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The Last House on the Left

Rating: 3.5

Rated: R for sadistic brutal violence including a rape and disturbing images, language, nudity and some drug use.
Release Date: 2009-03-13
Starring: Adam Alleca, Carl Ellsworth
Film Genre:
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‘The Last House on the Left’ is as uncomfortable a film as I have ever seen. Uncomfortable because the movie possesses elements that blur the lines between violence, abuse and entertainment. Cinematically, the film is arresting through and through due the high caliber of the production, the reliable and convincing acting performances and its engrossing premise to boot. But how can one recommend a movie that possesses a barbaric rape scene, as a good cinematic selection? It is a complex response, but ultimately, you need to be the judge.

This is the third remake of ‘The Last House on the Left’. In 1972, the first feature effort of Wes Craven, was a reworking of Ingmar Bergman’s 1960 picture, The Virgin Spring, which won the 1961 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. This third version, is more reminiscent to the 1972 edition. The story takes place after the kidnapping and butchering of two female teenagers. The guilty gang unknowingly finds refuge with the parents of one of the victims, hosts who devise a gruesome revenge.

Women be forewarned. If you have never been privy to scenes of sexual abuse, this is not the film to get acquainted with it. The rape scene images seen here are some of the most gruesome, disturbing and down right reprehensible ever committed to a Hollywood film. I’m not sure many will be able to withstand it and walking out of the theater just might be your best option. But if you can cover your eyes and get through it, there is a redeeming third act that will quench your thirst for revenge. 

After seeing the entire film, I must say, Greek director Dennis Illiadis was a fantastic director who maintained a level of dread, suspense and retribution throughout the whole film. This is not a horror movie but a highly intense thriller that works the mind to feel contempt in its first half then vindication in its denouement.

‘The Last House on the Left’ is not a “pretty” movie, but it does challenge the boundaries of entertainment, and hopefully with an open mind, you’ll be the one entertained.

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