more brilliant as in my mind, a film with great acting, great story and the ability to make me sit up with suspense from a scene that doesn't include a knife wielding maniac jumping out the next second, is a winner in my books.

          Conclusion

          I haven't said anything bad about this film, maybe about a few other films, but not this one because I have not found anything bad to say, the film in my eyes hasn't really disappointed me at all, but then again I wasn't expecting much. So my advice is to watch this film, turn down your lights and stick this DVD in and enjoy.

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            23.01.2010 00:51
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            3 stars because it was so disturbing

            The Last House On The Left is a horror film that was released in 2009 and it is a remake of the 1972 film of the same name. Wes Craven wrote the original screenplay but this time he produced the film. It is rated 18 due to strong violence and gore and sexual violence and the film is 110 minutes long. Before watching this film, I had no idea that there was an older version so I cannot comment on how they differ. I am going to review the extended version, the one that wasn't shown in the cinema.

            Plot
            John, Emma and their teenage daughter, Mari go on a vacation to their lake house. As the vacation is just beginning, Mari asks if she can visit her friend, Paige, in the city and Emma reluctantly hands over the keys to the family car. Paige works in a local shop and while she and Mari are there, they meet a young guy called Justin. He's underage and wants to buy cigarettes so he makes a deal with Paige, he invites them both back to his motel room, telling them that he has some really good weed that they can share.

            After not being there that long, they fun gets interrupted by Justin's dad, Krug, uncle, Francis, and his dad's girlfriend, Sadie. Krug isn't pleased at all about the girls being there and doesn't hesitate to let them all know. He informs Justin that the group are in trouble and because of this, the girls can't go anywhere. After doing some brutal things to the girls, they are left for dead. Mari's only hope is to get back to her parents but they're having a nightmare all of their own.

            Cast
            Tony Goldwyn ... John Collingwood
            Monica Potter ... Emma Collingwood
            Sara Paxton ... Mari Collingwood
            Riki Lindhome ... Sadie
            Martha MacIsaac ... Paige
            Spencer Treat Clark ... Justin
            Garret Dillahunt ... Krug
            Aaron Paul ... Francis

            Special Features
            - Deleted Scenes
            - A Look Inside

            My Opinion
            To begin with, a little background about the original. The 1972 film had a lot of problems in many countries gaining a certificate and being shown at the cinemas, the UK being one of those countries. Back when VHS was popular, this was a film that wasn't allowed to be sold because it surpassed the 18 rating and it was only released in 2002 when 31 seconds had been cut to make it fit the 18 rating. The uncut version was finally released in 2008. Before learning this, I didn't want to see the original but now I'm intrigued.

            Now for the new version. I only picked this up recently in HMV and I only bought it because it was produced by Wes Craven. There hasn't been one of his films that I disliked so I thought this one would be worth the money. (It was £8, which is the most I've spent on a DVD in a long time)

            The film starts with a group, a woman and two men, that are involved in what seems to be a car crash at first. It soon comes to light that they are actually taking part in a murder. These characters do come back into the story later on and I thought the mini introduction was a clever idea. I do like to know a little bit about the background of a story so this was a good way to do it.

            Then we are introduced to our main characters, John, Emma and Mari who all seem like a normal, happy family going on vacation. Again, we get a little bit of background with these characters, finding out that Mari had a brother, Ben, who recently died. We get to follow these characters a little more until the real story begins and this gave me time to grow to like them and care about them, which is the point.

            The whole cast were unknown to me so I didn't have any expectations when it came to performances. Horrors are always best with an unknown cast for me. I can never imagine someone really famous in them which is why films like Scream and I know what you did last summer didn't really work for me.

            Justin, played by Spencer Treat Clark caught my interest the first time he made an appearance. There was something about his character that made me think 'oh no, there's something not right with him'. He seems quite shy to begin with but edgy at the same time like something is going on with him behind the scenes. I instantly didn't trust him and wondered what his part in the story would be. Although he is part of this crazy family that go around killing people, he doesn't want to be like them at all and his father especially isn't very pleased about it. As the film got going, I started to feel more sorry for him than anything else because he just wanted to be a normal teenager which he wasn't able to be.

            Another character who I really liked, but not for the same reasons, was Krug, played by Garret Dillahunt. His performance was the one that stood out the most for me because he was so utterly disturbing. The first time we meet him in the motel room, he is particularly horrible to Justin, by punching him in the stomach when he steps out of line. Krug is extremely hard and if I was stood in front of him, I'd be terrified. He is completely sick and along with his gang, he doesn't have motives for doing what he does, apart from when it comes to the girls. Realistically, the whole thing could have been avoided if he'd kept his mouth shut and thrown the girls out of the room but of course, we would have had no film then.

