'The Last house on the left' is your typical horror movie thriller where everything the characters do in the film is absolutely unbelievable in every conceivable way. The tag line that producer Wes Craven and director Dennis Iliadis used in a behind the scenes look for the film is to tell yourself "It's only a movie...It's only a movie..." They used the same tag line for the original 1972 film. The funny thing about that is everything in the movie is so formula and unreal that how can any person mistake this for anything but a movie. This movie is 90% unbelievable. The other 10% is stuff that is believable, like a doctor that owns a summer home in the woods, that people talk to each other and drive cars, and that yes there are people in this world that kill other people. But I want to focus on the 90% of unbelievability. I am just in a ranting mood right now. I don't want to turn any off on seeing this movie because there are people that like these kinds of film like myself, I was just kind of fed up with this one.
I understand this is a horror/thriller but at the same time they tried to ground this story in reality, filling it with things and events that could possibly happen in real life. Hense the tag line “It’s only a movie…”, well duh, I was given no reason to believe otherwise! This review contains *SPOILERS* so if you don’t want to know that people die in this movie then don’t read ahead.
Here is your cast of characters:
Good Guys - John Collingwood (Tony Goldwyn), Emma Collingwood Johns wife (Monica Potter, Mari Coolingwood daughter (Sara Paxton), Mari’s friend Paige (Martha MacIsac).
Bad Guys – The leader Krug (Garret Dillahunt), Krugs girlfriend Sadie (Riki Lindhome), Krugs brother Francis (Aaron Paul) Krugs son Justin (Spencer Treat Clark).
The following are unbelievable facts from the film that were just ridiculous.
- At the very beginning of the film Krug is in a cop car and is being transferred to another prison. He is in the back seat f the car. While the cop car is stopped at a railroad crossing waiting for the train to pass, a pickup truck comes speeding out of the darkness and rams the cop car with brute force. The two cops get bashed up pretty good to the point where they can’t move. Krug walks out of the accident fine and proceeds to kill the two officers. Is this divine intervention?
- Justin the son of a violent escaped killer invited two girls back to his hotel room, thinking that nothing would go possibly wrong knowing what kind of guy his brother and uncle were.
- At one point page escapes and runs away from Krug and the gang. As she is being chased she hides in a little hole as the other pass her by with out seeing her. A second after they are off frame she leaves the hole and runs again! Had she stayed in the damn hole she would have not been caught!
- Sadie eventually gets away from these guys and runs to the river were she tries to swim away from them. Krug shoots at her several times finally hitting her. She is left floating in the river bleeding as a heavy storm comes in. How she doesn’t drown is beyond me.
- When Sadie shows up at the house all shot up and her mom and dad realize the visitors that are staying with them are the people responsible they start to prepare get fix the situation. This involves not getting a gun. These people have a house in the back woods, and they don’t have any type of shotgun, handgun, or rifle around that may help them do what they gotta do. Every home in the back woods should have a gun!
- A knife, hammer and blender are used to take care of Krugs brother Francis when he finds out that they know. Leading up to his death is the fact that Emma was able to flirt with this guy like nothing was wrong to keep him occupied while John is out looking for some boat keys.
- So when the go to take care of Krug and Sadie guess what Johns weapon of choice is? One of those stupid fireplace wood pokers! Why the hell do people use that stupid ass wood poker as a weapon in movies! It just shocks me that they didn’t have anything better! That thing never works!
- There is a fight scene between Sadie and John that is all kinds of silly. Here is a girl that has been shot in the neck, in the nude, her weapon is a metal bar that holds the shower curtain up, she looks like she couldn’t take on a little kid, but here she is in this scene holding her own, beating the crap out of a grown man who can never seem to get the upper hand with this chick during the fight. She was shot in the neck! Finally Justin comes in and tries to help distracting her, at that point John finishes her off. If this happened in real life she would have been dead a lot sooner.
- Then there is the final fight scene between John and Krug. John gets the living hell beat out of him by Krug. He is beat horribly, his own fire poker weapon is even used against him! He get thrown around, smashed into a book shelf, crashed through the second floor railing landing on a table on the first floor. He is beat within an inch of his life yet in one swift move he picks up a little end table and bashes it over the head of Krug. Krug immediately goes down even though he had the upper hand the whole damn time. Its not even like John got him in a submission move either. Then John finishes him off easily.
- John takes the time to surgically paralyze Krug and then sticks his head in a microwave and his head blows up, which I think is impossible as well. The microwave door is open when he cooks his head. Technically a microwave can’t even work when the door is open.
Maybe that was the joke at the end of the movie when John told Krug the reason he paralyzed him was because he didn't have any rope or duck tape or anything else for that matter.
These are just a few things in the movie that bugged the hell out of me. It is one of those films you can enjoy with a group of friends at home on DVD so you can make fun of it and laugh at it as you watch it. Other than that there is no other reason or place to see it.
At least Wes Cravens original version was original and can get away with being campy. I went in expecting it to be silly, but I always hope that when I go to a movie like this it will end up being surprisingly good.It's happened a few times. Obviously this is not the case with ‘Last House on the Left’.