The newest horror offering to hit theaters – The Last House on the Left, is a remake of a 1972 horror film that unlike the original is not one that I would recommended for just about anyone out there that values spending their money at the box office. The movie is brutal in its nature, but is awful in its drawn out plot, and the term “overkill” comes to mind a number of times as you sit through the 1 hour 49 minute clunker.
The plot is rather basic, in that it’s centered around two young girls who get caught up with the son of a three-some of murders. The two girls then get taken on a torture ride, try a couple of times to escape, then after one of the girls (Paige, played by Martha MacIsaac) is left for dead, the other (Mari, played by Sara Paxton) does finally get away, only to be shot as she’s trying to swim back to her parents (played by Tony Goldwyn and Monica Potter) vacation home.
After the threesome and son find their way to the same vacation home, the parents unknowingly take them in, only to then have the near dead daughter show up. After the parents put two and two together and realize their daughter has been raped and left for dead by their visitors, they seek revenge and the cat and mouse game is one between the killers and the girls parents.
You can probably take a random guess at how the movie ends, which is part of the reason it is so bad. It’s drawn out to try and make the crowd cheer as the parents get revenge, but while they attempt to do so against the killers, the awful and ugly violence that seems to drag on makes you wish that you would have picked another flick to spend your time on.
One of the few highlights is the part of Mari, the 17-year-old daughter who gets away and back to her parents despite being shot and left for dead in the lake. Paxton does a nice job with playing the part of the tortured young girl, and even though she’s pretty much absent from the last 35 minutes of the movie, the early part of the film focuses on her, and her struggles to try and find a place to fit in at her parents vacation home while trying to cope with the recent death of her big brother Ben.
There are also a couple of staggering lapses in the movie as there are major plot lines that never get explained. The biggest two are the reasons why the main killer in the film, Giles (played by Joshua Cox), is even under arrest in the first place, and also the explanation of the death of Mari’s brother Ben, who had died a year before and how it has played such a big part of Mari wanting to become a world class swimmer with her sights set on one day being in the Olympics.
At the end of the day, do yourself a favor and don’t stop at The Last House on the Left. Just keep driving to the next stop.