            Teenage girls in horror films are well known for being whiney and stupid and I can at least say that one out of the two wasn't like this. Paige (Martha McIsaac) was the whiney one and Mari (Sara Paxton) wasn't. While Mari seems to keep a clear head for most of the time, Paige just seems to whimper and moan so I kind of wanted her to end up dead. She was far too annoying for me to care about really although that would have probably been me in her situation. Paxton was quite convincing considering what a hard role she had to play. I truly felt everything that she was feeling and she did an amazing job on conveying the pain and torment that she went through. I have to applaud her for the scene I hated most in the film, the rape scene, as it must have taken a lot for her to get into the right mind to do that.

            As I had no idea what this film was about before watching it, I really didn't see the twist in the plot coming. When the car crashes in the woods, I figured that it would a film about torturing the girls and how they escape and that would be it. The twist concerning the house and what happens there was something I was not expecting at all and this is a rare thing in horror films. The idea was very original (from the first film anyway) and it is what made this film different from the usual 'lets gets some halfway decent teenage girls in the woods and hack them to bits' kind of film.

            One thing that was lacking from the plot was character development on some sides. Yeah, the bad guys were really bad but we have no idea why. As I said earlier, I love knowing a background with films and I would have rather known what had made them as sick as they were and why someone would bring a child up in that environment. I imagine a child being brought up like that would have made him very much the same but Justin wasn't at all. Krug tried to make him do things he didn't want to do and when he refused, bad things happened to others. Because of this, some of the film didn't really make sense to me because there wasn't any motive. Apparently these things were also missing from the original film and I would have thought that a remake would have been the perfect opportunity to address these issues.

            If the original film was as hard to watch in parts as this one, then I understand why it was banned for so long, especially in the 70s. There are more films around now that include brutality to this extent although I haven't seen anything this graphic in a long time. The mix of violence is quite strange as it manages to put in a lot of different things. In the beginning, there is strangulation, stabbing and shooting but then it is mixed with rape and mutilation. This is far from a slasher film where there is a lot of fake blood and gore and you can tell everything is make up. Although this doesn't have the gore factor, it certainly scared me. I did feel like some of the scenes, especially the rape scene were longer than they actually needed to be and the I would have gotten the point in a much shorter time.

            I'm not actually sure whether I liked this film or not. It certainly did it's job in the way of horror because parts terrified me but there was just too much that disturbed me. I remember watching 8MM and never watching it again as I couldn't bring myself to and I think this might be the same kind of film. Although it might seem like I hated it, there were parts that I thought were really good. If you can overlook the hard to stomach scenes and you like horror/ thrillers, then this could well be a film for you.

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              16.11.2009 17:30
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              A 2009 remake of the 1970s horror The Last House on the Left.

              I'm not really a big fan of horror films in that I'd never pay to go and see one at the cinema, unless it really was something special. I remember seeing The Last House on the Left advertised back when it was out at the cinema and can remember thinking that it did look quite appealing. My boyfriend and I visited Blockbuster on Friday night and as usual we got sucked in by the rent four movies for £10 offer rather than opting for the two for £7.50 as it did seem really good value. I chose one film and then, as I really couldn't find anything else that I wanted to watch, decided to select this one... much to my boyfriend's disgust!

              The Last House on the Left was released back in June 2009 in the UK, I remember thinking it was an odd time of year as normally horror films come out around Halloween and certainly in winter. It was directed by Dennis Iliadis who is relatively unheard of in the world of film, having only ever directed one other film back in 2004 titled Hardcore. It is rated as an 18 due to scenes of brutal and sadistic violence and runs for one hundred and ten minutes in total. It was filmed in Cape Town in South Africa and is actually based quite closely on a film which shares the same title and was released back in 1972 and directed by Wes Craven.

              When we got home we flipped the obligatory coin to decide who got to choose the first film and he came up trumps for once (which is actually quite unusual) so we settled down to watch one of his choices about the FBI back in the earlier half of the twentieth century. When it finished as we weren't feeling particularly tired we decided to stick another film on, with the rain and wind howling outside I decided it was the perfect setting for my horror film. As we settled down to watch it I began to wonder why exactly I'd chosen a horror film, as we'd turned off all the lights and shut all the blinds I was already starting to feel just a little unsettled.

              The Plot

              The film begins with a criminal being transported to a prison by two detectives, while stopped at a train crossing the dangerous criminal Krug is rescued by his brother and his girlfriend leaving both the detectives dead. Meanwhile seventeen year old Mary Collingwood is on her way to her family's vacation house near a lake along with her parents. Mary goes to meet her friend Paige and then end up going back to a guy's hotel one to smoke some marijuana. While the girls are relaxing here Justin's father Krug returns with his brother and girlfriend. They decide they can't let the girls go now they've seen their faces and so abduct them.

