Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Last House on the Left

The Last House on the Left (2009)

Second Time Offender

Directed By:
Dennis Iliadis

Tony Goldwyn
Monica Potter
Sara Paxton
Garret Dillahunt
Spencer Treat Clark

Favorite Character:

Plot Summary:
Two cops, transporting a criminal in the back of their cop car, are driving along a deserted country road telling dirty jokes to each other. The criminal in the back of the car asks if they can stop so he can piss which, of course, they refuse to.

A short time later they happen upon a railroad crossing where they have to stop due to the fact there's a train (although I'd have liked to seen them chance it, but that's just me). One of the cops notices Krug, the criminal, has his eyes closed and appears to be praying. He cracks a joke and moments later the car is slammed into by a truck incapacitating both of the cops.

Inside the truck are Krug's brother Francis and his she-bitch Sadie. Sadie shoots the cop that was driving in the head after he moans and then climbs into the back of the car onto Krug (like a dog in heat) and proceeds to free him. Krug then gets out of the car and kills the other cop in a rather cruel fashion before the screen cuts to a girl swimming in a pool.

It's here we meet Mari Collingwood, her mother Emma, and her father John. On the surface they seem like the idyllic nuclear family (don't they all?), when in reality they aren't as perfect as they appear to be (boohoo!).

It appears to be time for their annual family vacation and the three set off for some unknown middle-of-nowhere lake house where they plan to spend the next few weeks enjoying their summer. Little do they know this is one vacation they should have skipped.

Upon arriving at their lake house Mari goes for a swim in the lake while her parents settle in and then she cons them out of the car which she uses to take into town to visit her friend Paige. Paige works at the town's general store and she and Mari proceed to hang out there where we learn that Mari and her parents had suffered the loss of her older brother Ben a year before the events of our story take place.

This is also where they meet Justin, a creepy, awkward teenager who is buying junk food and is apparently in the market for some cigarettes. Not wanting to offer up ID he suggests a trade. Paige sells him cigarettes sans ID in exchange for some primo weed, which Paige is all too happy to accept.

They head back to his hotel where Paige promises to "just be five minutes" before returning with the weed. Several minutes pass and Paige doesn't return so Mari goes to see what the hold up is. She finds them already smoking a joint and reluctantly joins in.

Their party is cut short, however, by the return of the room's other occupants - Krug, Sadie, and Francis. Justin is Krug's offspring and Mari and Paige are officially screwed (no pun intended). What started out as an easy way to score some weed has now turned into a life and death hostage situation (if only they'd listened to their parents about stranger danger).

Krug, Justin, and the others set off in Mari's car intent on heading out of town but Mari derails that plan when she tries to escape and causes Krug to crash the car (thank God for airbags...).

What happens next is beyond difficult to watch and could accurately be described as the most horrifying thing you will ever have to sit through - in any film, not just this one. It also sets the tone for the rest of the film which you find yourself inescapably committed to seeing.

Remember, what doesn't kill you only makes you temporarily homicidal...

Favorite Quote(s):
: Praying now?
: Oh Lord! Won't you grant me an empty mayonnaise jar to piss in.
: You know, Krug, considering the rather notorious nature of the prison you're headed to, I think I'd pray for something a little more substantial.

Favorite Scene:
The last scene Krug is in. I know...I have issues.

Does it make me a bad/twisted/morally depraved person to say that I liked this film? Because I did, but not because of the content. As revenge films go it's nothing new and the only real difference between the remake and the original is that the daughter survives - which may, or may not, be a blessing.

The film is intense, the bad guys are oh so bad, the good guys are oh so wholesome, and watching the lines get blurred between what you know is right and what you have to do to protect yourself and those you love is a train wreck - in the sense that you can't look away despite the fact you know what's about to happen.

The roles were well cast, especially that of Tony Goldwyn's, and the story and direction were well paced and solid.

A lot of the complaints I've heard peg this as being boring, but I disagree. It is a slower paced movie, but it doesn't lag so much that it loses your interest.

Having seen the remake I do feel comfortable enough to say that it's a more solid horror effort. The first one was made on a very small budget and while the acting was good and it was just as difficult to watch as the remake, it did lack some polish and it had some fairly gaping plot holes.

And if you're sitting here, reading this, saying she's full of shit I would hope that you've seen both films. If you have, I'd love to know why you disagree with me, and if you haven't, shut the fuck up - go watch the movies - and then talk to me about it.

I'd also like to mention that the film score is amazing! But, then again, I am partial to John Murphy.

Interesting Fact:
According to Sara Paxton, in an interview, the rape sequence took 17 hours to film.



1 comment:

  1. So I was a big sissy and didn't want to see this movie because it looked a little too much out of my comfort zone. You just reinforced my suspicion. maybe someday I will try to watch it during the very bright day. But... not anytime soon.