Monday, March 30, 2009

The Last House on the Left

Last House on the Left Pictures, Images and Photos
March 13th, 2009 (Friday the 13th, also, but not THE Friday the 13th). That's the day that the remake of the remake of original The Last House on the Left hit theaters.

I'll be the first to admit, I almost didn't get to see this one. There were several factors. First, I've seen the 1972 version and it was honestly one of the most brutal and difficult movies I've ever sat through.
The Last House On The Left Pictures, Images and Photos
I was near-vomit when I watched it. It's extraordinarily gruesome and grim. I feared that I wouldn't have the gall and iron stomach to sit through the newer one. I mean, even the trailer is kind of gory:

Also, would the newer one capture that horror and discomfort and nausea, or would it be complete trash? I got a little nervous. But, if I didn't suck it up and go, what would I have to use to replace my 8th blog of March?!

As always here at MB Blog, horror always prevails, the movie got pretty good reviews...and here I am with my vilified thoughts! (Spoilers ahead, fyi)

First of all, the official movie website is fantastic. Really well done. If you haven't gone there yet, what are you waiting for?!

So, this remake of a remake is, in my opinion, extremely well done. While there are some differences between the 1972 version and this one, I felt that the recreation of that feeling of "oh my God did that just really happen?" is still 100% there. Surprisingly, as gruesome as I felt the remake was, it was, from what I remember, a bit tamer in terms of what happens to the girls than the 1972 version. For me, that was a positive about the movie. It was uncomfortable, yet, more watchable than the older version. In both films, the "bad" characters are similar...

Last House On the Left 01 Pictures, Images and Photos
old vs new
Last House on the Left 1 Pictures, Images and Photos
But they were modernized, obviously. I think that the original Krug, played by David Hess (top picture, on the left), was for some reason more scary and heartless to me, in my opinion. Garrett Dillahunt (seen above back center with the dark facial hair) did a really good job as well, I just didn't find him as repulsive and evil as Hess was. Don't' get me wrong, new Krug is just as much of an animal and you hate him just as much, I guess Dillahunt was just too much of a pretty villain (for lack of a better word) for me to be as disgusted by him. He struck me as "less filthy". David Hess looked like an escaped convict and had this look that he had already done some serious time, and really had nothing to lose. Dillahunt for some reason didn't give off that feeling for me.

Other than that though, I had no complaints. These guys and girl were as vicious as they come, and you loved to hate them. I feel like I always see that guy who played Francis, Aaron Paul, but I don't recognize any of his other work. He did ALOT of tv shows...and he was in a Korn music video? Nope. Can't remember. But he was great too. You're going to really hate this guy.

The entire first sequence of the movie with the cops taking Krug in is fantastic, and unexpected. From that moment on, I tried to blink as little as possible because I was so engrossed in this movie. The scenes are uncomfortable, to a degree nauseating, and horrifying. It is every parent's...and child's....worst nightmare, what happens to these girls.

Mari (played by Sara Paxton) is your average "good girl"..ok fine..she smokes a little pot...but other than that, she's purest of the pure. We also find that she is an excellent swimmer, which sure explains a lot later. Unfortunately for Mari, she falls victim to being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and she and her friend Paige end up in a horrible situation after meeting a mysterious boy named Justin.

The first half of the movie, I had my hand over my mouth, sitting at the edge of my seat, feeling near the point of sickness. Dennis Iliadis did a great job creating a mood of uneasiness and shock. I felt like I was there, watching helplessly, disgusted, wanting to help these girls or scream for help. There are also a couple of scenes where they almost seem like they're going to make it. Paige ends up escaping and running toward a construction she yells and screams for help while being dragged away, we see some workers with hard hats not even noticing her. They also are driving in Mari's car, held hostage, and a cop car goes past them...noticing nothing. It leaves you with that feeling of "no way out", much like in the way The Texas Chainsaw Massacre does.

Krug and his crew: Francis, Sadie, and his son (who hates him) Justin, realize that by the girls being with Justin, they are compromising their hiding from the law, and decide to take the girls deep into the woods...

