The Last House on the Left (2009)
the last house on the left | remake | dennis iliadis | adam alleca | carl ellsworth | garret dillahunt | monica potter | tony goldwyn | sara paxton | aaron paul | crime | thriller | united states | exploitation | revenge | murder | death | kidnap | the virgin spring
Film: The Last House on the Left
Director: Dennis Iliadis
Writer: Adam Alleca and Carl Ellsworth
Starring: Garret Dillahunt, Monica Potter and Tony Goldwyn
This film begins with a man in custody; he is played by Garret Dillahunt. He is being driven by Michael Bowen and Josh Coxx. Bowen is telling a long, drawn-out, dirty joke while Coxx listens. Dillahunt asks if they can stop so he can urinate. They deny and ignore his request. They have to stop for a train and while they do, they are hit by a speeding truck. From the truck emerge Dillahunt’s brother, played by Aaron Paul, and his girlfriend, Riki Lindhome. They free Dillahunt and then kill the cops.
We then meet the other family of this film. There is the daughter, played by Sara Paxton. She is a great swimmer and she is constantly training to get better. Her mother is played by Monica Potter. She is a little bit overbearing, but she is also very loving. We then meet the father and husband, played by Tony Goldwyn. He is a doctor who is completely wrapped up in his work. They are finalizing things for their summer trip out to their lake house.
Once they arrive, Paxton asks if she can stay out in the guest house. We learn that she had a brother who died, which explains why Potter is so overbearing. We get a scene where Paxton swims out to a buoy and then showers. After dressing, she asks her parents if she can see her friend who lives up this way. Potter doesn’t want her to, wanting to spend quality time together. Paxton suggests that they could have a romantic dinner without her there. Goldwyn tosses her the keys and allows her to go. She is required to call her mother though.
Paxton then meets up with her friend, played by Martha MacIsaac. She is working the cash register at a local store. We learn through their talk that Paxton used to be a little bit wilder like MacIsaac, but now that she is getting better at swimming, has toned it down. We see a young man in the store buying some things; he is played by Spencer Treat Clark. He tries to buy cigarettes, but when MacIsaac denies him, he offers to sell her marijuana in exchange. MacIsaac agrees.
The plan is for her to go in and buy the drugs, and then returned to Paxton. When this doesn’t happen, Paxton goes in to see what’s going on. She finds them smoking in the room. Paxton is convinced to join. They begin to have fun until Clark’s family comes home. Immediately the two young ladies are nervous. Paxton offers to give them the keys to her vehicle so they can go free, instead they are kidnapped. MacIsaac also tries to escape from the bathroom, but is attacked and knocked out.
The group goes on a journey where Paxton helps in hopes that they will let her go. When they drive past the driveway to her house she tries to escape. This ends up getting them into an accident, but they do not get away. There is another point where MacIsaac breaks free, but she is also caught and brought back. Dillahunt wants Clark to become a man and to rape Paxton, MacIsaac calls Dillahunt out for what he is doing. She ends up getting stabbed for what she said. Paxton is then raped by Dillahunt while everyone is watching.
Afterward, she has a hold of a rock that she hits Dillahunt in the head with. She makes her final run from the group and makes it to the lake. She tries to swim away, but right before she is out of sight, Dillahunt shoots her in the right shoulder. She can no longer swim and moves slowly. The storm that we have heard on the radio then finally hits.
Dillahunt and his crew are forced to seek refuge with Potter and Goldwyn. They give them aid. They make up a story about why they are there and everyone plays their part, expect for Clark. He feels very guilty about what has happened. He feels even worse when he learns that they are at Paxton’s house. The power goes out and they cannot get in touch with anyone in town, so it is decided that the group should stay in the guest house, since Paxton is staying in town that night.
After showing them where they can stay, Potter and Goldwyn are getting ready to settle down themselves when they hearing a banging noise. They go out on to the porch to find Paxton, dying. They bring in her and help her. While this is happening, Clark had taken Paxton’s necklace and wrapped it around the base of his cup. Potter finds it and they know who did this to their daughter.
What will Goldwyn and Potter do? Will they be able to save their daughter or will she die? Will they get their revenge or will they decide to just get away? What will Clark do? Will he protect his family or do what’s right? Can Goldwyn and Potter take out these harden criminals?
I have to say that this is one of the better remakes that you will find. I also feel that this one is a better film than the original The Last House on the Left. Don’t get me wrong, I like the original. I think this one is better, because they took out the slapstick comedy of the sheriff and deputy, plus this one focuses a lot more on the revenge sequence and that I really liked. I feel like the acting in this one is much better. I think the two young women from the original showed more terror, but Dillahunt and Goldwyn are great. I think both add more depth than the actors in the other version. This one shows much more gore and violence than the original, so the action is a lot better. I also feel that the soundtrack for this one adds to the feel of much better as well.
This is quite horrible of me to say, but I feel that ‘bad guys’ with the young women scene in the original is much more powerful, even though this one shows more of the rape and it goes on much longer as well. I also was not a big fan of Potter. I felt she played the role a little bit bland. I also do not think Lindhome was as good as the woman from the original either. She wasn’t horrible though by any means. I also do not know if the ending would work or not, the microwave scene is still great though.
I would recommend giving this one a viewing if you can handle the subject matter. Much like with the original version, this one is interesting to put yourself in their situation. What would you do if you were in this position and this happened to someone you loved? I personally really like the original, but I find this one to be a better film. I think some of the acting is better in this one, while some of it falls below though as well. I think this one gives us more in the revenge part and not having the comedy aspect makes this one better as well. A solid story, a great concept and a soundtrack that added something to the feel as well help give this version a higher rating for me. I would definitely say worth a viewing if you like revenge or a modern update of an exploitation film.
My Rating: 8 out of 10