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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars GRITTY...GRAPHIC...BRUTAL...
This is a remake of the Wes Craven's low budget 1972 cult favorite of the same name. I saw the original, and despite its low budget values, replete with grainy film images and bad acting, it was one of the most horrifying and brutal films that I had ever seen. Of course, the reality is that the crimes that were perpetrated in that film were just that, and, consequently,...
Published on 6 Oct 2009 by Lawyeraau

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars If you like this sort of thing and know what you're getting into
I've seen the remake of Wes Craven's original and it was pretty good plus disturbing. Having seen my fair share of disturbing films like "Cannibal Holocaust." After watching this up to date version it seems a bit unbalanced and tame along with the unrated version. I say unbalanced because it seems to want to be two different films, in terms of genre and style. The last...
Published on 8 Jan 2010 by Jenny J.J.I.


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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars GRITTY...GRAPHIC...BRUTAL..., 6 Oct 2009
By 
Lawyeraau (Balmoral Castle) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Last House On The Left: Extended Version [DVD] (DVD)
This is a remake of the Wes Craven's low budget 1972 cult favorite of the same name. I saw the original, and despite its low budget values, replete with grainy film images and bad acting, it was one of the most horrifying and brutal films that I had ever seen. Of course, the reality is that the crimes that were perpetrated in that film were just that, and, consequently, it remains one of the most frightening and shocking films to date. It was truly chilling. When I saw that there had been a remake, I would curious to see how it would compare. I would have to say that in the shock and awe department, the original still holds sway. Still, the remake is an excellent film and, though brutal, somehow less frightening.

The storyline is every parent's worse nightmare. A teenager, Mari Collingwood, goes with her parents to their rural country house. She takes the family car to meet a friend in town. Unbeknownst to them, an escaped killer named Krug is on the loose with his rescuers. Mari and her friend hook up with a creepy but cute guy with whom they end up smoking weed with in his motel room. Then his father, his crazy girl-friend, and his uncle show up, and all hell breaks loose. They are none other than the escaped killer and his rescuers. Clearly, they are not going to let these two girls walk away. What happens next will chill the viewer.

This gritty and raw film has excellent production values, good cinematography, and the cast is a definite an improvement over that in the original. The controversial rape scene is brutal but probably mirrors the reality of such a crime, and the reality of it ain't pretty. Garret Dillahunt is definitely a standout as the ruthless escaped killer. Likewise Tony Goldwyn, Monica Potter, and Sarah Paxton are also excellent as the beleaguered Collingwood family. Overall, it is a remake that stands up well to the original, as well as on its own merits. Although the film is very similar to the original, there are some differences, though in the long run, these differences do not really make or break this film of a family fighting to survive under circumstances most of us would prefer not to think about. Word to the wise: this film is definitely not for the squeamish or faint of heart.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars If you like this sort of thing and know what you're getting into, 8 Jan 2010
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This review is from: The Last House On The Left: Extended Version [DVD] (DVD)
I've seen the remake of Wes Craven's original and it was pretty good plus disturbing. Having seen my fair share of disturbing films like "Cannibal Holocaust." After watching this up to date version it seems a bit unbalanced and tame along with the unrated version. I say unbalanced because it seems to want to be two different films, in terms of genre and style. The last act and the only parts worth watching, seem to fall under the 'torture porn' genre, for example "Hostel," "Saw" and countless other horror films that rely on gross out gore to entertain the audience. Nothing wrong with this of course because I love my gore in horror flicks. This film does have some great deaths, even if they are a bit over the top. Hammers, garbage disposals, microwaves, all these are great death scenes. Yet the rest of the film (save for the rape bits) seem to belong to another film all together.

The acting is by the numbers, yet I found Dillahunt and Goldwyn are the stand out performances. Dillahunt, from Deadwood, plays Krug, the lead gang member. He walks the line of being nice, at least to me. He plays it nice, yet his actions are despicable. I say he played it nice because Aaron Paul, who plays another member of the gang is pretty "evil" and over the top. Goldwyn plays the father and has intense moments that is all played through his eyes. The two of them have a fight scene that was not in the original and it seems too fake, just to fill some time.

