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Last House on the Left Movie Review

Posted on January 28, 2009 by Flames


Available at Amazon.com

Last house on the Left is director’s Wes Craven’s (Nightmare on Elm Street, Scream) first movie. It’s a low budget exploitation movie about two teenagers that head to the big city to attend a BloodLust concert. On the way they get kidnapped by a gang of escaped convicts that torture and rape them.Then the movie takes a turn into revenge tale territory where bad guys get their comeuppance.

Acting:
The overall acting isn’t that bad, but it certainly hasn’t aged well. Everyone displays emotions like a god damn mime and overacts in every significant scene.

Directing:
This is Wes Craven’s first movie. I never liked his directing outside of maybe Nightmare on Elm Street, and this is no exception. The random shots of rivers running and the completely stupid cops and their hijinks (they’re hick cops get it? hur hur) while the movie is supposed to be serious and scary threw me off big time. I didn’t see anything decent worth commenting.

Gore:
There’s some stabbing, gut removing, arm mutilating and flesh carving involved.

Soundtrack:
The music sounded way out of context to my sensitive ears. Cheere piano music accompanying a rape is fucking creepy, and not in the good way.

Trivia:
When fledgling director Wes Craven took this film to the MPAA, they slapped it with 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.

Wes Craven later used the name “Krug” in A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) for the film’s villain, “Freddy KRUEGer.” In both films the name is used for teenage murderers.

Based on the film Jungfrukällan (1960)

When distribution companies Hallmark and Atlas International released the movie in Germany, they attempted to pass it off as an actual “snuff” film (i.e., a real murder staged for the camera).

Overall:

I thought the movie was OK, certainly not the masterpiece I expected to see, judging from the hype surrounding it. The plot is pretty standard fare, the characters rarely have any kind of motive or reasoning behind their actions and there are plot holes in most of the film (one of the bad guys is the son of one of the convicts. He’s being manipulated because he needs a heroin dose now and then. What, did he have a monopoly on junk?). Add to that the naive way in which every plot point is delivered and you have a laughable outcome. I did find the rape and torture scenes to be disturbing, but I’m above the age of 12 so that’s not really what I’m looking for in a movie.

Review by George Cotronis

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2 Responses to “Last House on the Left Movie Review”

  1. Frank Walls says:

    I think when compared to more sophisticated horror movies LHotL doesn’t stand up, but you have to remember the context in which this movie debuted. In 1972 this film was something completely new, and while it was definitely exploitative, it helped to influence a new direction in horror movies. Sure it has its flaws, but its impact on modern horror cinema is right up there with Night of the Living Dead and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

    Reply

    George C Reply:

    I respectfully disagree, somewhat.
    I don’t think LHotL was such a big influence, there were tons of exploitation movies being made at the time. If anything, LHotL was late to the party.
    Since I wrote the review, I calmed down a bit and I realized that I was mostly disappointed with the movie. I heard a lot about it, but not being exactly new to horror movies, I found it lacking and unoriginal, even by the time’s standards.

    Reply

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