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The Last House on the Left (2009)

  Tags: Dennis Iliadis, Garret Dillahunt, gritty, Martha MacIsaac, Monica Potter, remake, Rhys Coiro, Riki Lindhome, Sara Paxton, the last house on the left, Tony Goldwyn, Wes Craven

Your rating: None Average: 6.8 (9 votes)
Reviewer Rating: 
7

lasthouseonleft.jpg
Rating #: 
7/10
Director: 
Dennis Iliadis
Runtime: 
110
Cast: 
Garret Dillahunt, Rhys Coiro, Martha MacIsaac, Riki Lindhome, Sara Paxton, Tony Goldwyn, Monica Potter


When word broke of a remake for Wes Craven's 1972 film, The Last House on the Left, I wasn't entirely against it. Craven's version was definitely flawed, and I personally found it to be rather boring. A remake may actually be a good thing. I had mixed feelings after watching this flick -- it wasn't a necessarily bad movie, but it didn't exactly offer much either. The kills weren't anything special, but then again, I might've just been expecting a little too much from this. Director Dennis Iliadis approached the flick in a more realistic and gritty manner, which isn't what we see much in the mainstream genre. Thus, it has left us fans to appreciate it a bit more than we would have had it gone towards a more ridiculously-cheesy revenge-route.

The story follows a family taking a little vacation trip at their old lake house. While there the daughter decides to meet up with a friend and shortly after finds herself in the hands of a group of sociopaths, one of which who recently escaped police custody. The girl's fates were decided once they saw the group's faces, so they're taken out to the middle of the woods to be raped and murdered. The daughter nearly escapes the group before getting shot in the lake and left for dead. With their vehicle totaled, the group take refuge from the rain at a nearby house, which just-so-happens to be occupied by the family of the daughter they just tried to murder.

The movie approaches certain situations in a fairly realistic manner. We get to know the characters a bit and key events don't occur until half-way. The "action" doesn't really kick in until the hour mark, which is around where the family discover who these people are. The rape itself was also somewhat brutal, although not as realistic-looking as Craven's version (from what I can remember). However, it captured the situation and what the daughter was going through quite well. It's a slow-paced flick with a lot of character development -- something you don't see often for the genre. When it was time for the parents to get their just-revenge on the group, the kills weren't too unrealistic and the "gore" didn't go overboard.

Garret Dillahunt as the leader "Krug" sadly wasn't as menacing as David Hess, who plays the violent creep role to perfection. Other than that and the final scene (which seemed a little out-of-place from the rest of the flick), this turned out to be a pretty solid and somewhat realistic look at a revenge tale. It's definitely better than Craven's previous effort, which I didn't really like to begin with.

A surprisingly gritty and realistic look at a revenge tale that doesn't rely specifically on gory deaths to please the audience. Slow-paced and character driven, the film may not appeal to everyone. Worth a check if you want something with a little more substance than your standard mainstream horror flick.

Posted on August 7, 2009 - 6:18am | FrighT MasteR

 

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