Last House on the Left (2009) was directed by Dennis Iliadis. Written by Adam Alleca and Carl Ellsworth. Originally written by Wes Craven (RIP). Starring Garret Dillahunt, Riki Lindhome, Aaron Paul, and Sara Paxton. If you recognize Garret and Riki, it’s because they are more known for their comedies. Aaron is the Breaking Bad, bad boy. Sara Paxton was in The Innkeepers and will be in the new Twin Peaks.
MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS.
I saw the original before I saw this film. I really do believe that it stacks up. The only real beef that I have with the film is how much more slower this one is the what appeared to be two build-ups instead of the one and the harrowing amount of foreshadowing. What am I saying? Well in the first film when the girls were taking to the woods to be raped and murdered there is a lengthy time in between (in the original the death of Mari) Mari making it home. Also there are numerous moments the parents point out obvious tools/devices that will be used later.
Also this film is entirely not as brutal as the original. They are missing the desecration of Mari and the forcing of acts with the two girls, not just Mari’s rape. Since there is an original to compare it to, it seems to be lacking. The rushing out in the middle of the night to the lack and seeing the pure horror wash over the parents face, the complete lack of care at that point where the parents no longer hold back, the extreme moments when the mother bites off the penis of the Weasel(Francis in remake.), and finally the chainsaw and cop showing up. The film screams an utter lack of extremeness that Wes Craven had built.
What I did see was a horrible scene in which Krug, the main baddy get placed in a microwave, with the door open, and microwaved to the point of his head exploding. I really feel like this was an attempt (homage) to create that brutality of the original. It definitely fell horribly short. There was plenty of opportunities to create the gruesomeness of the film without repeating the film. The microwave was an abhorrent idea. Every child that grew up with a microwave knows that it will not cook without the door closed. At the beginning of the film, the father states that it is broken. A microwave does not “believably” break in that manner.
Another attempt was the stabbing of “Junior” aka Justin in the remake. Krug was originally shown to be manipulative and seemed to have his cronies, including his son, under some sort of mind control. In the final scenes Junior was supposed to be manipulated into killing himself. Krug in the remake instead slowly shoves a hot poker into his side. Also great news, Mari and Justin live supposedly as we are last left watching them and Mari’s parents jet across a vastly huge lake to we hope a hospital.
All together I felt like this was not the worst remake out there. It hit quite a few points, but really dropped the ball on the true horror elements. I would say that it gets 6 out of 10 broken microwaves.