The story is predictable, even if you haven't seen the original and is by the numbers. In a film like this, I was expecting more shock moments. The final act had two, yet this film cries for more. As a remake, I'd say I've seen worse (Prom Night), but there are certainly better (Dawn of the Dead) remakes out there. Another thing that struck me was the flow of the movie, if you could call it that. While there are some strong emotional scenes, the movie doesn't know (or want) to emotionalize until the end. May be that's just my feeling here. At the end I didn't feel bad, but I certainly didn't feel as relieved as in "Taken."

Director Illiadis has a passion for blood, his shots of flesh cutting and his close ups in general but it's not enough to sustain a large amount of interest in what is, essentially, a film supposed to be actually about something. "Last House On The Left" is a well made film, don't get me wrong. If you're into this type of horror stuff then it might satisfy you.
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40 of 46 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Remake That Bucks The Trend (In That It Is Actually Worthwhile), 7 Oct 2009
This review is from: The Last House On The Left: Extended Version [DVD] (DVD)
The title The Last House On The Left has particular resonance for British horror fans. Until very recently Wes Craven's cult classic 1972 original remained unavailable in it's uncut form having been one of the many films to fall victim of the notorious video nasties debacle of the 1980s. Craven's Last House On The Left - 3 Disc Ultimate Edition (Uncut) [1972] [DVD] was a film that divided critical opinion with some critics praising it's unflinching analysis and depiction of violence and it's results (inspired by Craven's disgust at the sanitised news reports of real life violence in Vietnam), while others saw it as merely low budget exploitation trash.

Loosely inspired by Ingmar Bergman's 1960 arthouse classic The Virgin Spring [1960] [DVD] (itself based on a 13th century Swedish ballad named Töres dotter i Wänge) the film tells the story of two young girls who are abducted, raped and murdered by a gang who are on the run. When their car breaks down the gang unwittingly seek refuge at a house belonging to the parents of one of their victims. As the narrative progresses the parents, after discovering their daughter's fate, take their brutal revenge.

With the spate of horror remakes that have been hitting our screens in recent years it is not surprising that story of The Last House On The Left is on our screens once again, what is surprising is that in many ways it surpasses the original - although once again such confrontational material has sharply divided opinion.

Produced by Wes Craven and directed by Dennis Iliadis, the remake takes the key elements of the original and effectively reworks them to startling effect. Rather than follow the route of other recent horror remakes by using flashy music video style editing The Last House On The Left takes it's time to build up it's characters, also favouring long takes to build suspense rather than relying on jump cuts. The ever reliable John Murphy contributes an excellent score, and the cast all turn in performances of a quality that is completely unexpected in a horror remake.

The narrative has been changed in a number of ways that reduce the sheer nihilistic bleakness of the original, but the changes do not detract from the overall shocking effect - although a short postscript involving a microwave does threaten to destabilise the taught narrative that has preceeded it.

It should be emphasised that this film, like the original, is not meant to entertain but to raise questions about our individual capacity for violence and the thin veil of respectability and control that prevents the vast majority of us from acting on our worse impulses. The film's challenge (and tagline), "If bad people hurt someone you love, how far would you go to hurt them back?" is one that each viewer must confront when viewing this disturbing and thought provoking film.
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33 of 38 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unsettling And Disturbing., 4 Oct 2009
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When I looked at the title, I thought it was going to be a excellent Saturday night entertainment of pure horror. Instead it's a unsettling and disturbing revenge movie. The story is a young girl goes out with her friend only to be taken by a group of strangers, they beat and abuse leaving them for dead. Then for the night, the group seek shelter on a house that is the only one around. But when the family realise that they were the ones that hurt their daughter, they plan a brutal and bloody revenge on them all. It's up there with Eden Lake (a film I can never see again as it seriously damaged me after seeing it) and The Strangers (ditto) for being a truely horrid ride. It has a slow start but once it gets going, you want it to have a sort of happy ending. I warn you if you want to see this, it's not for the faint hearted and people who don't like blood or disturbing movies. But if you can stomach it, check it out. It's lead with a little known cast but they play their parts well, it has also a great picture and sound on Blu-Ray.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Surprisingly Good Remake, 29 Sep 2009
By 
Dr Evil (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Last House On The Left: Extended Version [DVD] (DVD)
THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT is a remake of the previously banned horror classic from the 70s with the same name which was from masters of the genre Wes Craven (SCREAM, A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET) and Sean Cunningham (FRIDAY THE 13TH). It begins when a family visit their summer home and on the first evening, the daughter Mary goes to town to visit her friend Paige. The girls meet a guy named Justin who invites them to his motel room to get high. When they get there they meet his father and his friends who are ruthless murderers on the run from the police. To keep them quiet they torture them in the woods.

