Review for The Last House on the Left (2009) Limited Edition 4K Ultra HD
Mari is a swimmer who goes on holiday with her parents and goes off with her friend Paige to find drugs. A chance encounter with a young kid called Justin leads them to his psychotic father Krug, who is accompanied by his equally psychotic lover Sadie and brother Francis who had just sprung him from the police.
Kidnapping Mari and Paige, they take them into the woods where they are brutally assaulted, raped and then murdered. The evil crew are forced by a storm to seek refuge in a nearby house, where Mari’s parents are who are unaware of the fate of their daughter, until their only reaction is revenge.
Of all the films to remake, The Last House on the Left would be way down on the list and when you consider that at time of release in 2009 it had only been one year since the BBFC had finally allowed the original to be releases uncut it seems that comparisons to the original would be rife.
However, I absolutely hated this film. The grimy, grungy original which shocked the world is almost sanitised into a smash-cut mess of violence and not much else. The biggest issue with this film is that it is too violent to be enjoyable, but not enough to be shocking. It is in some grey area where I don’t really know what I am supposed to think of the film. The violence goes on and on and on and none of it is entertaining. It is not like its disgusting to want to turn away, it is just dull and boring.
The performances are fine in general with Garret Dillahunt a very effective Krug and Riki Lindhome (who I had only ever seen as one half of the comedy group Garfunkel and Oates) is fantastic as the psychopathic Sadie. However, the rest of the cast are very generic and I simply could not watch Aaron Paul as Francis without thinking of Jesse Pinkman. The other issue is that the performances are constantly in mind being compared to the originals which were infinitely creepier and thus more effective.
The set comes with an Unrated Version which adds an additional four minutes of footage, but these are simply just cuts to lengths of lingering shots of violence, blood and you would have to watch them side by side to notice them. I do hate when films do this. This isn’t the removal of the Hadley’s Hope scene from Aliens, but literally the removal of seconds of footage throughout.
I have said this a number of times, but there’s nothing worse than reviewing special features for a film that you simply detest. Thankfully many are personal extras and not just positive fluff pieces for the film. The Commentary by David Flint and Adrian Smith is fine and much more enjoyable than the film itself.
Long interview with Sara Paxton who played Marie is fine, but this is far too long. An interview with Garret Dillahunt who played Krug is interesting to see what he brought to the role and he at least warranted the length of the interview given with his career history.
An interview with Writer Carl Ellsworth is shorter, which is surprising as he should be the one who has the most to say about his career and the making of the film. Finally an interview with Producer Jonathan Craven who was originally Writer/Director Wes Craven’s son. He clearly enjoyed working with his Dad and he wanted to honour the legacy of the original and was full of stories about the making of the film. It is a shame that there is nothing from Wes Craven or original and remakes Producer Sean S. Cunningham.
Deleted scenes did not add much and so I’m not sure they included them at all. Look Inside is a featurette from the film’s release and serves its purpose as a promotional piece for the film. As does the Trailer, which feels like any horror movie trailer. The Image Gallery is nothing special, but didn’t expect much from it anyway.
The Last House on The Left is not a great remake and definitely not worthy of a Ultra HD treatment. If this had been the original I could understand getting this kind of treatment, but this film did not deserve it and will hopefully be the last time I have to watch it.