Saturday, 8 May 2010

Film Review: THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT (2009)

Director: Dennis Iliadis
Running time: 106 mins (approx)
Certificate (UK): 18

UK Release Date: 12th June 2009

Watched on Sky+ Saturday 8th May 2010.


Back in 1972 Wes Craven wrote and directed a film called The Last House on the Left, I was a bit young to go and see it at the time and to this day it has still managed to elude my viewing. This is a remake of said film and, since I haven’t seen the original, I can only judge it stand alone, so to speak.

John and Emma Collingwood, along with their daughter Mari have just arrived at their lake house for a holiday. John is a doctor, and a pretty successful one at that, their holiday home even has a guest house! But I digress, here’s a short summary before I tell you what I think.

Having been busted out while on his way to prison, all round bad guy and psychopath, Krug just happens to be staying in a motel at a small town near the Collingwood’s holiday home. With him are his psycho girlfriend Sadie, his crazy brother Francis and his teenage son Justin. Justin meets Mari and her friend Paige at the local store and invites them back to their motel room to try some dope. Krug and the rest of the gang return and, having made the front page of the paper are not best pleased to find two ‘civilians’ there. Leaving town and taking the girls with them they take Mari’s car and head out through the woods hoping to make it over the mountain to the freeway. Mari tries to make an escape as they’re passing the end of her road, but the attempt fails and they crash the car. Incensed, Krug and his brother kill Paige and Krug rapes Mari, who makes another bid for freedom, but is shot while making a swim for it across the lake. The weather is closing in and the gang make it to the Collingwood’s house. They take them in and patch up Francis, who broke his nose in the crash. The gang are put up in the guest house, but Justin, feeling guilty, leaves Mari’s necklace for the Collingwood’s to find. A noise outside brings them to find Mari battered and bruised lying on the porch. When they also find the necklace they realise who has attacked their daughter and now it’s time for revenge!

Technically, this film was quite well made, so there was obviously some money behind it. Unfortunately I found the story a bit too predictable and there was one fatal flaw that really was a let-down for me, but more of that later. Decent performances from all of the major players, honourable mentions go to Tony Goldwyn as John Collingwood, Monica Potter as Emma Collingwood, Garret Dillahunt as Krug, Aaron Paul as Francis, Spencer Treat Clark as Justin and Riki Lindhome as Sadie.

So what’s the fatal flaw, well, it’s a big spoiler, so don’t read on if you intend to see this film. The story ends with the family escaping across the lake and all the bad guys either dead or incapacitated, apart from Justin, who’s in the boat with them. I can’t believe they guy that caused the rape of one girl and the murder of another is allowed to escape without any kind of retribution! I’m afraid I felt cheated by this ending. As far as I’m concerned I can’t recommend this one… No justice!

My score: 4.9/10

IMDb Site:
Official Site:

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