last house 73 still

Wes Craven’s “The Last House on the Left” was a fantastically unique movie. The first half of the movie reads like a traditional horror movie. Bad guys attack some girls, rape, kill, torture. You know how it goes. But then the other half of the movie is a revenge film with great payoff.

In 2009, the movie was remade. I’m not a fan of remakes, but I was so impressed with this one that I find the two movies completely equal. Actually, the remake has a few aspects that are even better than the original. The story is basically the same. A family has a secluded home. Their teenage daughter, Mari, borrows the car to visit a friend. The two meet a boy their age and decide to go with him to his hotel to partake in drug usage. While there, the boy’s father, uncle and dad’s girlfriend return. The boy’s dad had earlier escaped from police, so they’re now wanted.

The boy’s “family” gets upset that people have seen them, so they decide to have a little fun with the girls. And by fun, I mean raping, torturing and killing them. In both movies, the group has car troubles near Mari’s home, so they take the girls into the woods. After they’re done with the girls (Mari’s friend is dead and they think Mari is also dead), they seek refuge at Mari’s house with her parents.

Her parents welcome them to stay, not knowing what they have done with their daughter. They eventually figure things out and Mari is found by her parents still alive. The parents rescue their daughter and plot their revenge. The bad guys soon become the victims.

Both movies are loaded with tension, blood and jaw-dropping moments. But what makes both of these special is that the bad guys truly get what’s coming to them earlier than we’ve ever seen. They become the victims. That’s something that never happens in horror films. Usually the killer bites the dust in the end, but that’s about it. What 2009 does better than the original is with the pacing and suspense. The original kind of goes all over the place and is predictable. The new one keeps a steady pace and still manages to surprise. The original, however, does better at authentic horror and shock value. The remake is too cleaned up to meet modern rating standards.

Both films are top notch and therefore both come in at No. 16.

“The Last House on the Left” 1972 and 2009

Memorable Quote: (1972) “You must think we’re stupid right? No, we’re not stupid. We might be horny old pigs, but, we ain’t stupid.”

Best Scene: (1972) Krug makes Junior kill himself. There are far more scarier moments, but there’s just something so chilling and upsetting about this scene. See clip below

Did You Know? (1972) When director Wes Craven took this film to the MPAA, they gave it an “X” rating. Wanting an R for wider release, Craven went back and removed ten minutes of footage. However, this still wasn’t enough and the film still got an “X” rating. Once again Craven removed footage, this time taking out 20 minutes. It still wasn’t enough. Finally, Craven put all of the original footage back in, got an authentic “RATED R” seal of approval from the film board from a friend of his, put it on the film and released it.

See the rest of the 31 Great Horror Movies.

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