“To avoid fainting, keep repeating, ‘it’s only a movie... it’s only a movie...’”
Teased the posters and lobby cards for wes craven and sean cunningham’s gut wrenchingly unsettling 1972 cinematic sledgehammer. Alas, those words aren’t required for this update in the mould of Saw and Hostel – but that’s not to say Dennis iiiadas’s version is a failure. In fact,
it’s one of the better re-runs to sluice from the gore-dribbling maw of the remake machine running rampant through the hollywood hills. But of all films to tackle, The Last House On The Left seemed most likely to fail – the nastiness of the original surely couldn’t be replicated for
...or so we thought. while the Greek helmer doesn’t push the most uncomfortable moments as far as craven did with the original (no forced
urinating here, folks) he still manages to create a trio of nefarious, sickening bastards in Garret Dillahunt, riki lindhome and aaron Paul, a triple-dose of psychotic terror who kidnap, rape and torture the daughter (sara Paxton) of all-american parents (Tony Goldwyn and emma
collingwood) – before turning to them for shelter during a furious storm.
As in the 1972 shocker, what follows next is a display of furious vengeance as both parents turn the table on their daughter’s tormentors – and iiiadas hammers home with blunt-trauma force the average Joe’s capacity to turn primal to protect those they hold closest.
Even with a lower body count compared to the original, The Last House On TheLeft still manages to deliver some darkly
delicious demises, with the exception of one final, utterly implausible moment in the closing reel that really should have
been left on the cutting-room floor, along with the rest of the dull and pointless annexed moments you’ll find on the disc.
You won’t find much from the driving forces behind the flick on here – no chat track, no lengthy doc nor retrospective comparative feature – just the
aforementioned sliced scenes, the best of which is actually an outtake of sorts, where Paxton rams a 4x4 into a tree during a botched take. As for ‘a look inside...’, it’s little more than an extended trailer with impossibly minute snippets from craven, cunningham and iiiadas that never once
tries to delve deep into the story of the film and barely manages a double-digit running time. This is one House you’ll only want to rent.