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The Last House on the Left (UR)
BLU-RAY disk
08.18.2009 By: J.A. Hamilton
The Last House on the Left (UR) order download
Director:
Dennis Iliadis

Actors:
Tony Goldwyn
Monica Potter
Garret Dillahunt

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
While vacationing with her parents at their isolated summer home, Mari goes to visit a friend. Both girls are abducted, tortured and left for dead. Shot, and barely alive, Mari makes it back home, only to find her parents have unknowingly taken the killers in for the night. Furious, her parents take their revenge.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Every so often a movie comes along that features villains whoís acts are so cruel, vicious, inhuman and depraved, that they make even the most docile person turn red with rage. So much so, that the main character could cave in one such villainís skull with a shovel, drenching themselves in a crimson spray of blood and brain-matter and not only would our docile audience member be happy about it, theyíd probably stand up and applaud. THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT is most definitely THAT kind of movie. Me? I love an adrenaline filled revenge plot, so this baby was right up my alley! Iím not much for standing ovations, but I do like to laugh and yell stuff like ďYES, TAKE THAT MOTERF*CKERĒ, when shit goes down. This flick has more than a few of those moments.

Now Iím not gonna cry over the fact that weíve entered the ďremake zoneĒ, as sometimes horror remakes work (TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE) and sometimes they donít (THE OMEN). Wes Cravenís original is a touch dated (which I guess is why he opted to produce this one), having been filmed back in 1972, so a fresh perspective (though not overly necessary) was a welcome treat in this case. The details are pristine in HD, and the score is gripping and well timed when it comes to hitting the gas before a heavy moment. Speaking of which, they donít get much heavier than the rape scene. This was one of the most brutally disturbing rape scenes Iíve ever seen. The last time I felt this squirmy and uncomfortable was during the ďpregnant breast suckingĒ scene in THE HILLS HAVE EYES remake (which nearly caused my girlfriend to walk out of the theaters).

Of course, itís this scene (and the odd sexual build up prior to it) that set the stage for this filmís overpowering theme: REVENGE. Iím wonít give anything away that the trailer didnít, which isnít too hard considering the trailer gave away just about EVERYTHING. It wasnít hard to figure out though, this flickís plot is all about how revenge is best served cold, with knives, guns, bottles, chair legs, hammers and pretty much anything else you can get your hands on. Does it work? You bet your ass it does! HOSTEL didnít win any Oscars, but you canít put a price on how good it felt to see Jay Hernandez KILL THE SHIT out of that fool in the bathroom stall at the end of the movie. It doesnít change what happened and it wonít bring his friends back, but DAMMIT, it sure does make you feel better about the situation. The same can be said here.

Because of the explicit nature surrounding this film, saying I loved it, almost makes me feel guilty. Almost. Nothing makes me angrier than characters who just ďroll over and dieĒ, Iím happy to report that these ones didnít. The cast here was stellar, and all fell into their roles with an edgy seriousness that instantly sucks you in. I love when people fight back. I love revenge. And I love seeing pain inflicted back on the torturers. Maybe itís because it doesnít happen much, or maybe Iím just a little sick, but I thought THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT was a solid horror entry, remake or no, and delivered in more ways than one. Iím sure it goes without saying that this flick is NOT for everyone, but as far as revenge films go, itís one hell of a ride.
THE EXTRAS
There are two versions of this film (theatrical and unrated), but only a slim four minute difference between them (good luck finding the four minutes). Thereís also a digital copy.

Deleted Scenes: Nine minutes of mediocrity. The HBO and Skinimax joke was kinda funny though.

A Look Inside: A brief two and a half minute synopsis explained by producer Wes Craven and director Dennis Iliadis while the trailer plays in the background. Again, I think they gave too much away in the trailer, but I love the tune playing near the end.

D-BOX Motion Code: This feature unlocks some more goodies if youíre setup for it. Itís just another BD-Live sort of deal. Nothing major.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
This film is a double edged sword. What makes it great is also what holds it back. Revenge stories are fun, but tend to push the boundaries of what most find entertaining and acceptable. Flicks like this one, HOSTEL and THE HILLS HAVE EYES donít do so well in the replay value department, but theyíre nice to have on those rainy days when you wanna see some bad guys suffer.

Extra Tidbit: Being a sword collector (and knowing how to use them), I'm more than equiped to handle this sort of situation. Unless they bring a gun, then I'm pretty much f*cked.
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