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Friday, August 21, 2009

Review: The Last House on the Left


The Last House on the Left (2009)
Genre: Horror
Format: Blu-ray
Director: Dennis Iliadis

The idea of remaking classic movies is bad in itself - though sometimes, they do result in some truly remarkable movies - but there is one rule that filmmakers need to be aware of when they want to proceed with such attempts: never mess with the major plot elements. In that regard, The Last House on the Left simply fails in the most disastrous way imaginable. Unfortunately, since the movie's critical error is attached to a spoiler and I don't like to reveal such things in my writing, I cannot bring it to light here in this review but feel free to contact me if you would like to have an intelligent discourse about it.

The terrible trailers should have already given you enough information about the story: the daughter of a middle-age couple was hurt by a group of criminals and by chance, they happen to stay the night at the couple's home. This lead to some dull confrontations between the regular domestics against the rough and tough villains and you know that only one side will emerge victorious at the end. I have seen the original by Wes Craven and that movie is a pretty nasty bit of cinema that will leave you feeling very dirty at the end of your viewing. This remake has all the right excuse to at least make the movie as filthy as the first, or worse, but what we ended up with is actually a watered-down version that seems to be tailored towards the mainstream audience who would normally avoid watching these kind of movies in the first place. There is a bit of that "cool" factor that was used in its marketing, heavily advertising the whole vengeance theme since no one in their right mind would oppose to the vigilante justice that takes place in the movie. It's not a sign of changing times either: it is easy (and lazy) to believe that the first movie was so impactful because of how sensitive and ignorant our society was back in the 1970s when in actuality the thoughts of home invasions or losing someone very dear to you will still scare and disturb just about anyone in this modern age. This remake is scared of consequences and it is pathetic in its attempt to garner sympathy from its audience. All the display of lives lost in it are done with the intent to shock but what you do get from them are just some amateur attempts at creating the illusion of realistic violence. Well... except for one particularly nasty death.

Even if you have not seen the masterful film this is based on, you will be able to see through its mockery and failure as a bloody revenge drama. I am sure you can come up with so many other fascinating and rewarding scenarios on what to do with the bad people if you were their host in the movie. Or you can skip this junk and just watch the original movie - only do this if you want to ruin your day because that movie will take away your faith in humanity. But at least it will not make you feel like you are a part of the reason why you lose faith in humanity for wasting your valuable time on a horrible movie like this remake. The link below is for Craven's version of the movie.

RATING: 1 out of 5

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