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'The Last House on the Left': Snap judgment

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Lasthouseontheleft_l

Lasthouseontheleft_lIt is surely now just a matter of time before someone remakes Wes Craven’s old belly button lint (“He’s back and this time it’s personal and…he’s got belly button lint!”). Craven has already overseen two recent movies based on his 1977 film The Hills Have Eyes and, apparently, there are plans for further remakes of three other Wes works: A Nightmare on Elm Street, The People Under the Stairs, and Shocker, a film I thought was only remembered by me.

Yesterday, meanwhile, saw the release of The Last House on the Left, in which the parents of a rape victim wreak vengeance on the family who assaulted their child and left her for dead. This Craven-produced splattershow is a remake of the director’s 1972 debut, which provoked controversy for its level of graphic horror. Now, I’m a fair-sized Craven fan — hey, I’ve seen Shocker! — but the original Last House is, these days, a pretty grim and depressing watch. And, for its first hour at least, this new version is a similarly enjoyment-free zone. Things pick up in the last 30 minutes, however, as Monica Potter and Tony Goldwyn battle the family of maniacs — led by Garret Dillahunt from Deadwood — using whatever they can find in their remote summer home. In fact, the third act plays like Home Alone, reimagined by, well, Wes Craven, as the couple have at their maniacal foes with a poker, a kitchen knife, a fire extinguisher and…. Actually, I’m not going to spoil the pretty unforgettable conclusion by revealing the final household item which is put to a homicidal purpose. Suffice to say, the last scene is a hot one. Or, as the guy sitting behind me put it while the credits began to roll, “Ooh, that’s how you end a f—ing movie!”

What do you think? Ending get you, too? Did this remake improve on the original? Are you scared of every random item in your home now? How spooked are you by The Last House on the Left? (Fair warning, by the way: There may be SPOILERS in the comments, so read on at your own risk!)

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