Monday, 22 June 2009

The Last House on The Left (2009)

As you know I am generally against remakes. This one is rather different then your usual fare however.

The Original “The Last House on the Left” was Wes (Nightmare) Cravens very first film and was made on a very low budget with the almost single intent to push boundaries and shock. Coming a full 5 years before The Hills have eyes in 1972 Craven was totally unknown. There is no way a remake would ever live up to that in today's Gore Soaked genre. Instead director Dennis Ilianis serves up what at first look seems to be a very simple piece of generic horror.vlcsnap-4280020

We follow the misfortunes of sweet little Mary and her friend Paige as they fall foul of a family of crazed killers. As far as plot developments go Last House is virtually identical to its father however there are some tweaks to the story that in some cases improve and others detriment the story.

The inclusion of a 4th psychopath Justin, who is the son of head nutter Kruge is unnecessary and although obviously intended to facilitate the introduction of the girls to the family seems virtually pointless as this was a role originally taken by little brother Francis. To this end Francis is reduced to simply a mirror of Kruge with no real reason for his existence story wise. In the original HE was the weak link and almost retarded. In absolute awe of his brother. This alteration also has the sad effect of weakening Kruges menace considerably. One thing that the introduction of Justin does do however is give a far better segue into the parents realising just who is in their guest house.vlcsnap-4313888

Ah Marys’ parents. Firstly the gripes and they are minor really. Firstly, too young and hip. One pivotal factor in the original story was that there was a considerable gap between the generations with Marys father in particular struggling to understand “youth”. This also impacts on the final act of the film where they are far too empowered and strong. There is always the feeling that they “could take” the baddies which really waters down the dramatic tension. It was far more effective in the original to see Marys father and mother use their brains to take down the enemy rather then the rather dumb, hunt them down with a poker approach employed here. On the plus side Monica Potter looks absolutely stunning in the role and the seduction of Francis is rather more effective then in the  original. Sadly the “Pay off” is different. Or is that not sadly as I still cringe at the original. vlcsnap-4282809

Is The Last House on the Left better then the original. No. However as a remake it is different enough to stand on its own merits. It IS a good film and well worth a watch.

Paul Out… and checking his microwave door.

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