As in the original, there is a very graphic rape scene that absolutely horrified me. There is also a stabbing scene that was filmed in the most realistic way I've seen in a long time. I'm still not totally convinced that the girl playing Paige wasn't really stabbed.

Mari, who after being "deflowered" in a brutal and sadistic way by Krug, seems disoriented and runs to a lake where she decides to swim away. Krug takes a few shots and hits her square in the upper back, where we see Mari turn on her back and lay there, lifeless. At this point, the storm moves in, and Krug and co. decide to look for shelter.
Last House on the Left Pictures, Images and Photos
Back at the Collingwood summer home (which is the last house on the left, btw), we find the Dr. and Mrs. enjoying a nice night alone. There's a knock at the door and....what are the chances? Krug's group is at the door. John, who is a doctor, helps fix Frances' nose, and due to the storm and the phones being dead, they offer to allow Krug's group to stay in the guest house.

I'd like to pause here and mention that I had read online that reviewers did not like Monica Potter and Tony Goldwyn's acting in this movie. I couldn't disagree more. I felt that all of the acting in this movie was totally believable. I honestly felt their pain as parents for their daughter, and their anger and fear. In the scene where the father realizes that his daughter has been raped, I actually shed a tear, that is how real it felt.
Last House on the Left Pictures, Images and Photos
Anyway, Mari somehow makes it home (thank you swimming lessons!) and her parents make the connection (through a necklace she was wearing...dead brother Ben, long story, go see the movie) that it was team Krug that did this to her and they decide to take matters into their own hands.

Well, the rest of the movie is awesome. Revenge is so sweet. All I have to say is "microwave". Trust me, it's worth the $10.

If I had to rate this movie, I'd give it an 8...or even a 9 out of 10. I felt that this was one of the best horror movies I've seen recently. I actually can even say I liked it more than the 1972 version. The acting was great, the death scenes are great, the ending is great. I especially loved that the characters were down and dirty. The movie has a real gritty feel (granted, not as gritty as Devil's Rejects or House of 1000 Corpses, but still) and I loved the way it was shot. I was relieved that no matter how bleak and awful the movie felt, the ending totally redeemed it and you left feeling awesome. My only issue was the character Sadie's toplessness...I know..."toplessness" isn't really a word, but I can't describe her any other way...Seriously girl, put a bra on at least...there's no need for me to see "the girls" for an hour, ok?

But, other than that, I loved this movie. I got up after it ended and exclaimed, "That was awesome!"
My Monster Bash advice to you? GO SEE IT!


Jim said...


Loved it....terrific awesome.

NerdySam said...

I stumbled across your blog (I saw your comment on Delaneys blog "Dear You...") I freaking love it! It's great! I was hesitant to see this movie, (because most movies of this genre are SOOOO terrible these days.) but your blog changed my mind! Hooray!

Monster Bash Blog said...

Hey thank you! I agree, I have been disappointed with movies coming out today, this one definitely had a different feel to it! Give it a shot!

Anthony said...

have not seen the remake but just got my hands on THIS, if you have a multi-region dvd player i highly recommend it, as it has 2 different cuts of the movie, plus a few documentaries AND a bonus disc of "Going To Pieces: The Rise and Fall of the Slasher Film", which is also pretty badass.

Monster Bash Blog said...

oh wow! That is pretty cool! Have you seen the original (well, 1972 version original)? Pretty gross. I had a really, really difficult time sitting through it.

Anthony said...

yeah thats the one! its the original uncut plus a different early cut of the movie where mari is alive when her parents find her, pretty cool. usa, out of print. uk, 3 disc version. and it was banned in the uk til like last year. go figure.

Monster Bash Blog said...

Yeah I remember reading about that! Gee, I can't imagine why a movie like that wouldn't be banned lol...I guess the UK is now making up for lost time hehe

Anonymous said...

could someone explain the end, i dont really get it?

Monster Bash Blog said...

You can read the entire plot here: