MOVIE Review: ‘Last House on the Left’

By Emily Hoover |

It is safe to say that Hollywood is getting lazy. American cinema was once known for its ability to shock, move and call its viewers to action. After a subpar Academy Awards, in which a phenomenal British film took the gold, spring peaks its head over the horizon. Summertime soon will follow—the breeding ground for film mediocrity.

As producers and distributers continue the trend of big budget superhero movies and their sequels, they also okay the remake of classic horror films. “The Last House on the Left,” although stylish, slightly suspenseful and macabre, can’t compare to its predecessor; the remake of this film is an insult to the genius of Wes Craven.

The film follows Mari (Sara Paxton) and her upper class parents, John (Tony Goldwyn) and Emma (Monica Potter), as they settle in their summer vacation home in the woods. The family is faced with tension as their eldest child, Ben, was killed a year ago. Mari, despite the reluctance of her mother, decides to borrow the car and stay with her friend Paige (Martha MacIsaac) over night.

This, as with all horror movies, proves to be a bad idea. At the Dollar General in which Paige works, they encounter a shy and creepy boy, Justin (Spencer Treat Clark).They go to his motel room and smoke a few joints before being greeted by Justin’s father, Krug (Garret Dillahunt), his girlfriend Sadie (Riki Lindhome) and his uncle Frank (Aaron Paul), who are killers on the run from the law.

The killers take the girls hostage, violate them and leave them for dead before a storm leaves them stranded. Ironically, they end up taking refuge at Mari’s house; the tables are turned as the killers fight for their lives and Mari’s parents pledge to avenge her, by any means necessary.

While “The Last House on the Left” is entertaining and gross, and viewers eagerly cheer for Mari’s parents’ revenge, its mediocre dialogue, dull characters (apart from Paul’s Frank) and inconsistent cinematography only highlight the claim that if something was good the first time, why change it or recreate it? The results often prove unsatisfactory. “The Last House on the Left” is a classic; it should have been left that way.

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