LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT: Pumped Up Violence
THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT (terror adventure)
Cast: Tony Goldwyn, Monica Potter, Garret Dillahunt, Sara Paxton, Martha MacIsaac, Riki Lindhome, Spencer Treat Clark, Aaron Paul and Joshua Cox
Director: Dennis Iliadis
Time: 99 mins
Rating: * * 1/2 (out of 4)
PREAMBLE: This is a remake of the 1972 Wes Craven gut-wrenching feature (poster, right) about two hippie chicks who run into a bunch of the drug culture's scum-of-the-earth types that raped and brutalised them. Here the plot has been 'updated' and the graphic violence increased and enhanced to suit modern-day tastes.
For viewers in Malaysia, this can only mean one thing: The censorship board has also gotten into the act and slashed the movie accordingly.
THE SKINNY: The title refers to a remote house beside a lake where Mari (Sara Paxton) and her parents (Tony Goldwyn and Monica Potter, pictured) are spending the weekend. After meeting up with her friend Piage (Martha MacIsaac), they are kidnapped by a prison escapee and his gang and driven to the lake where the girls are attacked.
Later, left for dead in the wilderness, Mari's only hope is to make it back to her parents. However, her attackers unknowingly seek shelter at the one place she could be safe. When her family realises what has happened, they start making the three strangers curse the day they came to the "Last House on the Left."
HITS & MISSES: This is actually a remake of a remake because Craven's was a loose adaptation of Ingmar Bergman’s The Virgin Spring, translating from a medieval Swedish folk tale. Greek director Dennis Iliadis is aided by a credible cast who help to heighten tension and terror in the proceedings.
I am especially impressed by the subplot about the contrast between two fathers - played by Goldwyn and Garret Dillahunt. What I do not like is that the characters are allowed to engage in very stupid actions that mar the plausibility of the plot. Nymphettes Paxton and MacIsaac provide eye candy but many of their scenes have been 'exorcised'.
THE LOWDOWN: Pay a visit only if you can tolerate violent flicks.