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THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT, 2009
Movie Review

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THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT
Movie Review
Directed by Dennis Iliadis
Starring: Monica Potter, Sara Paxton, Garret Dillahunt
Review by Eli Manning



SYNOPSIS:

After kidnapping and butchering two teenagers, a gang unknowingly finds refuge with the parents of one of the victims -- hosts who devise gruesome revenge.

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REVIEW:

There's a Dexter Morgan like scene that appears in the last moment of The Last House on the Left that really doesn't fit with the rest of the movie. And I'm trying to figure out why they put it in it. What was the message? That we're all animals and capable of doing the most vicious things? I don't know.

The Last House on the Left is a fascinating film in many ways. There really isn't a moment of relaxation after the 5 minute mark and we're always on the edge of our seats. Usually these types of films have those calm before the storm moments where the characters talk, contemplate and relax as we the audience do the same while they/we prepare for the next thriller installment. This film has none of that. There are no moments for us to go to the bathroom, no moments to think about what just happened and no moments to realize how insane everyone is. Only until the movie is over is when we realize that this is a pretty sick film.

I remember when I first moved to Toronto and was working in the film industry as a PA while also doing some side work at an artists co-op. I met this one guy who was crazy about Horror Films (you meet a lot of these types as these co-op places). He came over to my apartment one day and showed me the original The Last House on the Left film from the 70s that set up Wes Craven's career. He loved this film and wanted to do a remake of it as he told me that it would be a huge box office smash. He had storyboards for it, an outline of the script and even movie stars who could play certain parts. Never mind that he didn't have any rights to this film, or any money, or any contacts, or any real experience making a feature film, this guy was going to make this film.

So I checked the credits and my old friend wasn't a part of this remake. I wonder where he is now.

But why did he and this film-making team think that The Last House on the Left should be remade? In my subjective and moralistic opinion, this film kind of sends a bad message. But it's my job to not be bias at all when watching a film. So I cleared my mind, headed to the screening and was hoping for a different and better version of this film.

And I was definitely impressed, except for that final scene. I asked myself if I would do the same time if I was in this situation and this happened to my daughter. And I might of done just as this guy did.

But there is a line that we all have that we dare not cross and this film wants to have us all think about what our line is. How far would we go? Or even better, how far CAN we go? A lot of us wouldn't even have the guts to do what the doctor and his wife did.

Without giving things a lot of thought, we as humans tend to act out very emotionally when a bad thing occurs. We are caught up in the moment and react without thinking. Think to past arguments you've have with loved ones. We tend to do and say things we don't mean because we are so angry by the events that are occurring. We want to feel good again and think that reacting to our emotions will do that. But it hindsight it always makes things worse.

In The Last House on the Left a group of bad people do something horrible to the daughter of a doctor and his wife. Then the plot really begins when those bad people end up at the parents house during a storm and seek shelter. They think the girl is dead but when she isn't and comes back to the house.......

Instead of getting the hell out of there and saving their themselves and their daughter like many of us would, the parents journey to their direction to get revenge and kill them. Kind of strange, but during the moment when you are watching the film, you kind of understand why. But then after the movie is over you don't understand it at all.

And that is what makes this movie interesting. What is the right choice?

I liked this movie but I also questioned why I did. The performances all work and I loved the style and overall tone of this film. But.... I am just worried by the message they sent.

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