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Last House on the Left, the (2009) (Blu-ray Review)

16 Sep, 2009 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Last House

Box Office $32.8 million
$29.98 DVD, $39.98 Blu-ray
Rated ‘R’ for sadistic brutal violence including a rape and disturbing images, language, nudity and some drug use. Unrated version also available.
Stars Monica Potter, Tony Goldwyn, Sara Paxton, Garret Dillahunt, Michael Bowen, Joshua Cox, Riki Lindhome.

Pity the family values viewers who mistakenly watch The Last House on the Left thinking the remake of Wes Craven’s 1972 horror classic is no more offensive than Rest Stop or the forgettable What Lies Beneath — the latter also featuring idyllic wooded sets and a lake.

There’s a reason the MPAA qualified its ‘R’ rating for Last House with terminology such as “sadistic brutal violence, including rape and disturbing images.” All are on display to shocking effect in high-definition.

Backed by a bigger budget, director Dennis Iliades (Hardcore) together with producer Craven stays relatively true to the original. The story finds Dr. John Collingwood (Tony Goldwyn), wife Emma (well-cast Monica Potter) and daughter Mari (Sara Paxton in a 180-degree turn from TV’s “Darcy’s Wild Life”) on an ill-fated weekend getaway to the family summer lake house.

Mari quickly grows bored and heads into town in the family car to meet girlfriend Paige (Martha MacIsaac from Superbad), who works the register in a convenience store.

When teen customer Justin (Spencer Treat Clark) invites the two girls to his motel room to get baked, you know events will quickly deteriorate. Of course Mari and Paige have no idea Justin’s dad is prison escapee Krug (Garret Dillahunt from “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles”), whose girlfriend Sadie (Riki Lindhome) likes to go topless as much as she enjoys inflicting mayhem with Krug’s brother Francis (Aaron Paul).

What Krug & Co. can’t possibly realize is that no misdeed goes unpunished in a Craven film (and in gruesome detail) when they seek shelter and medical assistance at the Collingwoods’ home during a nighttime thunderstorm.

Last House delivers exactly what it promises: edge-of-your-seat fear, violence and gory revenge. Besides offering both the theatrical and unrated editions, the Blu-ray release offers scant bonus material, including an underwhelming nine minutes of deleted scenes in standard-definition.

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