The Last House on the Left
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Last House on the Left follows a group of teenage girls heading into the city when they hook up with a gang of drug-addled ne'er-do-wells and are brutally murdered. The killers find their way to the home of one of their victim's parents, where both father and mother exact a horrible revenge.

March 12, 2009

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The Last House on the Left

Reviewed by mutuel

Now and then it’s good to get away from the office. Vacations are a ritual many of us take for granted. Doctors often prescribe it’s worthwhile to have a time out to recharge one’s batteries. A little getaway turns into quite the ordeal for a normal family in The Last House on the Left, a chilling thriller from Rogue Pictures and Allied now freaking folks out at Tinseltown (on Pender, free parking), Empire Studio 12, Colossus and Famous Players Silver Cites around B.C.

Batten down the hatches as director Dennis Llidais (Hardcore) piles on the tension and terror in this 100 minute stylized thriller. Loving John, Emma and Mari Collingwood find quiet solace when they go on their annual pilgrimage to the countryside. City life is left far behind when this trio packs up and descends on their rural homestead, effectively in the middle of nowhere. Being young daughter Mari still has a few wild oats and the 17 year old, once settled in, decides to head into a nearby hick town to meet up with an old friend.

Young people often have little fear and before you know it these two girls find themselves in a bit of a predicament. In a move sure to freak parents out everywhere the women encounter a group of strangers who have a rather disjointed view on law and order. While the parents at the lake house start to worry about their daughter’s whereabouts Mari falls prey to a group of sadists who delight in effectively toying with these nubile girls.

Degradation of their new subjects is the order of the day for the reckless band of thugs that decide to act out their most basic and violent instincts. Brutal force is used against the women who are left for dead. Then, in a complete about face, these torturers wind up lost, damaged and in need of a place to hide out and recover.

Unbeknownst to them the only house in the area, which is totally deserted, happens to be a house on a lake. You guessed it - the house belonging to Mari’s mom and dad. Being good Samaritans this pair of well-heeled professionals can’t resist some strangers in trouble so they are invited in, with welcome arms. Through the course of an evening those decent folk become much like these perpetrators of evil in a show of force that takes self-preservation to new heights.

Wildly brutal and highly effective, The Last House on The Left strikes all the right notes in the take the law into your own hands department. My, oh my, how Clint Eastwood’s Dirty Harry iconic figure would commend mom and pop in using their wits to battle the bad guys in order to avenge their daughter.
Great casting for both the good and bad people make this movie rock. Chosen as the loving parents are Monica Potter (Along Came a Spider) and Tony Goldwyn (The Last Samurai) who truly rise to the occasion when the going gets tough. Sure, some would question their methods of stooping to the same tactics as the mob out to harm them but, hey, what are you going to do when your lives are being threatened by a group of sadists bent on murder?

Garrett Dillahunt (No Country, Old Men) is great as the menacing team leader while Riki Lindhome (Million Dollar Baby) and Michael Bowen also shine as evil enforcers. Lots of blood gets spilled in this ordeal with enough on screen weaponry and the novel use of everyday household objects to make the likes of Jason or Michael Myers rightfully proud.

Not for the prim and proper crowd, The Last House on the Left will get a rise out of fans of horror and suspense thrillers. Graphic violence here really sets the stage for an ultimate showdown pitting good against evil with somewhat explosive results.

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