With Garret Dillahunt, Tony Goldwyn, Monica Potter, Sara Paxton, Aaron Paul, Riki Lindhome, Spencer Treat Clark, Martha MacIsaac

Written by Adam Alleca & Carl Ellsworth based on the screenplay by Wes Craven
Directed by Dennis Iliadis

In 1972 Wes Craven entered the world of horror directors with his debut The Last House On The Left, a movie branded with notoriety across the decades. Craven perfected his craft and moved on to creating ‘80s and ‘90s hits in the shape of the Nightmare On Elm Street- and Scream franchises respectively.
Amid the recent barrage of horror remakes (including Halloween, Prom Night, My Bloody Valentine et al), the re-take on Last House happens to be one of the more commendable, and had its original creators Wes Craven and Sean S. Cunningham on board as executive producers.
While some of the characters and events in this Last House update have been adjusted, the same basic premise is in tact. The unsuspecting Collingwood family visiting their lake house (a year after the death of the son) ends up staring horror in the face rather than encountering a joyous break together. The daughter Mari and her friend Paige cross paths with some very bad company while out looking for a bit of fun in the sparsely populated town. The sadistic gang is head by Krug, recently sprung from custody. This life-altering encounter results in violation and murder in the woods. A fateful turn of events has the gang seeking refuge – at the Collingwood home. The hospitality soon eclipses when the Collingwoods discover what the “guests” have done to their daughter...

While violent and terrifying, the film does address our moral duality in asking the question whether we are prepared to lower ourselves to the same level as the monsters that harm us and those we love, and whether we are able to live with the results of those actions.
The choice of Greek director Dennis Iliadis was a well-calculated one, as his gritty take on realism pulls the audience into the lives of these characters, unlike the cheap teen-slasher flicks where viewers root for the killer, not the annoying screaming victims.
The new Last House On The Left was shot almost entirely in Cape Town, South Africa, the wooded Helderberg area doubling for the US.
For my extended article on the movie as well as a feature on the South African make-up FX artist Clinton Smith (who created the amazing and gruesome special effects), see issue #282 of the international horror magazine Fangoria.

While this South African DVD release is the "Extended Version Too Extreme For Cinemas", the extras are very thin, and only comprises a few minutes of behind-the-scenes footage and bloopers, and a very brief "look inside" with interview clips from original director (& exec producer) Wes Craven, and remake director Dennis Iliadis.

PS. Craven’s original movie was actually based on the Bergman film Jungfrukällan (The Virgin Spring), which was in turn an adaptation of a medieval Swedish fable.

4 / C
- Paul Blom

0 1 2 3 4 5 6
- A - B - C

Click below for the original Last House

never let a review decide for you, but for those who need a rating, see the Flamedrop scale below
6 - Volcanic
5 - Blistering
4 - Hot
3 - Smolder
2 - Room Temperature
1 - Fizzled
0 - Extinguished

A: Multi-Viewing Potential

B: Could Enjoy A 2nd Look

C: Once Should Suffice

Click the image below to order the DVD & Blu-ray of your choice at Kalahari.net

© 2005-2009 Flamedrop Productions