Last House on the Left (remake)
Wes Craven’s infamous Last House on the Left from 1977 (if I recall correctly) was a bit a pioneer project; nearly every rape’n’revenge based movie that came later has references to this masterpiece of violent trash. Of course, compared to more recent movies like Saw or even Hostel, Last House on the Left is almost tame, obviously also a result of much better special fx. But this oldie but goldie is still a major reference for non-monster horror.
The story is probably known, if not, told quickly. Two teenagers wanna have a party, get kidnapped by a group of psychopaths, raped and killed; the psycho gang then accidentally has to seek shelter from a storm in the house of one victim’s parents. The parents realize who these people are and kill them.
Let’s compare 1977 to 2009:
1977: Two hippy girls wanna go to a concert on the birthday of one girl.
2009: Two teenage girls meet a guy in a drugstore and he offers them the best weed they ever had, so they follow him to a motel.
1977: The movie plays by day.
2009: The movie plays almost completely by night/in the dark.
1977: There’s a damn chainsaw!!!
2009: There’s no chainsaw. Boo!!!
1977: The kills aren’t all that quick, yet less spectacular.
2009: The kills are quite quick but some are quite original. (Doesn’t matter, it plays in the dark, so its just a guess anyways.)
The two girls (Mary and Page I think) are kidnapped from the motel from the father of Justin (weed kid), his brother Francis and girlfrriend (?). Trying to escape, they start a fight in the car, causing it to crash in a lonely forest, not far from Mary’s house. She’s a swimmer and her dad a surgeon. Yeah, that’s both important.
In said forest, Page tries to run first, but gets caught and brought back to the crashside. Justin’s dad tries to make him pick one of the girls to rape, but since his son refuses, he rapes Mary himself, after stabbing Page and letting her die. That’s one stab with a butterfly knife, ladies and gentlemen, that’s what I mean with “quick kills”. However, after that, Mary manages it to run, and she makes it to jump into the sea that borders to her parents’ house. As a professional swimmer, she almost makes it to reach the other side, but gets shot and seems to die at 2/3 of the way.
Now the thunderstorm and real bad rain starts, and the psychopath gang, with their car damaged, walks to the house where Mary’s parents have a romantic diner. They offer the gang shelter in their guest house and also treat the injuries (Francis has a broken nose from the crash). Justin acts strange all the time, and secretly leaves a bracelet or necklace he took from Mary in the kitchen, after seeing her photo on the fridge and realizing whose house it was.
During the night, the power generator gets stuck by lightning or something – from here on the entire movie plays in the dark and there is just a maximum of 3 candles to light a scene.
After the psychos went to the guest house, the parents hear a knocking on the porch, and when they go check what it is, they find their daughter more dead than alive outside. They take her in and treat her, and her mother finds the jewelry thingy Justin put in the kitchen. They now know who their guests are, and having no car (Mary used it when getting kidnapped) and no electricity/phone, they decide they have to do something for their own protection. And revenge.
While Mary’s dad (John I think) is searching for tools, Francis wakes up and comes over to main house to get a drink. He finds Mary’s mom (Emma I think) in the kitchen where she was getting knives. She can hide the knives in time and keep Francis distracted by flirting with him and claiming her husband is sleeping. Francis asks her to go to the hot tub with him, but on the way there he sees Mary in the living room and that she is alive. Before he can eliminate the witness, Emma stabs him with a kitchen knife from the back. They start to fight in the kitchen, until John shows up and helps his wife. Together they kill Francis in a probably quite original scene that I don’t get. They seem to put his head under water in the sink, but then he pulls the plug and the water flushes away. When the sink is almost empty, John uses a switch on the wall and yeah, that’s the part I don’t get. It appears to be the on switch for a mixer or something IN the sink. At least the water gets brownish-bloody, but WTF? Who the hell has a mixer blade in the sink? And yes, I’m sure it is a sink!
When Francis is finally dead, the parents sneak into the guest house and find Justin awake and with his father’s gun, sitting besides the bed where his dad and his girlfriend sleep. At this point, dialogues are temporarily suspended. There aren’t any for the next 15 – 20 minutes, and they play in the very dark, so I might miss certain details. If there were any. However, Justin hands John the gun, and when loading it, the click wakes the victims. John pushes Justin’s father out of the window – very silly scene, btw, because after the fall he gets right up and runs to the main house like nothing happened. John starts a fight with the girlfriend, losing the gun, leading to the bathroom. It ends with the girl getting a headshot by Emma and dying right next to the toilet.
Back in the main house, things get a bit chaotic in the dark. I think they involve John, Justin’ dad and several fireplace tools. It ends with John on the floor, about to get killed with a hook, but Justin appears with the gun and forces his father to stop. Stupid thing, the gun is out of ammunition, but luckily Emma is around with a fire distinguisher and attacks Justin’s dad before he can attack his son. John gets up and joins the battle and they leave the house in the morning. The finish seems to be the parents, Mary and Justin in a motorboat. I thought its a quite nice morbid happy end that they adopt Justin, kind of, after his father raped their daughter, the bloodbath and all. But actually, it isn’t the finish.
The finish is Justin’s dad waking up, asking why he can’t move. John tells him he is paralized from the neck down, and what he couldn’t paralize with medics, is duct taped to the floor. Then we see that the head is in a open microwave, which gets switched on by John. My question: What microwave can be switched on with the door open?! However, the rapist’s head explodes and that is the finish. I guess they need to hire someone else to do the director’s cut, because, well, this makes no sense at all.
Last Words: Na, save your time. Its not really worth to watch. Though the story gives some more details than the original, its not one of the better remakes. Not really.