Sunday, September 13, 2009

Last House on the Left (2009)

Fear 3/5
Gore 4/5
Entertainment 4/5
Creepiness 4/5

I was thinking of how to justify giving this 4 out of 5 on the entertainment score. What does it say about me that I find a movie about rape, torture, murder and revenge entertaining. Best not to explore it I suppose and be happy with the anonymity the Internet provides me. Suffice it to say, as I have said many times here - horror movies should horrify.

Anywhooo...I had low expectations for this. Despite it's flaws, I still consider the original Last House on the Left to be a sleazy and disturbing masterpiece of true horror. To me, it kind of goes along with Night of the Living Dead, Altamont and Black Sabbath as a general death knell for the hippies and all of their lofty, but naive ideals. Maybe not art, but close enough to make a solid statement on things.

So I was apprehensive about the updated version which, should one choose to believe online rumors, was made solely for the sake of money. I also had this feeling that the filmmakers would tame it down a bit and go for more style than substance - you know, slo-mo shit, big rock soundtracks, all blue lighting, the typical bullshit that parades around as big studio horror these days.

I was wrong. Some horror movies are designed for dates. They're fun, kind of scary, kind of gross, but mainly just fun and goofy. 2009's updated Last House is every bit as sleazy and disturbing as the original. Don't expect to get any after this one. Obviously the gore is much more grim, but so is everything else. By removing the slapsticky parts and focusing on the nasty bits a little more, the filmmakers here really made this an unpleasant film.

There is a long and drawn out rape scene that is intense and truly awful. There are situations that are absolutely "no-win" and choices are made. There are scenes where you might think "oh come on, just shoot the guy" except here, you get it - it's real people put into unreal situations and who knows how one would react. In fact, that's one of the creepiest things about this movie. Like 28 Weeks Later, the "good guys" do some very bad things to the bad guys, and it's done with thought, planning and agony over the moral questions. This is no mindless slasher romp, it's unnerving.

A well made, gruesome and very affecting film, I hesitate to say it since I may get crucified by the hardcore fans, but this is every bit as good as the original. And take my word - if you watch the unrated version, it's fucking grim.

- Complaint Department

1 comment:

Cortez The Killer said...

I finally got around to watching this the other night and I agree with you wholeheartedly Complaint Dept. (imagine that). In much the same way the original made a statement about hippie culture, so too did this about the youth of today, their carefree and don't think about the consequences attitude towards life (which is evident in the convenience store scene). But sadly, I think the message was totally lost on the audience.

Regardless, this film is totally unnerving and should definitely be considered as good if not better than the original. Unfortunate that this film did not garner more fanfare.