              (SPOILER WARNING)

              The girls try to escape while being transported in a car which ends in a car crash. Following this, in a horrific turn of events, Krug and his brother stab Paige and then after Justin refuses to show his father he can be a man, Krug rapes Mary. In a desperate attempt Mary manages to escape and starts swimming in the lake, however Krug shoots her in her back. The gang of criminals along with Justin walk through the woods and they find the Collingwood's house, after knocking on the door and explaining that their car has broken down they are taken in by the Collingwood. However when Mary returns, half dead, it makes for a dramatic ending.

              The Cast

              I didn't actually recognise any of the cast members while watching the film, leading me to the conclusion that they were all relatively new to the scene or simply unheard of. Mary is played by Sara Paxton who seems to have starred briefly in several TV shows including The Beautiful Life and CSI. Her mother is played by Monica Potter who is probably most well known for starring in Boston Legal as Lori and also in Saw back in 2004. Her father is played by Tony Goldwyn who has starred in several films (that I've never heard of) including American Gun and Ghosts Never Sleep. Mary's friend Paige is played by Martha MacIssac who played Becca in Superbad.

              The bad guys consist of Garret Dillahunt as Krug (minor appearances in CSI, Criminal Minds and Law and Order), Aaron Paul as Francis (minor appearances in Bones, Criminal Minds and Point Pleasant), Riki Lindhome as Sadie (minor appearances in Bones, Nip and Tuck and Pushing Daisies) and Spencer Treat Clark as Justin (The Babysitter, Mystic River and Superheroes). As you can see there aren't any well known actors in this and it did seem to me from the cast alone that it was quite a low budget film, aimed at furthering some of the cast's careers maybe. However I never let the cast influence my opinion of the film based on how well known they are.

              DVD Extras

              I rarely bother with any DVD extras, unless it's a film I've been desperate to see or the extras offer something extra special. However this film was no different and I didn't bother to check out any of the extras, however they do appear to be pretty slim really. There are a couple of deleted scenes and some sort of feature but apart from that there's nothing extra with the DVD. The deleted scenes only add up to nine minutes so in terms of extras there are really no extra incentives here to buy the DVD. While on that subject if you do want to purchase this DVD it's currently retailed at £8.98 on Amazon and at £8.99 at HMV. It's also available in Blu Ray for around the £14 mark.

              My Opinion

              The first thing I want to say is that I wasn't expecting the film to be so brutal, although I know horror films are often full of gory violence this one to that idea to a whole new level. The whole concept of human depravity is witnessed in this film with some truly shocking scenes, most notably the rape scene which is shown in full detail. I actually felt a little sickened by this which detracted from my enjoyment of the film, my boyfriend and I sat there is silence not quite believing something so brutal and inhumane would actually be screened in a film. Apparently the newer version is tamer than the original but it still dwelled unpleasantly on the rape.

              To me there are two types of horror film; firstly there are the ones that are based on aliens or strange earth disasters such as the trees suddenly turning into man eating monsters! These horror films do absolutely nothing for me, I can't stand them and the whole pretence of trees eating humans, office stationary coming to life and duck shaped aliens invading earth are, quite frankly, pathetic. The second type of horror film is where this one is based; they focus on real life concepts and people and are actually believable. Thankfully, although rather disturbing, this film is completely and utterly believable which does give it some credit in my eyes.

              The plot of the story wasn't overly far fetched really which I rarely find to be the case with horror films. Two girls were lured back to a harmless teenage boy's hotel room by the promise of marijuana, only to find themselves surrounded by criminals who then abducted and tortured them. Yes it's not something that you hear on the news every week (thank goodness) but it was believable. There was a good pace to the plot, despite it being nearly two hours long, I never felt that the story was dragging at all. I wouldn't say it exactly had me hooked or on the edge of my seat for the duration but nevertheless I did feel compelled to follow it through to the end.

              The cast, although not well known, didn't disappoint me and did give good performances. I found Riki Lindhome (as Sadie) absolutely superb, I felt she bordered on being insane at times and I found her character really threatening. I did tire a little with Spencer Treat Clark (as Justin) at times, he was portrayed as an innocent who just happened to be the son of a hardened criminal, at the end he did seem to fight back against his father although his performance was rather cold and static throughout. I hardly think anyone will be getting an Oscar nomination for this film but no one really let it down, the cast were good and did a pretty good job overall.

              I haven't seen the whole of the original film but I have seen clips on the internet, judging from the reviews the original was really distressing and raw. Although the newer version is certainly distressing in certain scenes, overall it felt quite polished and didn't really have the raw factor. It's almost glossy in a sense, the camera action is that polished it takes away from the somewhat jaunty yet more real camera action of the original. It's still a rape revenge thriller in essence, but it's lost some of the original's sparkle and almost looks quite dull in comparison. I'd certainly like to see the full version of the original to see how many similarities there are.

