Last House on the Left (Rated R)
Gavin Grade: C
Prior to seeing this movie, I saw the reviews of some other critics. Wow, did they hate it! The #1 reason for most of their hate was the fact that it was "unflinching" or "savage" or "disgustingly brutal." Does it make me a horrible person when I say that it wasn't savage or brutal enough for me? I wouldn't call myself a fan of the original 1972 movie, but I do like it and think it's a good example of horror. The original, although it was extremely low budget, was ten times worse! The slug line on the poster was "To avoid fainting, keep telling yourself that it's only a movie." Don't worry, you're in no danger of fainting with this version. Yes, there is a terrible rape scene. Yes, there is heaps of violence. But it's almost like the watered-down version of what the story was. In the original there was disemboweling, carving of names into the skin and even the biting off of male genitals. All of that was taken out of this newer, sleeker, and more expensive version. So again, does it make me sick to be disappointed that they took that out? This remake was even Produced by the original writer and director, Wes Craven. You'd think he'd veto some of the changes. He also oversaw the remake of another old movie of his "The Hills Have Eyes." That was a huge improvement over the original and it made me excited for this. I was sadly letdown. But that's not to say that there weren't some improvements. For one, the acting is much better in this than it was in 1972. The casting of Monica Potter (Saw, Patch Adams) and Tony Goldwin (Ghost, voice of Tarzan) was great. I thought they did a great job of making you feel their hurt and pain when finding out what happened to their daughter. The director is a guy named Dennis Iliadis, and to my knowledge he hasn't done much of anything else before. Not bad for a first attempt, but that might have been the problem. You give the reigns of a movie like this to a fledgling director and you're gonna get exactly what it was; high on production value but low on intensity.