Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Well you sure picked a helluva time to grow some balls!

Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it, I will.

I am a big fan of scary movies but its hard being a fan. 1 out of ever 50 scary movies is good. The rest are either dumb ghost/possesion ones, slasher flicks or boring zombie movies. Luckily I came across the one in a 50 in the form of Last House on the Left, a remake of a great Wes Craven movie. Its done with a lot of help and support from the master of horror so it never feels like a cheap rip off. In fact it may very well be better than the original.

The story is all based around one ironic twist: A bunch of evil psychopathic Manson family esque killers and their leaders wimpy son are on the run. They run into two teenage girls and since they have seen their faces, they kill one, and rape the other and leave her for dead in the middle of the lake. But because the weather is bad and their car broke down they have to find the nearest house to stay in. So they go in and decide to spend the night. There is only one big problem: The house belongs to the daughter who was raped. And shes not dead. And when she returns all hell breaks loose.

The first thing I liked about the movie was the pacing. It starts off really fast but then slows down for about 30 minutes. That may seem like a mistake for most other movies but with this movie it only helps build the tension and the suspense. In fact once the action starts up again, I am literally gripping my couch leaning in. You could cut the tension with a knife. And after the big 10 minute pick up you dont see any more action till 20 minutes left in the film. That helps increase the tension even more once again and when the action starts yet again, you are sweating and your heart is racing. The tension and suspense in this movie is brilliant.

...before I go on I will say the rape scene is quite honestly the most disturbing and physically sickening thing I have ever seen in a movie. Its very gritty and not stylized at all. The camera just sits there and you watch ever single thrust until he's done. I counted and it lasts almost five minutes. I honest to God almost threw up or cried watching that scene. But it doesnt make it a bad movie...actually it makes it more believable and you actually feel MORE for the parents.

Next let me talk about the acting. It is definetly above par compared to most other horror movies. Garrett Dillahunt is amazing as Krug, the ringleader of the group. He brings this true evil to his character not only in his physical look (he looks like Manson) but also in the way that he talks. He is really smart and he usually for most of the movies talks in this calm HAL like voice that is creepy in his own right, especially when he is saying really disturbing things in a calm tone. Monica Potter and Tony Goldwyn do great as the parents. At first they didnt impress me but in the second act of the film they really pull off an emotional and moral roller coaster really well...seeming real and not just actors. Like how we would act if faced with decison.

Ultimately this movie excells by being genuinely creepy with great atmosphere, great acting and a true tension you feel for most of the movie. Its in my top 3 horror movies of the 2000s...right next to the Descent and Dawn of the Dead.



  1. I agree with your review. But I'm curious about the final microwave scene. I saw the unrated version on dvd so I'm not sure if this scene was in the theatrical release. Yes, the movie was brutal, horrifying, gruesome and hard to watch in places, but never seemed contrived until that final scene, as if they just tacked it on for effect. I couldn't fit it into the story narrative with any logical sense. Thoughts?

  2. My interpretation, having seen it in the theatre and the unrated version, the only difference was the gore AFTER his head exploded. Honestly it did seem a bit tacked on but for me also it gave a sense of closure. Considering how everyone else died in the movie it seemed odd the strongest would go down with a punch, a fire extinguisher to the head and a piece of wood. I think by adding that scene it gave a reversal of power. Like you think you were the dominant one by raping my daughter and manipulating us. How does it feel to have the shoe on the other foot. The microwave though was a bit much. He could have just pulled a Wolf Creek and left him there paralyzed to think about what he did. I dunno