              Where this horror film really fell down was in the fear factor. Tension is built up and there's plenty of gore and disturbing scenes, however there's nothing really to fear. Now I don't know if that makes sense but normally in a horror film I'm on the edge of my seat, waiting for someone to appear when the innocent girl shuts the fridge door, but there's none of that raw fear here. Despite it being portrayed as a horror film I'd have to argue that it's more of a thriller, and a rather sick thriller in parts. It's a bit too graphic in parts, now I know you need gore and everything in horror films, but the rape scene was just too much for me to handle really.

              What really spoiled this film for me was probably the last couple of minutes, throughout there had been a maintained manner or seriousness yet in the last couple of minutes the film makers managed to show their complete lack of appreciation and interest for what had ensued previously. I turned the film off, with a snoring boyfriend next to me, feeling rather dissatisfied. I hadn't been particularly scared, and even as a thriller it didn't leave me feeling entertained or thrilled exactly. Instead it left me feeling rather uncomfortable, that's the only word I can think of to describe this film accurately. It was basic and boring, and nothing special at all.

              So would I recommend this film? Well if it happened to be on television and you had nothing else to do then I would probably say watch it, but I certainly wouldn't recommend going out and renting it as it's just not the £2.50 it cost me. It's plain exploitative and features young girls in ripped underwear for a lot of the time, the rape scene is particular is really off putting and I really wouldn't recommend letting anyone under 18 see this one, even with adult supervision. I personally wouldn't watch it again as there was nothing in it to warrant me watching it again. Let's just hope my other choice at Blockbuster is better, when I finally watch it!

              Thanks for reading.

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                09.11.2009 21:57
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                Just too real, and that really is sad.

                I wanted to see my mate one last time before heading off on a 2 week holiday to South Africa. Somehow, each time we go there I get more nervous about the crime rate. Anyway, we met up to watch a DVD and as usual I was to choose, because she has seen practically everything anyway and I'm actually quite indecisive - so she gets to influence me into choosing something she enjoyed! I said lets watch a horror then a comedy, so the horror was the first we looked for. She liked this film, although I do recall reading some of your reviews that suggested it may be less than favourable. I've got to admit this just made me curious, so I agreed to add it to our list. I'm adding this review a little late as I started it before we left and was unable to access it until now. It wasn't the kind of film you'd forget in a hurry and I only had a little bit left so hope it's ok.

                Story

                This film is a remake of the 1972 film of the same title; the latter I have not seen. I understand that there are some key differences in the plot and a lot of the gory sexual detail, but not all, was removed.

                Mari Collingwood is a 17 year old girl, who goes on holiday with her parents. At that age where you can do some things but not others, she is keen to show that she is capable of looking after herself. Her parents reluctantly allow her to sleep in the guest house, a separate building to the mainm house they will stay in. Then she wants to take the car out, but mum is worried. Finally, with her dad's persuasion she is able to see her friend Paige and after that, it's easy for her to say she's sleeping over there! But actually, the pair have gone to another teenager's house so Paige can try his drugs that he boasts. When three other people enter the house, behaving rather outrageously and revealing a horrific crime, suddenly the girls find themselves trapped in a nightmare. Will Mari and Paige be able to leave safely? Oh, come on, I already told you this is a horror!

                I've split out my analysis of the story because I think there are two cleary different parts to the film.

                The first part

                The feeling you get when watching this part of the film is not fear or even nerves. It is simply disgust. The three villains really are the lowest of the low. The fact one was a female didn't actually make a difference to me. In fact she reminded me of some of the bullies I once knew, and I reckon there are sadly more females capable of even more horrid things than we realise. Just look at the recent news. I didn't feel like I was watching a horror, but some idiot's idea of showing what real psychopaths could do with their victims. Admittedly this does help to gather a great deal of sympathy for Paige and Mary from the audience, but to be honest as a horror you do not want to spend the whole film feeling angry and saddened by what happens to them.

                The second part

                Obviously I can't say much about the second part of the film as it would give away too much, but I enjoyed it more and would have preferred if this could have been extended and the first part shortened drastically! It is still about showing a very cruel side to human nature and things people are capable of, but there is a lot more tension and some very good edge-of-your-seat moments.

                Acting/characters

                Generally I think the acting was good, although there were some less convincing moments. To be fair I don't know how people would naturally behave in these circumstances.

                I think Mari was meant to display that typical good teenage girl, who may be easily led astray but really wants to do right. Sara Paxton was not a familiar actress to me, but then none of the cast really were, and in a way it was nice for me to see new faces where I don't already have an opinion on them. I was actually more impressed with Marth MacIsaac, who plays Mari's friend, Paige. This is probably more because her character was more interesting but I felt she gave it a lot more depth and emotion too. At times she was a bit extreme, but as I say who's to know how a person would respond when faced with psycho-abductors, already wanted for murder.

