The Last House on the Left (2009)

The Last House on the Left (2009) — This is the sick ugly fucked-up movie that the 1972 version wanted to be.  That version attempted to shock (and at the time did) but has this sort of campy tone that really undercuts the revulsion that the movie is trying to inspire in its viewers.  The villains have their own upbeat folky theme song for Christ’s sake… This one dispenses with the campiness and just lets the nastiness take center stage.  There are parts that are just uncomfortable to watch in this movie (specifically, a reasonably realistic rape scene).  Not in a gore way but in like an intense “I don’t really want to watch this part so I’m going to go get a snack out of the kitchen and hope this part is over when I get back” way (I have an anti-fast-forwarding policy… and it was on HBO anyway).  Of course when the movie hits that transition from “bad guys doing bad things to innocent people” to “hardcore fuck yeah vengeance” it’s all the more gratifying because you really want to see bad shit happen to the villains.  There are those who would say (and have) that this movie crosses a line.  Perhaps a line not meant to be crossed in horror films, movies not especially renowned for their depth.  I can’t really say that they’re wrong, but I’m all for crossing lines so I can’t really fault the movie for doing it.  If it’s an ultraviolent revenge fantasy, you need something pretty fucked-up to warrant the ultraviolent revenge (the cock-biting scene from the 1972 version has been removed, however).  People get touchy about horror remakes, saying they cheapen the originals.  I think this does the exact opposite, lending a retroactive sense of legitimacy to the 1972 version.

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