I wasn't much of a fan of the original as it had a pretty low budget, bad acting and a terrible script so I watched this with low expectations and was surprised that this was actually a really good horror. For a start, I had literally no idea where this film was going as within about 45 minutes, the brutal torture scenes appeared to be over and I really did wonder what else they could do. Fortunately this was just where the film begins as from this point it got very good indeed (I won't spoil it for anyone who is yet to see it). The story was very well written with a great script and a lot of surprising twists. The special effects were very realistic, making this quite disturbing to watch at certain points. The acting was impressive from the whole cast - the family in particular were all very believable and played their parts well. This is without a doubt one of the best horror remakes I have seen - everything about it is just so well done and had me sitting on the edge of seat from start to finish. A recommended viewing for any horror fan - a solid 4 star rating.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A surpringly good remake, 10 July 2009
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Dr Evil (England) - See all my reviews
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THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT is a remake of the previously banned horror classic from the 70s with the same name which was from masters of the genre Wes Craven (SCREAM, A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET) and Sean Cunningham (FRIDAY THE 13TH). It begins when a family visit their summer home and on the first evening, the daughter Mary goes to town to visit her friend Paige. The girls meet a guy named Justin who invites them to his motel room to get high. When they get there they meet his father and his friends who are ruthless murderers on the run from the police. To keep them quiet they torture them in the woods.

I wasn't much of a fan of the original as it had a pretty low budget, bad acting and a terrible script so I watched this with low expectations and was surprised that this was actually a really good horror. For a start, I had literally no idea where this film was going as within about 45 minutes, the brutal torture scenes appeared to be over and I really did wonder what else they could do. Fortunately this was just where the film begins as from this point it got very good indeed (I won't spoil it for anyone who is yet to see it). The story was very well written with a great script and a lot of surprising twists. The special effects were very realistic, making this quite disturbing to watch at certain points. The acting was impressive from the whole cast - the family in particular were all very believable and played their parts well. This is without a doubt one of the best horror remakes I have seen - everything about it is just so well done and had me sitting on the edge of seat from start to finish. A recommended viewing for any horror fan - a solid 4 star rating.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Your turn to wash up !, 10 July 2009
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tallpete33 (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This remake of the Wes Craven 1972 movie debut concerns the Collingwood family who take a vacation at their rather impressive woodland house, partly to help them deal with the death of the son the previous year. Unfortunately for them, escaped convict Krug and his small gang that includes his naïve son, Justin are in the area and on the run. Justin unwittingly leads the daughter Mari Collingwood and her friend into their clutches and Krug takes advantage in the most brutal way. When Emma and John Collingwood later "welcome" the stranded and sodden gang into their home they are unaware of the atrocities committed earlier and put them up in the guest house. However, the wounded and defiled daughter returns later that same night and everything becomes clear. Stormbound in their house, the not so good doctor and his wife seek their revenge and once they taste blood they don't hold back.

The Last house on the Left definitely has a feel of one of the "video nasties" that littered the scene in the late 70s and early 80s after the arrival of VCRs. It is not a bad movie, quite well acted and directed and the tension is there, as is the shock factor and the blood. It's all a bit limited though and only true fans of the genre will enjoy. Certainly nothing new and not a patch on the other Craven survival horror classic The Hills Have Eyes (either version) or the excellent Wrong Turn IMO but worth a look (through your fingers!).
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1.0 out of 5 stars Not good enough to be offensive, 24 July 2014
This review is from: The Last House On The Left: Extended Version [DVD] (DVD)
So, where to start on this one ?

Seen it around a few times, bit bored (yeah, you'd have to be) so finally decided to give it a watch. I wonder in what way one could NOT be disappointed in this movie.

If you want gore, frankly, it's pretty feeble. If you like swearing, it's got that in spades. If you want mindless violence, that's pretty lacking, too.

Nothing special was expected in the acting or plot, and nothing special was certainly delivered. I'm not disappointed that the much debated rape scene was barely post-TV watershed stuff. I was disappointed by the childishly gory last scene, when the opportunity for a much better and WAY nastier ending had been set up. Using that opportunity properly might have raised it to three stars, and failing can't automatically reduce it to one star, as it is all so feeble.