                Mari's parents are played by Monica Potter and Tony Goldwyn, and they also have crucial roles in the film, particularly the latter part of the film. Justin is played by Spencer Treat Clerk. I actually found his character very irritating, but maybe that is all part of the intention of stirring up anger from the audience. The three villains are Krug, played by Garret Dillahunt, Francis, by Aaron Paul and Krug's girlfriend, Sadie by Riki Lindhome. Krug freaked me out the most, and was also part of the worst scene of all - the rape. Sadie was second in terms of being disturbing, although she seemed more hateful than crazy. The way she behaves you'd almost think there was some history or motive for her behaviour, and I think that the fact that no motive is ever given adds to the impact. Aaron Paul just didn't seem as deep as the other two and seemed most of the time to just be going along with the ride.

                Film qualities

                The scenes are various, and mostly out in the country/forest, but still there is something trashy about the whole thing. I think the camera work was designed to add to this, with dodgy shots and angles throughout, but unlike most films of its genre, this was not afraid to show all. The sexual and violent scenes are therefore controversially explicit, and although this does provoke a lot of feeling from the audience, I don't think much of it would be positive! The music, or lack of in places, only adds to the horrible tension and "realistic" style of the film. Is it, perhaps too realistic? I think so.

                Classification

                The film includes the most extreme and graphic of things, miles beyond the bounds of acceptable viewing for under 18s. Most notably, there is a rape scene. Now, in other films where I have noticed rape was used, at least it was hard to really see anything and it was over quickly so not the focus of the film. Here, on the other hand, it was very explicit, even if genitalia was not shown, and painfully long. Granted, this may give us a better appreciation of the true hell that rape is, but why? Is is to make us hate the bad guys more? So in the UK this film is an 18, although I doubt that will put younger teens off trying to watch it, I'd warn now, you are better off not bothering with this one.

                Conclusion

                I think there are some far better films that you could be watching than this one. The plot is simply not plausible and although you would naturally expect things to go a bit crazy in a horror movie, here it is more appalling than scary. Frankly I think they just crossed the line, even if less than in the original, crossing the line is still crossing the line to me. There was no need for the rape scene and really I found this quite offensive. The acting might have been good in places but this doesn't seem enough to make a film worth watching. You might end up curious to see how bad it is anyway, so if so then get it over with, but otherwise this is one to avoid.

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                  05.10.2009 04:26
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                  A problematic film that is nonetheless incredibly powerful and artful.

                  Last House on the Left, Wes Craven's 1972 exploitation classic, represents one of those rare occasions when inexperience, fearlessness, anger and despair conspire to produce something which strikes the viewer as truly unique and important even as it obliterates all acknowledged indicators of "worth" within moments of its opening credits. It is a film which is, by any standards, shockingly lo-fi, grotty and chaotic. Yet it stands, alongside Hooper's The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Romero's Dawn of the Dead and Craven's own The Hills Have Eyes, as one of the most astonishing, most intelligent and most damning American films of the decade.

                  Dennis Iliadis' 2009 remake is an infinitely slicker, much more conventionally "artful" affair which, like Aja's remake of The Hills Have Eyes, shirks none when it comes to the harrowing, graphic depiction of rape, mutilation and murder. Unlike Aja's film, however, it robs the source material of much of its political punch, and what it retains it reconfigures, turning a pitch-black, bleak condemnation of violence into a gung-ho, punch-the-air revenge fantasy.

                  Arriving with her mother and father at the family's vacation home, the young Mari Collingwood (Sara Paxton) heads off, alongside best friend Paige (Martha MacIssac), to score some dope from a local teenaged dealer, the quiet, shy Justin (Spencer Treat Clark). Justin invites them back to his motel apartment, where the three are soon joined by his father, the psychotic, escaped-convict Krug (Garret Dillahunt) and his two sadistic accomplices. From here, the film spirals into a truly punishing, brutal play of violence, violation, and vengeance.

                  The two girls are raped and, it is assumed, murdered. Their car playing up, the villains call at a nearby house for assistance - a house coincidentally occupied by Emma and John Collingwood. Soon, the events of the day are brought to light, and the parents embark upon a series of devastating retaliatory murders.

                  Iliadis' film is absolutely one of the most powerful American horror films of the past decade. Every blow, be it the dull thud of a head off a bathroom wash-hand-basin or the crunch of finger-bones thrust into the blades of a garbage-disposal unit, registers with a sickening, disorientating wallop. The rape scene is almost unbearably protracted and the whole thing is suffused with an air of utmost despair - at least until the final half-hour, when certain derivations from the source come into play, and the dubious politics of the enterprise are made apparent.

