Saturday, June 15, 2024

Remake This!: The Last House on the Left (2009)

 Letting Bob pick my next Review via RNG (or Random Number Generator) doesn't always work out.

This is 2009's Remake of The Last House on the Left.  I've never seen the Original.  I know the drill though- Violent Revenge Film, based on people seeing violent imagery every day via Vietnam War News and Wes Craven.

Speaking of Mr. Craven, he's a Producer here (alongside Friday the 13th Director/original Film Producer Sean S. Cunnigham) and wanted to see what could be done with more resources.  I mean...fair play- that's the argument made for many older Films (like those from the '50s) getting Remakes today.

Mind you, this is a dark, gritty tale of people killing each other in a rain-soaked house- how much does the Budget play into things?
Now if you're talking about A Nightmare on Elm Street- that could be improved with lots of CGI, right?

For what it is worth, Ebert hated this one less than the Original (kind of).

Is it good?  To find out, read on..

In the Cold Open, some Cops are arguing while transporting a guy in their car.

A truck hits them and the group free the man, killing the Cops in the process.

Some amount of time later, we meet our Heroes.

A young woman is driven to be an Olympic Swimmer, while her Mom tries not to set lofty goals and her Dad- Tony Goldwyn, who was a victim in Friday the 13th, Part 6) is there.

He's not a big help...yet.
She goes away from their Cabin- which is the titular location- to hang out with her friend.
Said friend trades the right to not card a teenager for him sharing their weed.

Go to his Hotel Room and hang out- what's the worst that could happen?
Oh, he's the Son of the guy from broken out in the beginning.  He arrives back with the rest of the gang, including 'Garfunkel' (of Garfunkel and Oates) and 'Jesse Pinkman' (this was filmed right around the time that Breaking Bad came out.
They think that the girls will blab and take them away to hide out in the Woods.

The Son doesn't want to take part, but does get dragged along for the ride.
The girls cause the car to crash- breaking Jesse's nose- and nearly get away.

Alas, they fail.

Her friend tries to stop the group from assaulting our Lead and gets killed over it.
The infamous Scene happens.
I will not say more about it, but you also can't talk about this Film without mentioning it.
Her second escape seems to go better, but she is shot and left for dead.

The criminals escape the rain by ending up at the titular location where the Parents don't know what they did.

Only the Son figures out where they are, but doesn't tell the group.
Lots of tense moments occur, especially after the Daughter- who survives in this version- is found.

The Parents figure out what happened- when the Son leaves the Daughter's bracelet in the kitchen- and make their own plans.

After a prolonged assault, they take down Jesse in the Kitchen.
Lots of fighting.  Someone gets shot.

Ultimately, the Son turns on the Father (what timing, eh?) and the Heroes get away.

In the aftermath, the paralyzed Dad is killed via microwave.
The End.
A Film that makes violence an accent to the main dish.  In this case, it is prolonged bits of dialog and waiting for one person to attack the other.

The Film has an interesting pacing, as it really builds up to the big you-know-what Scene and what follows it.
After that, more buildup to the finale, which has no breaks.

FYI, I did watch the Unrated Version, which is a whopping 4 minutes longer.  I don't know how I found the time.

From what I can tell, this is much more of a Character Piece than the Original, with the villains more nuanced and less cartoonishly evil.  It definitely isn't a 'happy' Film, but more good comes out of it than in the 1972 version.

I can't see myself rewatching this one anytime soon, but I don't hate that I saw it either.  I do have to ask, why wouldn't a DVD Player work with the Unrated Version?  Was that a real issue in 2009/10?

Next up, let's see if I can find some lighter fare.  I still have more Horror Remakes to go, but I'd like some variety.  Stay tuned...

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