Reviewed by: Matthew Wood
FIRST-TIME VOLUNTEER REVIEWER
|Featuring:||Sara Paxton, Monica Potter, Tony Goldwyn, Garret Dillahunt, Michael Bowen, Joshua Cox, Riki Lindhome, Aaron Paul, Martha MacIsaac, Spencer Treat Clark, Usha Khan|
|Producer:||Rogue Pictures, Midnight Entertainment, Greig Buckle, Jonathan Craven, Wes Craven, Sean S. Cunningham, Ray Haboush, Marianne Maddalena, Bryan Thomas, Cody Zwieg|
“If bad people hurt someone you love, how far would you go to hurt them back?”
The trailer led me to believe that the backdrop of the original film—“The Virgin Spring”—and the 1972 version of “Last House on the Left” is still intact, however the movie is amped up to 21st century horror moviemaking standards. It is clear from the previews that this movie is not for everyone. There are a few things you have to bear in mind before making the decision to go see this movie. This movie is more about making audiences cringe and question their morals—rather, more true to what horror is truly about—than it is about disgusting people with blood, guts, and gore, or frightening them with special effects and various scare tactics. With all this in mind, buckle up, and prepare for a thrill ride that delivers.
What makes this movie different than the 1972 version is how it starts. Krug is on his way to a maximum security prison when his brother, Giles, and Sadie crash into the cop car he was a passenger in. After a couple brutal acts of murder, we are introduced to the Collingwood family, who are wrapping things up to go away to their lake house for the summer.
Once there, a few scenes later, Mari is shown stripping to her underwear and jumping into the lake. Later, she is shown getting dressed. (These shots were the beginning of the little nudity in the movie).
After, these scenes Mari heads into town to meet up with her friend Paige—who Mari’s parents aren’t two fond of, and we see later why. Again parallels are made to the 1972 film where Paige (Phyllis in the ’72 version) goes to score some marijuana, only this time they are brought back to a hotel, and Krug and crew are not there.
After a scene of drug use, the movie takes off: Krug and crew return, become suspicious of the girls, and figure that they have to dispose of them. Mari and Paige put up a good fight, which leads to Paige getting killed and Mari raped. The rape scene is not graphic nor is it overbearing, however it still made me sick to my stomach.
Sex was made by God so that man and woman could procreate. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that sex is allowed by force, afterall, force is not love, nor is it God-designed.
Besides this rape scene, I had a hard time watching the times Mari and Paige were assaulted. Later in the film, a bare-breasted Sadie fights with Dr. Collingwood. These scenes, where a woman is being beaten seemed, to me, to be overdone—which is common in movies today.
What ensues for the rest of the film is an attempt to answer the movie’s tagline: “If bad people hurt someone you love, how far would you go to hurt them back?”
That question alone is the main problem with this movie. The acting is not bad, the cinematography is not bad, the soundtrack is great, the writing is mediocre, however that question is what destroyed this movie, for me. In Exodus 20:13, God commands that we should not murder, and later Jesus says in Matthew 7:1-2: “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For the way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Dr. Collingwood encouraged his wife that they must be prepared to do anything to exact revenge upon Mari’s attackers. He made the conscience decision to become the law, the judge, and the executioner, which is all against what God commands us to do.
Goodness is the courage to do the right thing. In taking revenge, Dr. and Emma Collingwood showed that they were as bad as those who hurt their daughter. When they took matters into their own hands, they not only hurt the criminals severely, they mangled, mauled, shot them, and utterly destroyed them. Which I think, I think was really the writer’s attempt try and out-do what has already been done lately in movies—and previously in the 1972 version. You get what you pay for with this movie.
This movie is far from what the Bible teaches about allowing God to judge the wicked. Some parents nowadays may believe it is alright to go to the lengths Dr. and Emma Collingwood did, however, Christians look forward to the day when Christ will come again and handle such wickedness for us. He is the beginning and the end, the judge and friend.
“The Last House on the Left” is far from a Christian film, and is definitely not a movie to take kids to—let alone watch when it comes out on DVD. I suppose “The Last House on the Left” is a good movie for what it is—a horror movie. Perhaps it could be used as a conversation starter about the best parent of all: God. But again, this movie is not for everyone; at times it is hard to watch.
Every time you buy a movie ticket or rent a video you are casting a vote telling Hollywood “That’s what I want.” Why does Hollywood continue to promote immoral programming? Are YOU part of the problem?
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.