                  Hitherto this shift, the heart of the film, perhaps surprisingly, has lain with Treat Clark's Justin. Utterly appalled at what is happening, he nonetheless exudes an air of utter resignation. What can he do? What can anyone do? Nothing. Sit by the tree and wait for it to end, knowing he'll most likely suffer a similar fate before long.

                  The cinematography is absolutely stunning throughout, shots framed at curious angles, events playing out with an almost slow-motion, languid air wholly at odds (but somehow fittingly so) with the terrors on display. Characters are positioned in stark relief to an unfocused, hazy world of ghosts and half-glimpsed demons. The environment has an ambiguity which is not mirrored in the narrative itself.

                  There is much to say about Last House that cannot be said here for the simple reason that to do so would be to spoil many of its surprises. Suffice it to note that it is a deeply uncomfortable experience for reasons both intentional and otherwise, yet for all that it is problematic, it is at least compelled to present rape as the unutterably evil act that it is, something which we would hope we're all aware of by now, and yet, in the wake of, for example, Zack Snyder's repulsive, imbecilic Watchmen, one can't help but wonder...

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                  30.08.2009 20:08
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                  worth a watch but not very frightening.

                  The film is a revenge thriller that has been updated from the first original one. The last house on the left sees Innocent teenager Mari Collingwood (Sara Paxton) and her wayward friend Paige (Martha Maclsaac) are abducted and brutalized by escaped psychopath Krug (Garrett Dillahunt), his aptly named girlfriend Sadie, his brother Francis and his wimpy son Justin. The captured girls are less helpless here, but these stomach-knotting early scenes are made worse by a nagging feeling that if they had only cooperated, or taken their chances, things might not have spiralled out of control. Then, in an irony inherited from 'The Virgin Spring', the killers seek refuge in Mari's parents' idyllic lakeside summer home, where John Collingwood (Tony Goldwyn) and his wife Emma (Monica Potter) - alerted by tell-tale clues to their guests' true identities - use cunning, makeshift weapons and improvised booby traps to exact their cruel revenge.

                  Introduces a telling undercurrent of class hatred and never loses sight of how Mari's parents are ultimately reduced to the same level of primal, animalistic violence as that of psychotic Krug and his cronies.

                  In my opinion I thought the film was a little slow to warm up at the beginning especially when the two girls get talking to the boy they had meet from the store as all is not as seems when the are taking back to his place where they are about to meet their fate when they meet the killers. I have to say most scenes were a little disturbing especially when the girls mate gets rapped and then murdered whilst trying to escape from the criminals in front of her friend.

                  The film kind of lacks pace and the sequence of events are quite predictable which gives you the feeling that you kind of know what may happen, or what is going to happen next. I was quite shocked really how strong and calm the parents were when it came to tackling the criminals on their own particularly the father who seemed to have super strength from no where is one scene.

                  My final conclusion on the film is that its not a really frightening film and some parts may even make you wanting to hit at the tv or at the murders yourself when it comes to the rape and murdering scene as its done so brutally especially with the young girls being so pure and innocent. I would recommend that this film be given worth a watch but you maybe a little disappointed as it's not very revengefully frightening and some parts are quite disturbing instead of given you shivers down your spine. Also the ended could have been done a bit better as it's seems like it was too rushed and leaves you thinking is that. If you want a really good revenge thriller, try 'Old Boy',

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                    27.08.2009 21:27
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                    You never know.....

                    A review of just the film, this is the 2009 remake of the 1972 Wes Craven horror 'classic'. The region 2 DVD is due to be released on October 19th and is an extended version compared to the cinematic release.

                    Emma and John take a trip to their country retreat for a family vacation. On the first night, teenager Mari asks permission to visit her friend Paige in the city and, reluctantly, her mother hands over the car keys and tells her to have fun. In the store where Mari's friend Paige works, they hook up with a dubious-looking teenager named Justin and are lured back to a motel room on the promise of some seriously good weed. Justin comes good on his promise, but their fun is soon interrupted by the arrival of Justin's father, uncle and father's girlfriend. It suddenly becomes very clear to Mari and Paige that they're in serious danger, but nobody in the room has any idea of just how brutal things are about to get....

                    Wes Craven's violent 1972 shocker has long been considered as one of the nastiest of the infamous video nasties. In truth, the actual production is an enormous disappointment. The claims of nastiness are grossly exaggerated and whilst the subject matter is unquestionably unpleasant, the delivery is generally dull and occasionally downright stupid. Such is the way of modern cinema that thirty-seven years after the film was first released, a remake was almost inevitable and it was left to debut director Denis Iliadis to re-interpret the tale for a modern audience.

