'The Last House on the Left': Why I'll be dropping by
I don’t do scary movies. It’s not that I have issues with violence or supposed “quality.” I’m just a wuss. I freaked after Candyman. Hannibal Lecter sauteing that dude’s brain kept me up for days. I still jump every time I think something’s crawling near me, even though Arachnophobia was almost 20 years ago. (Omigod, did I just type that? Quick, somebody check my math!) So I’m probably not the person you’d expect to see at The House on the Left, but I will so be there when it opens this Friday. Why? Because I am a justice junkie.
I have an extreme need to see the right thing happen — an almost pathological obsession with fairness, if you believe my good friend Dan Snierson. Which means [SPOILER ALERT!] I hate movies like Arlington Road or Mystic River, where bad things happen to good people [END SPOILERS]. But bad things happen to good people all the time, you say. Yeah, I know. That’s why when I hear that there’s a movie about the parents of a murdered daughter getting bloody vengeance on her killers, I get happy. In real life, that eye-for-an-eye business is dangerous, childish, and only leads to more misery. On celluloid, it’s cathartic.
The Last House on the Left, a remake of Wes Craven’s 1972 film (which — ignorance admitted — I’ve never seen), stars Tony Goldwyn (Law & Order: Criminal Intent) and Monica Potter (Trust Me) as parents of a girl (Darcy’s Wild Life‘s Sara Paxton) kidnapped and brutalized by escaped killers. After finding out what the cretins did to their baby girl, they embark on the kind of torture even Jack Bauer would find excessive. It all sounds horrifying and dehumanizing, precisely the kind of thing we should all avoid — and precisely the kind of thing you secretly wish would happen to truly evil people. Justice, of a sort, prevails. Who knows? The Last House on the Left could quite possibly suck. And it may well give me nightmares. But I can’t help seeing bad guys get got. I’m a junkie.
How about you, PopWatchers? Anything you like watching against your better nature? Share, please.