Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Last House on the Left (2009)

Surprisingly, a decent remake of a genre classic. Two things I would have changed: (1) the overbearing musical score for the entire setup portion of the film, and (2) the choice of Riki Lindhome as Sadie. The musical score took away from the possibility of setting a mood in the beginning; it seemed not a second could go by without a blasting crescendo. And Lindhome's acting was far too rigid, causing her to come off like a middle school bully. But, whatever. I suppose they were going for an abrupt transition from the flowery setup into the grim conflict.

I loved the choices for the father and mother: Monica Potter and Tony Goldwyn nailed their parts. Goldwyn's Life-Saver/Tough-Guy character is what I wanted so badly in the father from Funny Games. But Funny Games is a completely different arrangement, as well as a better movie altogether. I was also thrilled with the gore and the suspense the movie was able to pull off. Despite the gore being comparatively mild, the movie still managed to depict some cringe-invoking violence.

I gave it 3/5 stars on Netflix. It's neither garbage nor great. American cinema has long way to go in the "serious horror" category.

(As a side note, it took a conscious effort to take Martha MacIsaac's character seriously after seeing Superbad. All I could picture was her as Becca, which caused me to laugh. Then, I started thinking about McLovin and really started laughing.)


  1. I really enjoyed this one. I thought it was a much better film than the original (dare I say it). The acting and score didn't bug me; if I had any complaints, it would just be regarding editing/pacing and a few cheesy scripted moments.

  2. I forgot to mention those aspects of the movie. Some of the camerawork seemed...how should I put it?...out of place.

  3. My biggest problem with the movie was that it lost the verite style of the admittedly flawed original. Still, I think this was a far more ambitious remake than the Platinum Dunces works, so I give it credit for really trying.

  4. Thanks for offering your impressions without spoiling the movie, still havent seen it yet so I have been very careful with the reviews I have been reading =D

  5. No problem, dude! I really wish I hadn't seen the original, and thus known the plot. That would've made for a very entertaining experience!

  6. Bo - I admit, there were moments when I was impressed with this big budget studio release, but it didn't live up to the hype (as usual). And that's even after my conscious abstinence from trailers and reviews in order to keep the hype as suppressed as possible!

    By the way, I was trying to think of how to explain some of the camerawork that bothered me and I came across BC's review. He explains it well; especially the scene where the camera follows her around the side of the boathouse in the beginning! I had labeled it "out of place" earlier in a comment to Becky, but "unnecessary" seems more appropriate.