Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Last House On the Left 2009

The Last House On the Left 2009
Director: Dennis Iliadis
Writers: Adam Elleca and Carl Ellsworth
Starring Tony Goldwyn, Monica Potter, Garret Dillahunt, Aaron Paul, Spencer Treat Clark, Riki Lindhome, Martha MacIsaac, Sarah Paxton and Michael Bowen

The original Last House on the Left is one of the most disturbing and shocking horror films of all time, so when I heard it was getting remade I was hesitant. But the film does enough things differently to make it a valid remake. It is tense and disturbing and the rape scene is just as uncomfortable as the original. If their is one complaint I would make with the film is Dillahunt is not as creepy or as sleazy as David Hess was in the original. This is a film that is beautifully shot and the director gets every ounce of feeling he can from every tense filled scene in the film. This is not a easy film to watch as none of the kills are very cut and dried, they are all messy and ugly. It gives the film a scenes of realism, which it keeps up with till the somewhat ludicrous ending. That being said, this is a tense and cruel horror film that definitely deserves to stand next to the original.
The plot basics are this, Krug (Dillahunt) is a convicted murderer on his way to state prison when he is rescued by his gang and then flees into the dark. Meanwhile, Mari (Paxton) along with her Mom (Potter) and Dad (Goldwyn) are off to a idyllic summer vacation in a secluded area of the forest, where they are staying at the last house on the left. Emma takes their car out to visit a friend (MacIsaac) and they meet up with a strange young boy (Clark), who has some pot for sale and so they head back to his hotel room and soon Krug and his gang barge in and take the girls hostage. Krug takes Mari's car and proceeds to go on the run until Mari tricks them into having an accident and it totals the car. This pisses Krug off and he stabs Mari's friend and violates Mari. Mari tries to escape but is shot while swimming away. Krug and his gang then come up to the house to ask for help which is the same house Mari's parents are staying at. Not long after this Mari's parents discover that they have done horrible things to their daughter and no proceed to enact their own bloody revenge on the gang.
This is a tense and disturbing film. Iliadis' direction is very visceral. It is especially profound during the rape scene. It is shocking and painful to watch, which a rape scene should be. It is one of those scenes where you have to keep looking away before you get too disgusted. The script is very solid, it really solidifies the characters of Mari's parents, as they are the main viewpoint of the story and you really feel their anguish over what has happened to Mari. The villains are done well too, though I think the best realized one is Sadie she seems to be more in control than Krug is. The cast is excellent. Dillahunt makes a decent Krug, he just isn't as overpowering as Hess is in the original. Goldwyn and Potter as the grieving and vengeful parents are great and you really feel their pain and rage. Paxton as Mari is very good too and you really sympathize and feel for her. The SFX and effects are outstanding. It is very bloody and messy. Especially with the microwave scene and the scene with the garbage disposal. The score by John Murphy really ads to the ambience to the film. Especially during the swimming sequences. This is a solid remake and one well worth seeing.
This one gets 4 out of 5

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