                    In its own right, Last House now has enough conviction to stand on its own as a competent thriller. Iliadis brews a nasty, foreboding and often unsettling atmosphere that's a good barometer for what is to come. The film almost certainly works better for anyone who has no prior knowledge of the original version, partly because the narrative essentially sticks to the same series of events. As such, the film's key shocks really only work for those who don't know they're coming, although the curiosity of seeing if anything new is coming might inspire die-hard fans. Screenwriters Adam Alleca and Carl Ellsworth have made a few subtle changes (and possibly one or two fundamental ones) but the story still basically plays out as a nasty little cautionary tale about the dangers of fraternising with strangers.

                    Unlike some of the other recent remakes such as Friday the 13th or My Bloody Valentine, the studio has opted not to try and go for something glossier and more polished with this version of Last House. The film still retains a grimy, distasteful finish to it, which arguably complements the subject matter better than a big budget makeover. Crucially, the cast is freed from the unnecessary complication of having recognisable names and faces to appeal to the younger demographic, and Iliadis focuses instead on making a brutal and tense horror thriller. In terms of horror, this is one of those productions that revolve around a small number of key, very nasty moments rather than a relentless barrage of bloodshed and gore. Other reviewers have gone as far as to say that they thought the violence was quite tame. This is a strange observation to make when you consider that there's a very graphic stabbing, multiple shootings, a strangulation, some mutilation and a (slightly bizarre) closing scene that really doesn't spare the grue. The decision to round off the film with such a climax (no spoilers here) is questionable at best. A dream sequence from the original film featuring a chisel and someone's teeth is often considered the most memorable moment in the 1972 version and it's hard not to think that the 2009 climax is this version's 'teeth and chisel' moment. It's quite satisfying but daft in comparison to the rest of the film, whichever way you look at it.

                    But it's not just the physical violence that makes Last House something of an ordeal; it's primarily the sexual violence. Just like the first film, the central narrative involves a harrowing and graphic rape that seems to last for far longer than it needs to. Clearly, it is the writers' intention to really make the audience hate the perpetrator of such a crime, but I'm quite sure that any female audience members would really struggle with this part of the film. Iliadis really over-eggs the cake here, in fairness, and such a graphic depiction of the act starts just to feel like attention seeking. It's a relief for those on screen and those in front of it when he finally calls it to a halt. Iliadis's directorial style is not exactly subtle throughout. He lacks the scope and imagination to do interesting things and just decides to hit everything like a sledgehammer, which sometimes works and sometimes fails. There's a curious scene near the beginning where Iladis's camera snakes its way towards the family's boathouse and then veers around it at the last moment as though the director chickened out of doing something more interesting. There are a number of moments in the film that feel like this.

                    Sadly, rather like the original, the writers here just don't seem to be able to decide what the point of Last House on the Left actually is. The original was actually a re-make itself, taking a typically obscure Ingmar Bergman picture and beefing up what was an absolute tale of crime and retribution. Those themes run just as strongly here as ever, but again, crucially, the writing just doesn't seem to make a point. The villains are completely one-dimensional, bad to the core for no other reason than they need to be and it starts to feel a little lost, not unlike Rob Zombie's The Devil's Rejects. The trouble with such reprehensible characters is that, after a time, they can become caricatures with no substance. We don't really understand WHY they decide to behave this way, nor, for example, why the only female in the crew is able and willing to watch her partner rape another woman. There was an opportunity here to add something that was sorely missing from the original, but instead, the void is left equally empty. The same mistakes are made with Mari's parents, who swing from being instinctive to manipulative. In fairness, in a shift from the original narrative, the couple find themselves faced with a more pressing dilemma here, which does, at least, add a certain priority to their actions but they remain a little unconvincing.

                    There are solid performances all round, notably from teenager Sara Paxton, with an emotionally demanding role brought about by the terrible things she must be seen to endure. Best friend Paige (Martha MacIsaac) is a little less sympathetic but MacIsaac is equally convincing. Parents Emma and John (Monica Potter and Tony Goldywn respectively) are competent enough, just about coping with the shift in emotions, even if Potter is perhaps a little wishy-washy. Garret Dillaunt is scarily convincing as bad guy Krug, a quiet, monstrous brew of violence and repressed sexuality, although he is a little superficial when all is said and done. Girlfiend Sadie (Riki Lindhorne) is sneerily appropriate and as Krug's son Justin, Spencer Treat Clark offsets the inherent brutality perfectly.

                    When it's good, Last House is really good, with sporadic moments of terrifying brutality and, particularly for those new to the tale, it still heftily wields the narrative twists. But it remains a very unconvincing revenge tale. The audience just doesn't understand enough about the perpetrators to really fear them and by the time the final credits have rolled, it all starts to become a bit pantomime. Crucially, it's definitely better than the original, but it still doesn't quite tick all the necessary boxes for the perfect retribution tale.

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                      20.07.2009 00:04
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                      When Mari and her family escape of vacation to a lakeside hourse, isolated on it's own in the midde of nowhere, you automatically know that it is going to be a horror movies as many horrors follow along this path. I have always wanted to go to a log cabin in the middle of nowhere, however due to many AMerican movies following the same kind of theme, it kind of puts you off as you know that when a movie starts like this, it's not really pleasant and you know something is going to happen.

