Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Last House On The Left, The (2009)

Director: Dennis Iliadis
Notable Cast: Monica Potter, Tony Goldwyn, Sara Paxton, Garret Dillahunt

Whenever their is a remake of a cult classic, there is always going to be haters. If you are a fan of the original then I'm sure this remake is going to have you rolling your eyes at times because 'they changed too much'. Well, considering that I am not a particular fan of the original (I have lots of respect for it but I believe its massively overrated) I found this remake to hold a lot more water then said original.

I could go on and on comparing the two films and their differences, but really most of that stuff was pretty minor as this is a pretty straight forward remake. What changes they did make was for the best I believe, and I think that this film is by far the superior film.

Firstly, for those of you who don't know, this film is going to make you uncomfortable. The original one was far more sexual in its offensiveness whereas this one tends to bring out a slightly more violent and artsy outlook to its disturbia. I love the fact that this one retains that focus on building character relationships especially with the protagonists of the film (firstly the daughter and later on the parents). This creates a good vortex to pull the viewers in and then throw them into the storm (pun intended) for the climax of the film. Continuing on with the good of "The Last House On The Left", I must give credit to the person who crafted the score. The music in this movie made it as dark and creepy as it is. Throughout the entire film I kept thinking, "good God I love this score!" and I am not one to always think that, but it was a wonderful layer to this film and I appreciated that. The acting was solid all around (although I'm not always agreeing with how some characters are treated - more on that in a second) and with particular nod to Mary (the daughter) that she pulled off some pretty stunning moments in the film.

As for the villains of the movie, I was torn. I loved the fact that they gave Justin (the son of the bastard) some depth and empathy qualities. The original had him pegged as a walking tree stump of a mental kid, but this one did a nice turn for him and I enjoyed that. On the other hand, I didn't like daddy Krug as much. I really wanted him to be one of those charismatic psychopaths and really I felt he wasn't all that crazy. More like a logical villain whom does what has to be done. Although they made it work for the film, I think bringing out that inner monster (especially towards the end and during his time with Mary) would have made the film even scarier. I also thought that Mary's friend was a little ill treated in the film (haha - pun!) as honestly I forgot she even existed only minutes after her last scene. That moment could have been brought up again (perhaps when ma and pa find Mary she could have said 'they killed Paige' or something) and it would have reminded us - oh yeah these people need to fucking die! Alas though, Paige is forgotten and we all move on.

As I mentioned before, this film focused a little more on violence instead of sex to be disturbing. Although of course, the rape scene is still a major factor in the film, the sexual humiliation and references of the original are mostly missing. I can't really complain though as we still got the meaning of the first and second half without them and I don't know if I would want to feel that gross again anyway. But the violence works well enough, and the special effects are top notch to go with it. I do have to disagree with the treatment of the ending though (the final scene is the one I'm referencing) as it seems out of place and there only for the special effect. I guess he got that microwave working eh?

All in all, this is a better film than the original although I wouldn't say its a great film. I had some great moments but I felt somethings could have been brought up further. Notch that up for one more Horror remake that I actually like.

Written By Matt Reifschneider 

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