But, being so feeble, yes, one star only. It's pathetic.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lake Ends In The Road., 1 Nov 2013
By 
Spike Owen "John Rouse Merriott Chard" (Birmingham, England.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Last House On The Left: Extended Version [DVD] (DVD)
The Last House on the Left is directed by Dennis Iliadis and adapted to screenplay by Adam Alleca and Carl Ellsworth from the story by Wes Craven (co-producer here). A remake of Craven's 1972 film of the same name (itself influenced by Ingmar Bergman's The Virgin Spring), it stars Tony Goldwyn, Monica Potter, Garret Dillahunt, Sara Paxton, Spencer Treat Clark and Martha MacIsaac. Music is by John Murphy and cinematography by Sharone Meir.

During a family vacation, teenagers Mari (Paxton) and Paige (MacIsaac) are viciously set about by a gang led by recent prison escapee Krug (Dillahunt). When bad weather forces Krug's car to career off the road, the gang, unbeknownst to them, seek refuge in the vacation home of Mari's parents. When the parents realise what their new lodgers have done, they begin to enact bloody retribution.

It's pointless going on about remakes of old horror films, they are here to stay and we continue to watch them in the hope that they will strike a chord with us. With The Last House on the Left, remaking it, to me at least, is understandable given the 72 film is not exactly a great classic itself. True enough to say it has that grainy grunginess that was so befitting the decade's horror movies, marking it out as an unsettling experience without really living up to its "terrifying" reputation. In fact if you put both movies together they still wouldn't have enough class in them to give Bergman's movie a run for its money.

So the remake then, all glossy and big budgeted, with name actors in the principal roles, it is by definition routinely packaged for the modern day audience. However, that doesn't take away from the fact that what unfolds on that screen is challenging us, it really does do its job. The pertinent question exists, are you capable of such violence having had violence inflicted on your loved ones previously? What would you do in the same situation that Mari's parents find themselves in?

We have been privy to what was meted out to poor Mari and Paige, and the impact is most distressing. There is good cause to argue that Iliadis and his production team go too far in grabbing our attention in readiness for the "revenge" factor later on. Certainly I myself was uncomfortable watching it, as I was with the I Spit on Your Grave remake, but it's about getting a prescribed response, however close to the knuckle it is.

It's not a film anyone can feel comfortable about recommending, surely? But I know it put me through a gamut of emotions, even making me feel bad about myself the next day. That is quite often the power of cinema, and clearly the banner that Craven and Iliadis held aloft during the publicity tours for The Last House on the Left. Today I give the film an uneasy 7/10, it's uncompromising and unapologetically violent, but also laced with flaws. On another day I may find myself rating it considerably lower...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cruel, brutal and disturbingly watchable, 4 Feb 2013
This review is from: The Last House On The Left: Extended Version [DVD] (DVD)
I've never seen the original Last House on the Left, but I hear it was pretty shocking in its day. I knew this was a remake, so I didn't set my expectations too high (we all know how good remakes normally are). Now, I don't know if the words `pleasantly surprised' should be used to describe a film so horrible as Last House on the Left, but it was actually quite good (obviously, if you're in the mood for something so nasty).

Yes, it's very violent - horribly so. The violence will certainly turn a lot of viewers off. It's really only for those with a strong stomach who will get anything out of it. It's about a family who take a vacation to a nig house in the middle of an American forest and come a cropper at the hands of a particularly nasty gang of thieves who are on the run from the authorities.

Firstly the teenage daughter and her friends are subjected to some extreme punishment at the hands of the gang, who then leave her for dead and seek refuge in - none other than - the parents' holiday home. Soon the parents realise that they're harbouring the very people who have hurt their daughter and decide to act some revenge of their own.

The first thing to say is that all the cast play their respective parts well. The family are nice, but not squeaky-clean enough to be annoying. And the villains are bad, but not in a pantomime style. That way, you're rooting for the right people when it comes to dishing out a much-needed taste of their own medicine. Also, the characters behave in a logical way. There might be the odd moment where they do stupid things, but with horror films they're normally doing this all the time. Here, the daftness of decision-making is kept to a minimum.

If you're in the mood for some extreme violence (and the Hostel films won't suffice) then give this a go. It's nasty, but one of the better (dare I call it...) `torture p0rn' films.)
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