                      Mari is an only child, 17 years of age and is at that stage in her life where she wants to go out start living her life as all kids at that age want to do. Her mother is slightly over protective, however her father is a little more lenient so when Mari wants to visit her friend Paige and take the car, her father gives in and her mother has no other alternative than to let her go to see her friend that she has not seen for a while.

                      When Mari arrives at her friend Paige's, she is serving in a shop and when a young, relatively attractive young lad asks for some cigarettes, she has to ask him for ID. In order to obtain the cigarette's he tells Paige that he has some good stuff at this home if she and her friend wished to tag along if she gave him cigarettes. As all young people are, gullible and wanting to try something out, they both accompany him to his chalet in which they all start to loosen up after smoking dope.

                      An hour or so later, Justin's dad comes home, with his brother and girlfriend, he has just escaped the law and is on the run from the police, some people would call these kind of people Rednecks and a little bit strange and get their kicks out of sadistic and horrific acts. When they come home, they are not sure what Juston has told them and they kidnap the girls taking them to an isolated wood. Mari plays it cools and adheres to what they say however Paige just wants to get away resulting in her being killed. Seeing her friend murdered, Mari knows she has to get away, however unsuccessfully leads to sexual abusive from her captors, a young Justin is forced by his family to watch what is happening to his new found friends.

                      Mari, a string swimmer eventually escapes into the water, with her kidnappers hot in pursuit and armed witha gun, they shoot into the water and eventually after 4 or 5 shots they hit her and automatically think that she is dead. Before escaping she managed to hit one of her enemies in the face with a rock braking his nose.

                      In the middle of nowhere, a storm is brewing and one perosn with a broken nose, the four need to seek somewhere to stay for the night. They stumble upon a house, which happens to be that of Mari's family. They take them in for the evening and Mari's dad being a doctor fixes the mans nose and stiches it up, they tell them that they should stay the night until the storm is finished and show them to the guesthouse.

                      WHen getting back to the main house, they are sitting together and hear a loud noise from the patio, going to investigate, they find their daughter barely conscious, half naked, knowking again the wall to raise attention. Taking her into their house, they are devasted to see there daughter in such a state, having been shot, her father managed to get the bullet out, however looking over his daughter he see marks on her legs and body which show a struggle and instantly knows that his daughter has been raped.

                      Emma, Mari's mother goes into the kitchen and find's Mari's necklace wrapped around a mug which Justin had used, Mari left the house wearing this and they both instantly know that her daughters attackers, were no other than those people they had kindly let stay for the evening. When someone hurts someone that you love so much, what lengths would you go to to try and put it right.

                      ************************************************************

                      I had been told that this film from the start originally had a good concept, however as it went on it started to get a little but stupid, however from my point of view, I can see where they are coming from and don't find the plot pointless at all. When someone hurts someone you love, you never know how you are going to react and this story tells of it all.

                      Although this is a horror, I wouldn't go that far to put it in that genre, however in some parts it is a little disturbing, but this was more towards the beginning of the film and not the end where you would expect it.

                      The acting wasn't fabulous, however it was better than some of the shambolical acting that you get in these kind of movies, and I did find myself glued to the screen, fighting to keep my eyes open to see what was goinf to happen, as majority of the movies that fall into this category these days apart from the SAW movies are quite poor and are bulled up when released to try and get viewer, which end up disappointed once they have watched the movie.

                      I wouldn't recommend this film, but I would not, not recommend it, i think if you like horror type films then it is worth a watch, if not, don't bother.

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                        03.07.2009 16:58
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                        An ammoral but well made remake

                        Wes Craven's original The Last House on the Left is a grim horror film adapted from Ingmar Bergman's superb revenge parable The Virgin Spring. It was very controversial at the time for its brutal rape and murder scenes, and had a moral complexity in its extremely controversial and hotly debated revenge scene. This remake, whilst well made and well acted, however, removes a lot of that moral agency, and makes it a veritable splatter fest devoid of much intelligence or social commentary.

                        The setup is the same - two girls on the road meet up with a group of drifters that brutally rape and attempt to murder them. The drifters then stop at a house, seeking shelter, not realising that the home is that of one of the girls' parents. Such begins a pretty tense state of affairs, where the parents slowly come to realise the dark truth behind the fate of their child and her friend. Unfortunately, the final scene blows everything, removing the morality of the situation and making it straightforwar, amoral killer revenge scenario.

                        A grim and well-constructed remake of Wes Craven's cult horror film that neither damages nor improves upon the original. The Last House on the Left is an efficient, visceral horror that is slightly too long, but gritty, and successful in acting and direction departments.

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