While vacationing at their summer home, Emma and John Collingwood (Monica Potter and Tony Goldwyn) show kindness to a group of strangers, unaware that the same men just assaulted their daughter (Sara Paxton). Once they learn the truth, they set out on a no-holds-barred plan for revenge that can only end in bloodshed. Dennis Iliadis directs this updated remake of Wes Craven's 1972 horror classic by the same name. -netflix
Here we go again with the remakes. Hollywood has been all over the place with these... from the absolutely horrid to the pretty damn good. While I am still of the school that remaking classic horror films for modern audiences is completely unnecessary and obvious pandering to today's youth (and their wallets), I have to admit that I have enjoyed some of them. The Last House on the Left remake falls into that category. I thought this was a very well done movie, that strayed enough from the original to give this one it's own place in the annals of horror history, but stayed true enough to the grittiness of the original to not make a mockery of the whole process.
The movie jumps right out of the gate with the villain being transported by the police, only to have his brother and girlfriend break him out of custody. You get a feel for the character's brutality right off the bat... and you know that you are not going to like him or his friends. They also gave you a peek at the victim's early on, which gave you a sense that they are a close-knit family who have recently dealt with the loss of their son and appear to be good natured people.... and you think you will probably like them. The family appears to be well off financially, as they have a vacation house at the lake.... which is where our story takes place. The family's daughter meets up with her friend in town and they befriend a kid who can get them some pot. They go with him to his hotel room (overly trustingly so) to score some weed. While there, we discover that he is the son of our villain... who is on the run from the law. They decide that the girls have seen too much and must be taken care of. He takes them on a ride, where he brutalizes them and leaves them for dead. The group of villains then seek out refuge at a house by the lake, not knowing that the house is occupied by the parents of the girl he just raped and shot... setting up our revenge sequences.
In short, this was a damn good horror movie... regardless of its remake status. The filmmaker did a great job of creating a creepy and gritty feel, developing the characters in a short period of time, and adding an ominous atmosphere with the score. The rape scene was well done and really gave a sense of how disturbing that act can be. It was not stylized or sweetened for the masses and was very cringe inducing. It really made you want to see the revenge that was to be doled out later (maybe even participate in it). They also did a great job with the transformation of the parents, from good hearted people to "gotta do what you gotta do" ass whoopin' killers.
While this horror movie remake was well done, it was not without its flaws. One of my main complaints was the unnecessary shaky camera work at times, which added nothing positive to the film. This shaky cam technique is overused today and frankly I hate it. There was really no need to throw it in here either, but at least they kept it to a minimum... so it did not totally ruin the film. I also felt that the last scene was pretty unnecessary as well. Without giving too much away.... I will just say that the gorehounds will love it. My last complaint is this. Given all of the opportunities in a movie like this to show nudity, there was only a little bit. It seemed as though the nudity that was thrown in was just for the sake of people like me who just like to see breasts in horror movies. Ok, so that is not so much of a complaint as just an observation I guess.
Overall, I really enjoyed this movie. It had everything a good horror movie should have... from a creepy atmosphere to enough character development to make you care what happened to the people, whether good or bad. Still on the fence about the remakes, but I guess I am glad they chose to remake The Last House on the Left. I highly recommend this one to all horror fans.